Meredith Kessler Wins Ironman New Zealand

ROKA News

ROKA and U.S. Masters Swimming Announce New Official Partner Agreement

USMSDallas, Texas, and Sarasota, Fla., January 28, 2016ROKA Sports, Inc., a premium multisport brand has announced a multi-year official partner agreement with U.S. Masters Swimming, the national governing body for adult swimming in the United States.

The ROKA brand burst into the triathlon and swimming markets in 2013 and was quickly embraced by top athletes. “ROKA was founded by former All-American swimmers, so swimming is in our DNA. We’re so excited about our partnership with U.S. Masters Swimming and look forward to working closely with USMS and elevating the training of the Masters community by offering products that define the performance standard,” says Ryan Dolan, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for ROKA.

USMS is excited to introduce ROKA to it’s diverse membership. “ROKA and U.S. Masters Swimming share a commitment to fitness and healthy living, and our mutual devotion to swimming embodies both those aspirations. Together we have a unique opportunity to give our community the latest insights and information on products and training that will empower swimmers of all abilities, inspiring them to achieve their best,” says Kyle Deery, Marketing Director for USMS.

 

USMS is excited to introduce ROKA to it’s diverse membership. “ROKA and U.S. Masters Swimming share a commitment to fitness and healthy living, and our mutual devotion to swimming embodies both those aspirations. Together we have a unique opportunity to give our community the latest insights and information on products and training that will empower swimmers of all abilities, inspiring them to achieve their best,” says Kyle Deery, Marketing Director for USMS.

About U.S. Masters Swimming

U.S. Masters Swimming is a nonprofit national governing body that promotes health, wellness, fitness, and competition for adults through swimming. USMS has more than 1,500 adult swim programs across the country and promotes information via the bimonthly member magazineSWIMMER, monthly eNewslettersSTREAMLINES, and website, usms.org. USMS sanctions and promotes pool, open water, and virtual events and competitions. Nearly 65,000 adults are registered members of U.S. Masters Swimming.

January 28, 2016

ROKA Partners with QT2 Systems

ROKA Sports, Inc. is pleased to announce a newly formed partnership with QT2 Systems. ROKA Vice President of Sales & Marketing Ryan Dolan said, “We are honored to team up with QT2 Systems, a company that shares our passion for performance and our respect for those who strive to achieve their best. It’s all about empowering athletes, and by combining the performance technologies of ROKA with the comprehensive coaching and race-preparation methods of QT2 Systems, this partnership will give athletes everything they need to redefine their potential and go beyond their limits.”

Jesse Kropeinicki, Managing Director of QT2 Systems, LLC added, “ROKA gets it. They’re a company founded by athletes, so they understand the dedication it takes to achieve goals. At QT2 Systems’ brand of endurance preparation business (QT2 Systems, The Core Diet, OutRival Racing, or Your 26.2), we know that success is a matter of mind, and body, and it also demands a level of performance technology that can only come from those who know the passion behind all that sacrifice. That’s why we’re proud to partner with a company that has become synonymous with performance.”

About QT2 SYSTEMS

QT2 Systems LLC, offers complete endurance event preparation via its brands QT2 Systems (Detailed Triathlon Coach), OutRival Racing (Triathlon Coach & Group Training), Your 26.2 (Run Coach) and The Core Diet (Endurance Nutrition). QT2’s over 40 professional USA Triathlon certified coaches and Registered Dietitians offer one-on-one training and nutrition to over 35 professionals, over 80 elite age group athletes (Kona and Boston qualifiers), and more than 400 beginner to mid-level athletes throughout the country and worldwide. To find out more about the services offered by QT2 Systems, visit http://www.qt2systems.com/ or http://www.OutRivalRacing.com.

January 25, 2016

ROKA Adds Rebecca Soni to Athlete Roster

Rebecca Soni

Six-Time Olympic Medalist Joins World-Class Athletes in ROKA Family

DALLAS, Texas, December 22, 2015 – ROKA Sports, Inc. today announced that three-time Olympic gold medalist Rebecca Soni, one of the most dominant swimmers of all time, has joined its roster of athletes. Soni’s Olympic victories also include three silver medals, giving her a career total of twenty-two medals in major international competitions. Having broken multiple world records during her astounding career, she currently holds the world record as a member of the 4x100-meter medley relay (short and long course). Soni was also named American Swimmer of the Year for three consecutive years, and Swimming World’s World Swimmer of the Year for two.

