Meredith Kessler Wins Ironman New Zealand

ROKA News

Pro Talk | Laura Bennett on Ironman Boulder

We caught up with Olympian, ROKA Pro, and Boulder resident Laura Bennett to get some key race travel tips and an inside track on all things Boulder — Ironman and otherwise.

ROKA: With IM Boulder approaching, a lot of racers are starting to think about travel — something you’ve done a lot of as a pro in you career — can you share any wisdom in regards to destination racing? Hydration and sleep are the two biggest factors with travel, if you’ve got long haul flights staying hydrated on the plane is super important. If you’re flying economy, try avoid an overnight flight if possible; missing a night’s sleep and then racing in two or three days time can really hurt you. If possible, bring your own food for flights to keep your nutrition as normal as possible.

That’s great advice. Speaking of sleep, how do you tend to deal with adjusting to a new time zone? Time change can be a really big factor. You really need to learn quickly how many days you need to adjust to it [time change] and how it affects you. We’ve found that traveling west is always easier. If you go east, try getting on the time zone enough days ahead to be prepared. It’s especially tough for most people who are competing in Ironman and are balancing full-time jobs with families and don’t have the freedom to come in a week before the race to adjust, so one thing to try is start manipulating your body clock by going to bed earlier and trying to get on the time zone in advance, if possible.

Looking back, what are some mistakes you’ve learned from with respect to traveling? Well as you get older, everything gets a lot harder! We’ve had to really fine tune travel and sleep. We used to chuckle at people who would bring their own pillow on the plane, and now we’re those people who say “I wish I had my pillow!”. I don’t think you’re quite as resilient as you get older, there’s less margin for error. You have to refine and become more detailed in all those things to still get the best out of yourself. It’s not that we made mistakes early on, but we just didn’t get affected by them as much. 

Anything to consider specifically for folks coming into Boulder?

Altitude can also be a factor for some people. Boulder is only at “One Increment”, which is basically 5,000 feet [above sea level]. It’s not too detrimental, especially at Ironman pace. I think what catches everybody by surprise up here is hydration, it’s so dry you don’t sweat as much and don’t feel like you need to refuel, but you do.

For people coming in to town can you recommend any local spots to get ready to race IM Boulder? The swim on race-day is in the Boulder Reservoir, and Boulder Aquatic Masters runs an open water swim on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. They mark out a 1km course, so that’s an opportunity to get a feel for the reservoir and do some open water swimming. Scott Carpenter Pool is at the Colorado Athletic Club and it’s also a great place to train. As far as riding is concerned, you can go up any of the canyons to get a feel for the elevation and terrain. Ironman has also mapped out the bike course ahead of time. The bike is just one big loop, and becoming familiar with the course is always a great idea.

If you want to run on hard-pack, the best place is probably out by the Reservoir. The run course on race day is almost concrete and is pretty rough, it’s two loops so once you get through the first, it’s all good and you become more familiar. It leaves a mark, for sure!

Can you give us some specific details on the swim course and start? It’s very calm in the reservoir, it doesn’t ever get too choppy unless the wind is absolutely vicious. I’m sure it’ll be a wetsuit swim again this year, the reservoir doesn’t really warm up too quickly over the summer. You get in the water using the boat ramp for the in-water start. The course is one big loop, you go North first, then West and then South, it’s very straightforward.

Conditions wise, what’s it like in August? It’s definitely warm, it can be windy and I’ve experienced a brutal south-easterly wind a couple times. There’s a lot of drag that runs south, but the easterly wind feels like a headwind. It’s pretty unpredictable, you can go out for a ride anytime in the summer and have a headwind going out and a headwind coming back!

What are some things you love about Boulder? We were living in Victoria, BC before we moved here. We were drawn to the healthy lifestyle, there are so many fit people here in Boulder. We enjoy being in this environment because we feel like we fit in, and it makes it a lot easier to get out if everyone else is out there exercising. Of course the altitude was also attractive, the mountain trails, and easy rides to get out of town.

Any can’t miss spots? We think of Boulder as a little piece of Europe in the US, it’s got a cute little town on Pearl Street which I would say is a must-visit. It’s closed off to cars and there’s lots of good shops and restaurants. A great post-race restaurant is Bohmeian Biergarten, on Hide and 13th, it’s a really cool pub to celebrate. Rubens is on Walnut and Broadway, which is another good pub. That area is a great place to stay, especially if you want to take in Boulder after the race. There’s a bus everyone takes to get out to the reservoir for the race. There’s also great running trails in Flagstaff which is at the Southern end of town. It gives you a great view and there’s a really pretty restaurant called Flagstaff House up at the summit.

