Thursday, April 23, 2009

Week(s) in Review- April 23

Okay....lots to catch up on. We've had a lot of racing over the last few weeks, including the Boston Marathon. We'll start there....we had 4 BTTers out there on the marathon course this past Monday (Lauren Cullings, Brett Johnston, Kate Blumberg and Evan Israelson). Everyone had a solid day, on a day with deceivingly tough conditions, with Lauren leading the way with an impressive 3:25. Hopefully we'll get some race reports from these folks for the next posting. Last weekend was also the Wrentham Duathlon....the unofficial start to the multisport season in New England. Both Steve Sian and Peter Jenson trekked out to outlet country for some running, biking and shopping. Rumor has it (according to Facebook) that our Prez, Meredith, also raced. But we can't confirm since she hasn't posted her results:) (we'll give her a pass on this one!). Lastly, Jess Douglass headed down to Boyston Street on Sunday for the BAA 5k. Jess registered a 22:30 at the newly added event.

Catching up with some past results: A couple of weeks ago, I (pat dwyer) ran the Merrimack River Trail Run (10 Miles). Trail racing is very tough, but very fun. Try one if you get a chance. I could have sworn I saw long time member Jeff Aronis out on the course. But, his results weren't posted on the BTT maybe I was imagining things!!! We also had some members racing the Marathon Sports Cambridge City 5 Miler, as Jay Higginbottom and Steve Sian went 35:10 and 47:58, respectively. And Ali Winslow hit the South Shore for the Cohasset Road Race By The Sea (10K).

Finally, several weeks ago (yes, I'm behind on this!), Kate Blumberg ran Doyles Emerald Necklace 5 Miler on March 5 and Jamie Strain made a pit stop in Miami for the Nautica South Beach Tri. Jamie Reports for us...

The South Beach tri was something that came about because we had a lay-over in Miami after a trip to Belize with my girlfriend. After a week spent exploring ruins, scuba diving, and relaxing (drinking), it was a bit tough to think of doing a tri. But I guess the rest (and fruity rum drinks) worked out well. Despite the hot weather and borrowed bike from my brother, it was really fun to swim off of South Beach, to ride the closed highways of Miami, and to run on the boardwalk. I thought the race was well run and although I wouldn't go out of my way to do it again, it was a nice start to the season.

Also, congrats to Jeff Kreher for winning the BTT Tourney Challenge. From what I could see, most of us playing were challenged! Great job to all of the new members who are really out there in force on the racing scene. your energy...BTT TW is right around the corner!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

BTT Member Spotlight- Jay Higginbottom

Our next member spotlight falls on new member, Jay Higginbottom. For those that know Jay, he can sometimes come across as a quiet guy. But, apparently, you put him in front of a computer and he opens up...quite a bit!

A Little (okay a lot of) Background...

I was born in Augusta, Maine in 1971. Growing up in Hallowell (ME) and Victoria, BC (Canada), I spent summers swimming in quarries and lakes, and riding bikes. My father always supported my athletic pursuits, including youth hockey, baseball, and soccer. But as a late bloomer, I became discouraged with team sports. Then, inspired by the Los Angeles Olympics, my best friend and I challenged ourselves to run 13 miles to the lake, and I found that I was a runner. The following fall, as freshman, we helped start our high school’s first cross-country team. I also became a miler, 2-miler, and pole-vaulter on track team. I came to the conclusion I was better at individual sports. It took me years after to learn that solo sports don’t have to be solitary. With my parents help, I spent my senior year in Rennes, France as a high school exchange student through Philips Exeter Academy. This influential year helped me discover a love of art, language, and architecture. But also left me with a couple unhealthy byproducts of the French lifestyle that derailed my running, including an addiction to cigarettes and a love of Bordeaux. Then as an engineering, art and architecture student, and Delta Chi fraternity member, at Lehigh and Columbia Universities I didn’t see the sun, run, bike, sleep, or treat myself very well. I did return to France in 1991 again as a student, for a year of design studio all-nighters, museums, sketching in the city, and hours with friends in smoky cafes and bars. After graduating, I completed my education in Boston at the Boston Architectural Center in 1997. After grad school I slipped in and out of running, and with the help of Yoga was able to kick smoking and finally recommit to running in 2003. Since then I have run too many road races to count, several half marathons, and participated in the Reach the Beach Relay 5 years in a row. I’d always thought triathlons were the exclusive domain of the hard-core athletes I saw in the Olympics, rather than running enthusiasts with an artist lifestyle like me. But in 2005 a very close friend convinced me to sign up for a sprint tri, and we trained for it together. Later I met Pat Dwyer who sold me my first wetsuit, and helped me understanding transitions and race prep for my first full triathlon. Pat also introduced me to BTT (Ed. Note.: What a great ambassador to the team and the sport!). I completed my first sprint triathlon in 2006, my first standard tri in 2007, and now I am training for my first ½ Ironman this year. What I love about triathloning is that competing or training recaptures the feeling of freedom I had that summer as a kid running to the lake to swim. Today I am a registered architect practicing with MDS Inc architects in Boston: (, a professional painter and instructor at Fort Point Studio School ( My artwork can be viewed at (Ed. Note.: Blatant Self Promotion!). In additional to triathlon I love windsurfing, sailing, snowboarding, yoga and recently (thanks to BTT) started xc-skate skiing.
1. What are your goals and expectations for your upcoming race season?