Soni has retired from international competition but her love of swim continues, and she has transitioned into a “life-athlete,” pursuing a daily quest for self-improvement that echoes the path of achievement in athletics. Through the RISE Mentors program, she is teaching a balanced approach to athletics and life, inspiring tomorrow’s champions in the journey to success.

“I’m on a quest to create my future the way I choose it to be, and I chose to be part of the ROKA family because it’s a company of athletes, for athletes,” said Soni. “I want to share everything I’ve learned with the next generation and show them that reaching their true potential requires dedication, drive and the right attitude throughout their lives. That sentiment is echoed at ROKA. There’s so much performance designed into everything ROKA makes, and that’s because they know and respect the passion of athletes.”

Rob Canales, Co-Founder and CEO of ROKA said, “We are honored to have such a talented and celebrated athlete join the ROKA family. We jumped at the opportunity to work with Rebecca as she takes on new challenges. We are excited to leverage her passion and unrivaled expertise. As Rebecca inspires the next generation and continues tackling new epic challenges in open water, triathlon and beyond, she will rely on innovations that reflect our uncompromising drive to create the very best.”

December 22, 2015

ROKA Releases Premium Performance Apparel for Cycling

Pro Cycling Collection

New Pro Cycling Collection Elevates Training

DALLAS, Texas, October 29, 2015 – ROKA Sports, Inc. today announced the release of a new collection of training and racing apparel for cycling. The company’s Pro Cycling Collection for men and women has been crafted with impeccable attention to detail, delivering the highest technical performance, a range of precision fits and best-in-class comfort to athletes who demand the highest quality.

Rob Canales, Co-Founder and CEO of ROKA said, “ROKA is about performance – full stop. As we expand our relationship with multisport athletes from race day to everyday training, we will always strive to deliver the best performing technologies in our products, and this cycling collection honors that commitment.”

To engineer their cycling collection, ROKA fused the insights of world-class cyclists with technologies proven in the pro peloton. Features range from aerodynamic fabrics and strategically-placed mesh panels to intuitive detailing for optimal convenience and comfort. The new designs are available in a wide assortment of sizing, including tall size options. ROKA fit sets the company apart and underscores its commitment to being known and revered for its focus on this critical aspect of performance apparel.

Canales added, “The ROKA Pro Cycling Collection is the result of years of R&D. Our development and testing teams include experts, both internally and externally, who are deeply rooted in the sport, from Tour de France racers to product designers from preeminent cycling brands. Their achievements with this new collection will empower amateurs and pros alike with gear that performs better, fits better and helps athletes get the most out of their preparation.”

The Pro Cycling Collection features seven styles, and ROKA engineered the designs with special attention to sizing for the men’s and women’s collections.

ROKA created three performance cycling jerseys for the collection. A race fit crafted with moisture-wicking polyester, the Pro Race Short Sleeve Jersey offers breakaway speed with strategic placement of aerodynamic fabrics, a raw-edge sleeve finish, and a mesh back panel that maximizes breathability. The Pro Summer Short Sleeve Jersey offers minimized wind resistance, moisture management with mesh panels, and convenience features. Optimizing versatility, ROKA’s new Pro All-Season Short Sleeve Jersey is a year-round performer and a must-have for cyclists’ toolkits. All jerseys in the collection have three deep back pockets – each big enough to fit a water bottle deeply enough to prevent ejection while riding – along with a media pocket lined for water resistance.

The collection includes premium performance editions of both a bib short and non-bib short. Leveraging decades of experience from Tour de France riders, the ROKA Pro Bib Short is one of the most technically advanced designs available. The comfortable compression fit conforms to the body and takes advantage of a range of innovations to eliminate restriction, binding, pinching, and edge curling and rolling. On training days when a bib short is not called for, serious riders can take advantage of the Pro Short for cycling. The ergonomic pro-level chamois in the men’s design of each product utilizes carbon to reduce odor over time. The cycling shorts have a gradient silicone print and a raw-edge leg finish that prevents the “sausage leg” look and feel of conventional designs.

In cycling jackets, ROKA engineered the ultimate in wind-block shell designs. The Pro Wind Block Jacket is ideal for training days that call for a thinner, water-resistant and windproof layer to shield riders from the elements. Four-way stretch offers a performance fit, while venting on the back and underarms provides cooling. For core protection from wind and cold, ROKA created the Pro Wind Block Vent Vest. It too offers a comfortably slim performance fit that minimizes wind drag, and both jackets pack small enough to fit into a jersey’s rear pocket.