Follow Laura on twitter and keep up with @rokasports on Instagram and Twitter for more exclusive stories, inspiration, and insight from ROKA Pros!

June 03, 2015

Pro Talk | Jordan Rapp on Ironman Texas

 

We caught up with Jordan Rapp, Ironman Texas Champion and ROKA Pro, to get his thoughts on scouting Lake Woodlands, the Texas heat, and keeping things simple on race day.

ROKA: Could you set the stage a little bit and talk scouting for Lake Woodlands? The swim at IM Texas is about as straight forward as you can get. The course goes south and then north, and then turns east down the channel. By the time you’re swimming into the sun it’s pretty overhead, so you shouldn’t have any issues with sighting.

Probably the hardest part is when you’re on the way back — there’s a bunch of these little inlets and you’re like “Oh that’s definitely where I’m gonna turn in” but it’s not. if I’m in a group I just stay on people’s feet because it’s much easier, especially on this course where the only time you have to make a decision is when you make that right hand turn [into T1]…there’s no reason to sort of out think yourself.

That right hand turn into the channel, do you have to hook that buoy on the inside or can you cut that corner? You can cut it as much as you want, you don’t have to pass that buoy on your right shoulder. It’s a channel, so there’s no way to cheat the course. Don’t make it any harder than it needs to be.

So with the layout of the course being straight forward, and no real current to deal with, how do you pace it? It depends. The pro race is basically the opposite of the age group race. The pro race is essentially ‘start as fast as possible and then try not to slow down too much’, where for the age grouper that’s basically the opposite of how you should pace a race. This is a rolling start race so you can sort of self seed — [ideally] you’re starting near people who are of similar ability to you.

The big thing with the turns on the course is you want to make sure that heading into the buoy, you don’t get dropped into where people [bunch up], you want to give yourself a little bit of cushion to be controlled, so you may have to take a wider line around the buoy. That’s all stuff you have to decide in the race. If you have dropped into the pack, then it would be better to slow down around the buoys and take it smooth…but sometimes if you see people and there is a small gap, you can pick up the pace a little bit leading into the buoy so you can hang onto the group. That’s all stuff that’s totally dependent on what’s happening during the race. The key for any swim in a triathlon is do whatever you can within your race plan to keep on people’s feet. 

 

 

For something you can’t control, like water temperature, how do you plan for that? I would definitely say that this is a race where you want a wetsuit and a skinsuit, if you’ve got one. As a pro, at 72 degrees I would probably pack a wetsuit, full sleeve, but for age groupers who still have that 76 degree cut off, I would personally bring a sleeveless if I had one. 

Big picture, how do you approach Texas in particular from a tactics standpoint? There are a lot of tactics over shorter distance races, a lot of ways you can spend your energy. But there’s pretty much only one way you’re gonna have your best Ironman race. If you go too hard early in this course, it’s gonna be pretty brutal — and that starts with the swim.

Don’t swim hard, swim smart. Yup. Also, the weather is typically such a factor in Texas. From a conditions stand point, [Texas] can be one of the hardest races in the world. It’s typically hotter and more humid than Kona, and you don’t have the wind. There are pluses and minuses to that, but Texas is generally a very, very still course. If you get an outlier, like you did last year, where you’ve got northern winds coming down and cooling it off, that means the second half of the bike is much harder because you’re riding straight into a headwind. [The course] is one big loop so an advantage can quickly become a disadvantage. It’s not like one of these multi-loop courses that you can suss out and adjust.

 

 

For the racer taking on their first IM down at the Woodlands, do you have any Pro wisdom to share? You have to be so careful with modulating your energy — it’s very hard to recover If you go too hard at any point, that’s especially true in an Ironman with conditions like Texas. If you go too hard early in this course, it’s gonna be pretty brutal. Overall, I think a lot of people over-think it. Don’t swim too hard. Don’t bike too hard. Save something for the second half. The longer the race, the less complicated it should be.

Be sure to check out Jordan’s blog and follow @rokasports on Instagram and Twitter for more exclusive stories, inspiration, and insight from ROKA Pros!