This is my first year with BTT and I am very excited about the upcoming season, and the friendships I have made on the team. With the exposure to all the BTT resources, group training, the newbie mentor program, and casual conversations with teammates at social events, I am preparing with a lot more rigor and diligence than before. I have greatly benefited from working with Ali Winslow to improve my swimming and biking. I am training for my first ½ ironman at Timberman in August. I am nervous about the distance involved, but know that if I stay the course I can do it and maybe even do well.

2. Out of all three events, what is your least favorite and why?

I love the combination of the three sports. I don’t have a least favorite, but my weakest/ least satisfying right now is the bike. I have been working to improve my power because, until joining BTT, I was riding more like a recreational cyclist than a racer.

3. How long have you been competing in triathlons?

2009 is my fourth season.

4. What was your first triathlon event?

My first Triathlon was the Webster Lake sprint in 2006

5. Lessons learned from when you first started to now.
You get from your body what you put into it. Treat it right.

6. Any words of wisdom, advice or anything you would like to share with your fellow teammates??

Love the process. Yoga has played a large role in maintaining flexibility, health, nutrition and balance for me. I love how the combination of triathlon and yoga makes me feel. I feel it translates to confidence in other areas of my life and a general sense of resiliency because I am at home in my body. Your body is your temple and needs to be treated well. Even though triathlon is essentially an individual sport I couldn’t, and wouldn’t, take it on by myself. I love participating in group activities, and seeing others struggle and succeed. It is for me analogous to many things in life where working with others helps build a more developed sense of self, and subsequently greater achievements than working alone. The concept of relying on a larger wisdom is powerful. “Knowing your limits” is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you admit that you don’t know where life will take you but decide to love the journey…you never know what you might be able to achieve.

For me the joy of triathlons comes from focusing on enjoying the process, the feel and technique of being on the road and in the water, rather than exclusively focusing on the outcome. Triathloning has informed my life, my work and my art. But if you keep looking behind you or worrying about your performance relative to the next person, you can’t focus on the now. Celebrating your own personal technique, voice, and pace is the only thing that will enable you to improve.
Thanks again to Stacy Suchodolski for putting this together. I only post and edit....Stacy does the hard part. - PD

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Week(s) in Review

I know, I know...this is a bit late. Many may find this hard to believe, but this is not my full time job! Anyway, we've got a lot to get to...actually, 3 weekends of racing. Two weeks ago was the New England Multisport Expo. It was a great event, and BTT had a great presence. Many BTTers took part in the time trial, including myself. However, since none of us posted our results, we can only acknowledge Stephen Wall:) Also, racing during the March 20-21st weekend was Sasha Dass, who travelled all the way to North Carolina to race (okay...she was actually just visiting a friend...but she raced nonetheless). Here's Sasha's report:

I took a trip down to Asheville, NC to visit my friend Jess (in picture). Asheville is a cute little hippie town nestled between the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains. In order to justify the copious amounts of microbrew I knew I would be drinking, I signed up for a 12K trail race sponsored by a local running store. The course wound through Dupont State Forest. Gorgeous rolling terrain, sunny skies, and 50F temps made for a perfect day. My knees were a bit sore due to the long downhills, and the steep uphills slowed me down, but overall we had a blast. I will definitely be on the lookout for more races down there. It's a mountain bike mecca as far as I can tell. Perhaps MTB racing is in my future? :)

Last weekend, the Cullings gals (Carolyn and Lauren) and Jason Soules headed to New Hampshire for the Eastern States 20 Miler and the Run For the Border Half Marathon. Lauren posted a strong 2:31:30 for the 20 Miler, as she gets ready to take on the Boston Marathon in 2 weeks. While Carolyn and Jason tackled the half in 1:37:47 and 1:33:44, respectively. Great job guys.

Also, yesterday, newbie Mike Williams traveled to Oceanside California for the California 70.3. Mike posted a time of 5:25 on the difficult course. Great job Mike on such an early season race! I'm sure we'll get a full report next week (hint!).

Lastly, congrats to Mr. Davenport, who's alma mater (Mich. St.) made it to the finals yesterday. I'm just scratching my head as to why he didn't pick them to win the whole thing?