In addition, the cycling collection includes Unisex Thermal Arm Warmers, Knee Warmers and Leg Warmers, each designed with a compressive performance fit that offers both comfort and shape retention.

October 29, 2015

ROKA Viper Swimskins Dominate IRONMAN® World Championship

Viper Swimskins

Worn by More Athletes Than Any Other Brand at the 2015 Competition

DALLAS, Texas, October 16, 2015 – ROKA Sports, Inc. today announced that more athletes in the 2015 IRONMAN® World Championship relied on ROKA swimskins than any other brand. Elite athletes from around the world took advantage of the company’s premium swimskin design, the Viper, at the renowned triathlon in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii last weekend.

Ryan Dolan, VP Sales & Marketing at ROKA said, “There is no validation greater than having world-class athletes put their trust and faith in a performance product, and we are honored that so many chose to rely on ROKA swimskins for the world championship. Performance products truly matter to triathletes, and we are proud to not only meet but exceed their uncompromising standards for excellence, quality and comfort.”

According to the annual swimskin count conducted by Lava Magazine, at the 39th edition of the world championship, nearly 25% of the field of more than 2,000 triathletes wore swimskins made by ROKA.

ROKA built the Viper from the ground up, leveraging the expertise of elite swimming experience within the company to achieve the ultimate swimskins with no compromises. The designers focused on every detail, from the world’s fastest materials and hi-tech, bonded seam panel construction to low-profile zippers and hidden stitch reinforcement. In addition to its tremendous showing at this year’s competition, the suit was First Out of the Water at the 2013 and 2014 IRONMAN World Championships. Multiple editions are available for men and women.

ROKA was founded in 2011 by Rob Canales and Kurt Spenser, former Stanford All-American swimmers, after they entered the sport of triathlon. Frustrated by the offerings in the market, Rob and Kurt set out to make the fastest wetsuits on the planet — first for themselves and then for others. The result was the award-winning Maverick Pro Wetsuit that debuted to critical acclaim and mass adoption by triathletes of all abilities. ROKA followed Maverick with the Viper, and the company has since expanded into premium performance apparel for cycling and swim training.

Dolan added, “ROKA entered the sport in 2013, and in just two short years, the Viper went from being unknown to achieving #1 status at the 2015 IRONMAN World Championship. That’s a great affirmation of our passion for performance. Based on the numbers, we’re encouraged that we’re on the right track.”

October 16, 2015

ROKA Releases Elite Training Swimwear for Men and Women

Elite Swimwear

Premium Line Brings Performance and Style to Training

DALLAS, Texas, September 30, 2015 – ROKA Sports, Inc. today announced the release of its performance training swimwear. Developed specifically to meet the training demands of high performance athletes, the new suits are crafted with premium materials and engineered with technologies that maximize durability, comfort and fit under stress.

“We are excited to launch this new product line and bring the best of today’s innovations to our athletes in a line of training wear,” said Rob Canales, Co-Founder and CEO of ROKA. “From wetsuits to swimskins, we have redefined what is possible in performance on race day. That same passion for performance defines ROKA’s training swimwear -- products that perform and fit better, helping athletes get the most out of their preparation.”

In developing the line, ROKA applied its same stringent requirements developed in wetsuits to create swimwear that fit the needs of virtually any athlete’s body type. This required a combination of premium materials and unique designs created for optimal performance. Durability was a focus, as the company’s performance criteria demanded the textiles stand up to everything from excess chlorine in pools to levels of repeated use that come with full-time training. Darwin fabric by Carvico met ROKA’s high standards.

The new swimwear achieves flexible comfort and fluid movement with strategic two-way stretch while maintaining a streamlined fit with lasting shape retention. Darwin is a premium Italian polyester that resists surface pilling to remain smooth. Chlorine-proof and rated at UPF 50+ UV protection, Darwin is engineered for low water absorbance and the comfort of quick drying.

Canales added, “ROKA set the standard of performance for competition gear in triathlons. We take our expansion to training very seriously. We want to give athletes what they need to perform at the highest level while looking and feeling great. The invention of the SIM short and the SPCTRM goggle collection bridged the gap between training and competition. Our new elite swimwear is part of our continued efforts to push the limits of performance in training apparel. It is an exciting arena for continued ROKA innovation.”

Founded by All-American swimmers from Stanford, ROKA knows that preparation for competition requires focus, consistency and attention to detail. For those who wish to perform at their highest level, the company believes training apparel should be built with the same passion athletes put into preparation. That passion, persistence and attention to detail inspired the product line.