 

May 06, 2015

ROKA Signs 5x Ironman Champion Linsey Corbin

Linsey Corbin

ROKA Sports, Inc. is pleased to announce a multi-year partnership with 5x Ironman Champion, 4x Ironman 70.3 Champion and Ironman American Record Holder, Linsey Corbin.

Linsey said, "The basis of my sponsorship philosophy is to only work with brands I truly believe in and whose product I would purchase on my own. I'm really excited to add ROKA to this line-up.  I have been fascinated by their product innovation and growth since they entered the triathlon market and am super excited about the opportunity to work with them this year. I have been working hard on my swim this off-season, and I am excited for a fast & fun year with the ROKA team. Partnering with a company like ROKA motivates me as an athlete to continuously improve."

ROKA’s Vice President of Sales & Marketing Ryan Dolan said, “We are thrilled to partner with Linsey Corbin.  She is the fastest American woman ever at the full Ironman distance and is universally respected for her professionalism off the course. Linsey is also one of the most approachable and recognizable figures in the sport of triathlon. We are honored to partner with her and we believe she’ll be an excellent ambassador for ROKA.”

ABOUT LINSEY CORBIN

Linsey Corbin grew up in Bend, Oregon with dreams of winning Olympic Gold in downhill ski racing. Linsey ran track and cross country in high school and her early college years before transferring to the University of Montana in Missoula where she found triathlon. Corbin is the Ironman American Record Holder with a time of 8:42:42. Linsey is also a 5x Ironman champion, a 4x Ironman 70.3 champion and has also finished on the podium at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships.

Linsey Corbin joins ROKA’s growing team of champion athletes including 6x World Champion and Olympic Silver Medalist Javier Gómez, ITU World Champion Gwen Jorgensen, 2x Ironman World Champion Chris McCormack, 2x ITU World Champion and Olympic Bronze Medalist Emma Moffatt, 2x Ironman 70.3 World Champion Melissa Hauschildt, 70.3 World Champion & 3x Xterra World Champion Julie Dibens, 2013 Kona Runner-up & Ironman/Challenge winner Rachel Joyce, 7x Ironman Champion Meredith Kessler, 4x Wildflower Champion Jesse Thomas, 5x Ironman winner Jordan Rapp and more.

ABOUT ROKA SPORTS

ROKA was founded in 2011 by two former All-American swimmers from Stanford University, who, after being frustrated by the offering on the market, set out to make the fastest wetsuits on the planet.  After two years of intense R&D, and testing by athletes of all abilities, ROKA launched its patent-pending Maverick wetsuit, Viper swimskin and SIM short training lines in 2013.

ROKA products were immediately sought out by elite and developing swimmers alike. Professional athletes in ROKA finished First Out of the Water at back-to-back IRONMAN® World Championships, IRONMAN 70.3® World Championships, and ITU WTS Grand Finals, as well as many other races around the world.  In 2014, ROKA athletes Javier Gómez and Gwen Jorgensen won three World Championship titles.  ROKA is also the Official Swim Sponsor for all US IRONMAN® races as well as the IRONMAN® World Championship.

ROKA is based in Dallas, Texas with employees in Boulder, Colorado and Southern California.

March 17, 2015

ROKA Sports and LA Tri Club Announce Multi-Year Partnership

LA Tri ClubROKA Sports, Inc., a performance multisport brand, is proud to announce that it will be the exclusive wetsuit and preferred swim partner of the LA Tri Club beginning in 2015.  ROKA Vice President of Sales & Marketing Ryan Dolan said, “LA Tri Club is one of the nation’s largest and most successful triathlon clubs and stands out for its commitment to member experience and community, regardless of ability or experience.  We look forward to working closely with LA Tri Club to enhance their member’s experience over the next several years with our product innovation and support.”

Los Angeles Triathlon Club President Paul Hekimian added, “LA Tri Club is super excited to partner with ROKA.  Our members are always looking for the best performance products on the market, and having a multisport company that was created by swimmers and triathletes for athletes of all abilities was important in our decision making process.  ROKA’s advanced-technology, innovative materials and patent pending designs have quickly moved ROKA to the top of the market.  LA Tri Club is proud to partner with a performance driven brand such as ROKA.”

ABOUT LA TRI CLUB

The LA Tri Club is one of the largest triathlon clubs in the World with over 1800 members.  The LA Tri Club was established to provide a network of information, support services, training & racing activities, friendship and fun for all ages and abilities. 

ABOUT ROKA SPORTS

ROKA was founded in 2011 by two former All-American swimmers from Stanford University, who, after being frustrated by the offering on the market, set out to make the fastest wetsuits on the planet.  After two years of intense R&D, and testing by athletes of all abilities, ROKA launched its patent-pending Maverick wetsuit, Viper swimskin and SIM short training lines in 2013.

ROKA products were immediately sought out by elite and developing swimmers alike. Professional athletes in ROKA finished First Out of the Water at back-to-back IRONMAN®World Championships, IRONMAN 70.3® World Championships, and ITU WTS Grand Finals, as well as many other races around the world.  In 2014, ROKA athletes Javier Gómez and Gwen Jorgensen won three World Championship titles.

January 21, 2015

ROKA and IRONMAN Announce Multi-Year Partnership

IronmanROKA and IRONMAN are proud to announce that ROKA Sports, Inc., a performance multisport brand, will be the exclusive swim partner and swim course sponsor for all U.S. IRONMAN®events, including the IRONMAN® World Championship beginning in 2015.

ROKA Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Rob Canales said, “IRONMAN and its community inspire us. For the dynamic, growing team at ROKA, this partnership is an amazing opportunity to connect directly with an incredible group of people who believe that Anything is Possible®.  We look forward to working closely with IRONMAN and IRONMAN athletes to elevate their experience over the next several years through groundbreaking products, support and initiatives.”

“We are thrilled to partner with ROKA – as their innovative team and products are well-respected by IRONMAN athletes,” said Andrew Messick, Chief Executive Officer of IRONMAN. “We look forward to working with ROKA to enhance the athlete experience through our shared commitment to and passion for the sport of triathlon.”

As part of the partnership, IRONMAN will carry an assortment of ROKA co-branded products, including swim skins, wetsuits, caps, goggles and other swimwear beginning in March 2015.

“For many athletes, completing an IRONMAN triathlon represents the ultimate challenge,” added Ryan Dolan, ROKA Vice President of Sales & Marketing. “For others who race multiple times a year or have done many races over an extended period, IRONMAN is a way of life. For all athletes, IRONMAN is more than a race. We are honored to support the incredible dedication, perseverance and endurance that defines this community and organization.”

ABOUT IRONMAN

The iconic IRONMAN® Series of events is the largest participation sports platform in the world. Since the inception of the IRONMAN® brand in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines at the world’s most challenging endurance races. Recognized for excellence through distinguished events, world-class athletes and quality products, IRONMAN has grown from a single race to a global sensation with more than 190 events across five unique brands: IRONMAN®, IRONMAN 70.3®, 5150™ Triathlon Series, Iron Girl® and IRONKIDS®. For more information, visit www.ironman.com.

ABOUT ROKA SPORTS

ROKA was founded in 2011 by two former All-American swimmers from Stanford University, who, after being frustrated by the offering on the market, set out to make the fastest wetsuits on the planet.  After two years of intense R&D, and testing by athletes of all abilities, ROKA launched its patent-pending Maverick wetsuit, Viper swimskin and SIM short training lines in 2013.

ROKA products were immediately sought out by elite and developing swimmers alike. Professional athletes in ROKA finished First Out of the Water at back-to-back IRONMAN® World Championships, IRONMAN 70.3® World Championships, and ITU WTS Grand Finals, as well as many other races around the world.  In 2014, ROKA athletes Javier Gómez and Gwen Jorgensen won three World Championship titles.

January 16, 2015

ROKA Expands Distribution with QBP

QBPDALLAS, Texas. October 24, 2014 — ROKA Sports, Inc. is pleased to announce that effective immediately, Quality Bicycle Products (QBP), the global distribution leader for the endurance sports market, will be distributing its industry-leading range of swim products.

Nick Essma, Product Line Manager for QBP said, "We are thrilled to add ROKA to our multisport-focused offering. Rarely do we add such a young company to our catalog, but we have seen significant demand for ROKA's innovative products, due in no small part to their overwhelmingly positive market acceptance and race results. We have a high level of knowledge and passion for multisport here at QBP, with over 25 Ironman finishes amongst our Q-Multisport team, and our group manages over 40 top brands that cover swim, bike, run, transition and nutrition. ROKA will be an excellent addition to our offering."