Swimwear for women in the new line includes one-piece designs (Elite 1PC Triangle Back, Elite 1PC Strap Back and Elite 1PC Tank Back) as well as separates to offer the freedom of two-piece swimsuits. The bottoms (Elite Triangle Tie Bottom and Elite Cross Back Bottom) vary in coverage to suit customer preferences, and the tops (Elite Triangle Back Top and Elite Cross Back Top) provide excellent athletic support. For men, the new swim bottoms range from ROKA’s Elite Racer to the Elite Square (offering more coverage and drag for training), the Elite Jammer (delivering performance, coverage and comfort), and the Elite Drag (engineered to fit comfortably while creating drag during training). All the menswear is made with close attention paid to seam placement, and it utilizes innovative pattern construction for maximum comfort.

ROKA has set out to design not just for performance innovation, but for the ultimate fit and the aesthetics of original style. The classic training silhouettes have been updated with bold colors and new styles that are refreshingly different from anything currently available in the performance space.

Canales continued, “We’re dedicated to empowering pros and amateurs alike with products that make them faster. Reaching the next level doesn’t happen without a lot of hard work. It demands commitment, perseverance and the kind of vision that sees opportunity where others see limits. ROKA shares that drive and honors that devotion by delivering the best of innovation in every category we enter. The materials and fit of this swimwear are proof of our ongoing commitment.”

September 30, 2015

ROKA Triathletes Crowned ITU World Champions with Unprecedented Wins

Gwen Jorgensen and Javier Gómez Noya Earn Top Triathlon Titles

DALLAS, Texas, September 23, 2015 – ROKA Sports, Inc. today congratulated two of its pro triathletes, Gwen Jorgensen and Javier Gómez Noya, on their two historic accomplishments at the International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Triathlon Series (WTS) Grand Final in Chicago this past weekend.

Jorgensen repeated as world champion, completed an undefeated season, and extended her record of consecutive WTS wins to 12 races. Gómez finished second in the race to ROKA athlete and Spanish Federation teammate Mario Mola, and in doing so secured enough overall points to win a record-breaking fifth ITU WTS world title. Both Jorgensen and Gómez wore ROKA’s flagship Maverick Pro wetsuit and F1 goggles in the swim segment of the race. Jorgensen also wore a custom triathlon race uniform that ROKA has been developing with her over the past year.

“We are always ecstatic to see members of the ROKA family reach the podium,” said Rob Canales, Co-Founder and CEO of ROKA. “Gwen and Javier are once-in-a-generation athletes, accomplishing things in the sport that many did not think possible. Working with them on their most critical equipment is a responsibility we take very seriously, and seeing them win these unprecedented world titles is a pride shared by the entire company.”

Entering the competition as the defending ITU World Champion, Jorgensen had already tallied an unprecedented winning streak of 11 consecutive WTS races ­­­­– a heroic feat unmatched by any athlete, male or female, in the history of the series. In August, Jorgensen also won the qualifying event for the next Olympics, securing her place on the 2016 US Olympic Team. Finishing this season with her second world championship title and 12th consecutive WTS win makes Jorgensen the overwhelming favorite to win in Rio next year.

“To have executed my race over so many different courses and conditions successfully against the best in the world – it’s crazy to think about, something I never would have imagined,” said Jorgensen. “I have to execute on all three legs of the race and that starts with a great swim. When I’m in the Maverick Pro [wetsuit], my custom race kit and the SPCTRM goggles, I know I have world-class equipment to perform my best – no matter the conditions.”

Seven-time world champion and 2012 Olympic Silver Medalist Javier Gómez finished second in the Chicago Grand Final to become the first athlete ever to win five ITU world crowns. As the most successful triathlete in ITU history, an IRONMAN® 70.3 and Xterra World Champion, the native of Spain has earned his place as one of the all-time greats of the sport. It also places him in rarified air among the most dominant athletes in the world regardless of the sport.

“It is just amazing,” said Gómez. “I don’t think it has completely sunk in yet. I have so much respect for the great champions that have come before me. There are still many goals left, including Rio 2016, and I’m excited for the challenges ahead, but this one feels very special.”

Gómez continued, “Working with ROKA over the last several years has given me confidence on the starting line while the competition has gotten faster. I need to work with a partner who understands the performance needs at the top level. The Maverick Pro wetsuit is simply the fastest and most comfortable wetsuit I have ever worn. Their F1 goggles give me the clarity I need to compete in any condition.”