ROKA Vice President of Sales and Marketing Ryan Dolan said, “QBP is the gold standard in multisport specialty distribution, and we're delighted to partner with them. QBP offers retailers top flight support on product selection, and their dedicated inside and outside sales force does an excellent job helping new retailers develop the right mix of products for their shops. With over 5,000 accounts, QBP's reach and expertise are a perfect fit for us as we seek to make our products available to more athletes.”

ABOUT QUALITY BICYCLE PRODUCTS

With over 5,000 customers, QBP is a leading distributor to the cycling and outdoor industries. Dedicated to high performance and outstanding results, QBP is committed to being in the top 1% of all distributors. Carrying more than 36,000 products from 450 vendors, the company offers domestic and international retailers a wide array of products and services including a 1,700 page catalog; an online ordering system; a renowned custom wheel service; a specialty bike-building program, and more. The company owns five bike brands including All-City, Civia, Foundry, Salsa Cycles, and Surly. QBP also owns 45 North, Whisky Parts Co., Dimension and Problem Solvers. Through its Q-Outdoor division, QBP distributes products to thousands of independent ski, run, and outdoor retailers. QBP operates LEED certified distribution centers in Minnesota, Utah and Pennsylvania, which allows QBP to reach 95% of its customers in the US with ground shipping in one or two days.  

Media Contact:

  • Ryan Dolan, VP Sales & Marketing
  • Email: ryan@rokasports.com
  • Phone: (877) 985-ROKA (7652) x 104
October 24, 2014

ROKA Partners with 6x Ironman World Champion Mark Allen

Mark Allen - ROKAKailua-Kona, Hawaii. October 8, 2014 — ROKA Sports, Inc. is pleased to announce a multi-year partnership six-time Hawaii Ironman World Champion, coach, award-winning author, motivational speaker and ESPN's "Greatest Endurance Athlete of All-Time" Mark Allen and Mark Allen Coaching.

Mark Allen said, "I'm excited to announce our new Mark Allen Coaching partnership with ROKA. ROKA's advanced technology, innovation in materials and design, and proven product performance align perfectly with my objectives to ensure Mark Allen Coaching athletes are Always A Step Ahead".  

ROKA's Vice President of Sales and Marketing Ryan Dolan said, “Mark Allen is truly a pioneer and a legend in the sport of triathlon.  He was the first person to win an olympic distance world championship in 1989 and inspired me to do my first triathlon.  He continues to inspire and motivate others today, and we are honored to have Mark as part of the ROKA team. We look forward to collaborating with him and learning from his unparalleled knowledge and experience in endurance sports.”

ABOUT MARK ALLEN

Mark Allen is a six-time Hawaii Ironman World Champion. He was named “The World’s Fittest Man” by Outside magazine, voted “The Greatest Endurance Athlete Of All Time” by ESPN, and selected as “The Greatest Triathlete Of All Time” by Triathlete magazine. He is a motivational speaker, coach, endurance sports product consultant, and award-winning author. Fit Soul, Fit Body: 9 Keys to a Healthier, Happier You, co-authored with Brant Secunda, received the prestigious Nautilus Book Award in the category of Health, Healing and Energetic Medicine in 2010.

Mark Allen joins ROKA’s growing team of coaches and champions including 4x ITU World Champion & '12 Olympic Silver Medalist Javier Gómez, ITU World Champion Gwen Jorgensen, 2x Ironman World Champion Chris McCormack, Siri Lindley and Team Sirius, Mat Steinmetz and 51 Speed Shop, 2x ITU World Champion and Olympic Bronze Medalist Emma Moffatt, 2x Ironman 70.3 World Champion Melissa Hauschildt, 70.3 World Champion & 3x Xterra World Champion Julie Dibens, 2013 Kona Runner-up & Challenge Roth winner Rachel Joyce and others. 

Media Contact: 

Ryan Dolan, VP Sales & Marketing
Emai: ryan@rokasports.com

Phone: (877) 985-ROKA (7652) x 104

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October 09, 2014

ROKA Signs 2x Ironman World Champ Chris "Macca" McCormack

Chris "Macca" McCormackROKA Sports, Inc. is pleased to announce a multi-year partnership with two-time Ironman World Champion, twelve-time Ironman Champion, and ITU Short & Long Distance World Champion, Chris “Macca” McCormack.

Chris McCormack said, "It's simple. I'm at the point in my triathlon career where I only want to work with the best.  ROKA continues to demonstrate it is the industry leader in wetsuits and swim skins and will, without a doubt, set the standard in the new product categories it will soon enter. I couldn't be more proud to be a part of their team and to wear ROKA when I race and train."

ROKA’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing Ryan Dolan said, “Macca is an icon in our sport, an exceptionally talented and driven athlete who has won at every distance over the last twenty years in the toughest conditions. As two-time Ironman World Champion, he could choose any brand he wanted to swim in. We are honored and proud that he trusts ROKA products, and we are thrilled to have him as a part of the ROKA team. Macca has a tremendous passion for triathlon and will be a deep well of knowledge for our team as we continue to develop the world's leading performance products.”

ABOUT CHRIS MCCORMACK

Chris McCormack is a 2x Ironman World Champion, ITU Short and Long-Course World Champion, 12x Ironman Champion, 7x World Cup Champion, and Goodwill Games Gold Medalist. When not training or racing, McCormack enjoys surfing and relaxing with family and friends, splitting time between Phuket Thailand and Sydney Australia.

McCormack joins ROKA’s team of champions including 4x ITU and Ironman 70.3 World Champion & '12 Olympic Silver Medalist Javier Gómez, ITU World Champion Gwen Jorgensen, 2x ITU World Champion & Olympic Bronze Medalist Emma Moffatt, 2x Ironman 70.3 World Champion Melissa Hauschildt, 70.3 World Champion & 3x Xterra World Champion Julie Dibens, 2013 Kona Runner-up & Ironman/Challenge Roth winner Rachel Joyce, 4x Wildflower Champion Jesse Thomas and others.

ABOUT ROKA SPORTS

ROKA is a performance multisport brand that was founded in 2011 by two former All-American swimmers from Stanford University, who, after being frustrated by the wetsuit offerings on the market, set out to make the fastest wetsuit on the planet. After two years of product development, the ROKA team launched their patent-pending Maverick wetsuit, Viper swim skin and SIM short training line in March 2013.

In their first two seasons, ROKA products saw widespread acceptance by elite and developing swimmers alike, and ROKA pro athletes finished first out of the water at the Ironman World Championship, multiple Ironman 70.3 World Championships, multiple ITU WTS Grand Finals, the Hy-Vee 5150 Elite Cup Championship, numerous Ironman and Ironman 70.3 races, and more. ROKA is based in Dallas, Texas with employees in Southern California and Boulder, Colorado.  

Media Contact:

  • Ryan Dolan, VP Sales & Marketing
  • Email: ryan@rokasports.com
  • Phone: (877) 985-ROKA (7652) x 104
September 15, 2014

ROKA Partners with VO2 Multisport

Ben Bigglestone - VO2 MultisportROKA Sports, Inc. is pleased to announce a multi-year partnership with elite triathlon coach and VO2 Performance Center CEO, Ben Bigglestone. “When it comes to performance and the success of my athletes and team members I take it very seriously. As an organization VO2 Multisport do not simply enter into a sponsorship relationship in order to 'get a deal'. I and my team of coaches take the time and energy to performance test products and use our athlete pool to obtain feedback on fit, performance and durability,” said Bigglestone. “Needless to say with 25+ years of racing and coaching I have worn countless wetsuits, different brands and styles, I even helped in the development of them for a couple different notable brands for several years so have a good understanding of the technology, panel configuration, closure systems and overall usability of a suit. ROKA Sports have indeed broken the mold of the traditional high performance wetsuit and I am extremely excited to enter into a relationship with an organization whose people share my passion for performance and continue to innovate.”

ROKA Vice President of Sales and Marketing Ryan Dolan said, “I have known Ben Bigglestone for over ten years and have always been in impressed with his professionalism and attention to detail. Ben is a very caring coach and makes certain all of his athletes are prepared come race day.” Dolan added, “Ben and his coaching staff at VO2 Multisport are just the kind of judicious partners we look for at ROKA Sports as we continue to develop and provide only the best training and race products for athletes of all abilities.”