ROKA continued its dominance with Mario Mola winning the men’s race, achieving his best swim ever and the fastest 10k ever run in an ITU event. In the women’s race, pro athletes Katie Hursey, Flora Duffy and Carolina Routier also wore the Maverick Pro and finished first, second and third out of the water, respectively.

Jorgensen, Gómez and many other ROKA pros take advantage of ROKA’s patent-pending Maverick Pro wetsuit, which has been engineered with smart, swim-specific buoyancy to encourage the fastest body position possible, more power and faster rotation. The Maverick Pro leverages physics, the world’s fastest materials, and 30+ years of elite swimming experience to optimize speed, fit and comfort.

The champions also relied on ROKA SPCTRM™ swim goggles from a comprehensive optics collection that delivers the best of quality, comfort and clarity along with the optimal tint for every condition. Jorgensen utilized ROKA F1 goggles with clear mirror lenses to match the overcast conditions while Gómez saw his way to victory with F1 goggles optimized with amber mirror lenses to handle the high contrast of a sunny swim start.

Canales followed up, “ROKA continues to build on a foundation of designing the most innovative products for race day and training. With passion for performance and dedication to achieving the very best for today’s athletes, we are expanding our offering this fall with new lines including premium swimwear, cycling and run apparel engineered to exceed the demands of daily training. ROKA is bridging the gap between training and competition by helping athletes get the most out of their preparation, giving them everything they need to carry confidence from practice to podium. Whether you are competing for world championships or simply against yourself, ROKA is dedicated to delivering the best performance on the market.”

September 23, 2015

PFSweb Partners with ROKA to Provide Omni-Channel Operations

ALLEN, Texas – September 15, 2015PFSweb, Inc. (NASDAQ: PFSW), a global provider of end-to-end eCommerce solutions, has been engaged by ROKA Sports, Inc., a performance multisport brand, to provide omni-channel operations in Europe. 

Professional athletes all over the world rely on ROKA, a premier multisport brand redefining both quality and innovation for those who demand the best from themselves and from their performance products. As a leading manufacturer of triathlon wetsuits and performance apparel, ROKA is the exclusive swim partner and sponsor for all U.S. IRONMAN® events. The company is expanding into new arenas of performance products to fill the unmet needs and meet the uncompromising demands of world-class athletes.

“This engagement is yet another example of how businesses continue to value our strong global operational capabilities,” said Mike Willoughby, CEO of PFSweb. “With ROKA’s recent popularity surge in Europe, we are excited to enable the company to capitalize on growing demand and enter a new geographic market with limited capital requirements.”

Under the agreement, PFSweb is providing order management, multilingual customer care and international order fulfillment services to 33 countries, all in support of ROKA’s European direct-to-consumer eCommerce. Orders can be placed on ROKA’s global site at www.rokasports.com.

“Partnering with PFSweb significantly expands our footprint in Europe,” said Rob Canales, Co-Founder and CEO of ROKA. “The process of building the next great performance brand continues at a feverish pace. We recently launched premium training swimwear and are currently pushing the limits of what is possible in training apparel. As we expand beyond triathlon products, we remain dedicated to providing the highest level of customer care and service. In order to ensure our new customers receive an exceptional shopping experience, we need a partner that can provide quality customer care in several languages, as well as a highly scalable order fulfillment offering that can handle periods of high-traffic. With PFSweb, we are confidently achieving both of these goals.”

About PFSweb, Inc.

PFSweb (NASDAQ: PFSW) is a global provider of end-to-end eCommerce solutions including digital agency and marketing services, technology development services, business process outsourcing services and a complete omni-channel technology ecosystem. The company provides these solutions and services to major brand names and other companies seeking to optimize every customer experience and enhance their traditional and online business channels. PFSweb supports organizations across various industries, including Procter & Gamble, L'Oreal, LEGO, Columbia Sportswear, Ricoh, Roots Canada Ltd., Diageo, BCBGMAXAZRIA, T.J. Maxx, the United States Mint, and many more. PFSweb is headquartered in Allen, TX with additional locations in Tennessee, Mississippi, Minnesota, Washington, New York, Ohio, North Carolina, Canada, Belgium, London, Munich and India. For more information, please visit www.PFSweb.com or download the free PFSweb IR App on your iPhone, iPad or Android device.

September 15, 2015

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.

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May 06, 2015