ABOUT BEN BIGGLESTONE & VO2 MULTISPORT

Actively coaching since 1993, Ben holds a degree in Sport and Exercise Science and coaching qualifications from the British Triathlon Federation (BTF) and USAT. Racing since 1989, Ben has competed at all levels including Elite Junior, Elite Senior and Age group. Ben is a two-time National Championship medalist in the UK (Long Course Triathlon and Duathlon) and has also qualified four times and raced at the Ironman World Championships three times. VO2 Multisport won the Division IV Triathlon Club World Title in 2013 and just recently captured the Club Title at Ironman Coeur D’ Alene. VO2Multisport Performance Center offers a wide range of training options. World-class coaching, comprehensive camps and clinics and a team of athletes who train to compete at the Performance Center voted “Best of Competitor, Northwest” by Competitor Magazine. VO2 Multisport is currently based in Seattle, Washington.

Ben Bigglestone and VO2 Multisport join ROKA’s growing team of champions including 3x ITU World Champion & '12 Olympic Silver Medalist Javier Gómez, Olympian Gwen Jorgensen, Siri Lindley and Team Sirius, 51 Speed Shop and Mat Steinmetz, 2x ITU World Champion and Olympic Bronze Medalist Emma Moffatt, 2x Ironman 70.3 World Champion Melissa Hauschildt, 70.3 World Champion & 3x Xterra World Champion Julie Dibens, 2013 Kona Runner-up & Ironman/Challenge winner Rachel Joyce, 5x Ironman Champion Meredith Kessler, 4x Wildflower Champion Jesse Thomas and others.

ABOUT ROKA SPORTS

ROKA is a performance multisport brand that was founded in 2011 by two former All-American swimmers from Stanford University, who, after being frustrated by the wetsuit offerings on the market, set out to make the fastest wetsuit on the planet. After two years of product development, the ROKA team launched their patent-pending Maverick wetsuit, Viper swimskin and SIM short training line in March 2013.

In their first season, ROKA products saw widespread acceptance by elite and developing swimmers alike, and ROKA pro athletes finished first out of the water at the Ironman World Championship, the ITU WTS Grand Final, the Hy-Vee 5150 Elite Cup Championship, several Ironman and Ironman 70.3 races, and more. ROKA is based in Dallas, Texas with employees in California and Colorado.

Media Contact:

  • Ryan Dolan, VP Sales & Marketing
  • Email: ryan@rokasports.com
  • Phone: (877) 985-ROKA (7652) x 104
July 02, 2014

What I Learned in St. George by Meredith Kessler

Meredith Kessler

A true veteran of the sport, Meredith Kessler has plenty of experience racing (and winning!) some pretty tough courses. Despite competing in over 50 Ironman events, she continues to learn something new every race. On the eve of this year's hotly contested Ironman 70.3 St George, we caught up with the defending champ to see what she had to say about her gutsy performance last year.  Go get 'em Meredith!

As we approach the 5th year of St. George being offered on the race circuit and the 5th year I have had the pleasure of racing this course (3 times as a full ironman and once as a 70.3) -  there is always something new to learn, absorb, adjust and deliver. Last year, "chasing Svenja" was absolutely the theme of the day. When she amazingly flew past Annabel Luxford and me at mile two of the bike like we were going a true SNAIL'S pace, we had to make the decision right there to just race our race and hope to catch her later! I know I had no chance to try to hang with her on the bike - she was humming like a freight train!

Coming into T2 about 4:30 down on Svenja, the thought process was to take it mile by mile and mainly, hydration and nutrition like a rolling buffet at every aid station. Oink Oink I know - but it was absolutely needed to survive out there and not pop like a champagne cork. I felt grateful to have known the trials and tribulations of this beefy St. George run course and thankfully knew where to hustle and hum up the longer inclines best I could muster. As the miles ticked off and I could see Svenja semi in reach up the long, dry, hot road amongst the gorgeous red rocks - it was the raw moment of pleasure and pain to try to go as fast as I could up to her to have even a glimmer of hope to make the pass. A risk that had to be taken in the moment. At mile 11, the TT effort to Svenja combined with my piggy like nutritional feast seemed to work out a-okay and the rest of the course was a downward grade to the finish! It was a risk worth taking and you always relish the days where the body behaves as a result of this mindset and risk.

I'm delighted to have the opportunity to come back to St. George again this year and have a chance to share the course with the MOST world class field of pro women that this race has seen yet. The "US Champion" title is back up for grabs and the person willing to take the most chances and "go for gold" will be the one to come out on top. I wish everyone the absolute best for a safe and happy race!

- Meredith Kessler

May 02, 2014