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303Endurance Podcast

Jun 4, 2022

Welcome to Episode #339 of the 303 Endurance Podcast. You are listening to your weekly connection to coaches, experts, and pro athletes to help you reach your endurance goals. We're your hosts coach Rich Soares and 303 Chief Bill Plock. Thanks for joining us for another week of endurance interviews and discussion.


Our guest this week is Robyn Benincasa. Robyn is a World Champion Adventure Racer, Fire Fighter and top Keynote speaker sharing the skills that transfer from Adventure Racing to the corporate world.


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In Today's Show

  • Guest: World Champion Adventure Racer and Top Keynote Speaker Robyn Benincasa
  • Endurance News
    • Alistair Brownlee is out of the Pho3nix Sub7 Attempt due to injury!
    • Ironman N. America Championship in Des Moines Course Recon
  • What's new in the 303
    • Triathlon and Run Races this weekend
    • Ride the Rockies
  • Video of the Week
    • Robyn Benincasa and Project Athena CNN Hero


Feature Interview: Robyn Benincasa

Robyn Benincasa has made an art form of extreme performance by competing and winning at the highest levels of sport and business. Robyn is an award-winning keynote speaker, a 20+ year veteran San Diego firefighter, a World Champion Adventure Racer, a 2014 CNN Hero, a Guinness World Record Endurance Kayaker, a New York Times best-selling author, and the Founder of The Project Athena Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to helping survivors of medical or other traumatic setbacks achieve their adventurous dreams. Robyn is known as an inspirational force for leadership, teambuilding, and extreme performance. Her game-changing keynotes have earned Robyn accolades as one of the Top 50 Keynote Speakers in the World, the #1 Female Speaker for, and one of the Top 10 Speakers featured by Harvard Business Review. For the past 15 years, Robyn’s keynotes have received rave reviews from user groups, associations, and Fortune 500 companies, including Starbucks, Walmart, Boeing, Johnson & Johnson, Yahoo, Intel, and more.


When the challenges are steep, the goals audacious, and the competition fierce, Robyn gives individuals and organizations the tools they need to inspire themselves and one another to their greatest heights and across their most challenging finish lines.


Post Interview:

Firefighter faces down osteoarthritis and FOUR hip replacements to break world paddleboarding record, paddling non-stop for 90 miles around Californian harbor

Robyn Benincasa broke the record in Huntington Beach Harbour

The 47-year-old is a lifelong triathlon competitor and adventure racer

But she was diagnosed with severe degenerative disease in 2007

It forced Mrs Benincasa to give up on racing altogether

So she took on paddleboarding as a new test of her endurance


Robyn's contact information:



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Endurance News:


Alistair Brownlee is out of the Pho3nix Sub7 Attempt due to injury!

Joe Skipper joins Kristian Blummenfelt, Katrina Matthews and Nicola Spirig who will attempt to defy the impossible and break 7 hours and 8 hours for men and women respectively over the full distance.

Joe's mentality is that no one, not even the dominant Norwegians and Kristian Blummenfelt is unbeatable.


Dual Olympic champion and Sub7 aspirant Alistair Brownlee has been ruled out of the Pho3nix Sub7Sub8 Project, powered by Zwift due to a stress response in his hip that requires immediate treatment. Brownlee will be replaced by fellow Brit and PTO world number six Joe Skipper who takes his shot at making history against reigning Olympic and World Champion Kristian Blummenfelt on Sunday at the DEKRA Lausitzring in Senftenberg, Germany.


It is a cruel blow for Brownlee, who along with MANA Group CEO and Pho3nix Foundation board member Chris McCormack was part of the initial team that developed the concept of delivering the first sub-7 hour full distance triathlon in late 2019.


“We are extremely disappointed with the announcement, but when you are pushing your body to the limit like Alistair has been, it’s a fine line,” said McCormack. ‘Alistair is a true professional and will be there to support Joe, who has been preparing for Ironman Nice at the end of June, so in good shape to take on the challenge.’’


‘It’s not going to get easier with Joe’, said Blummenfelt. ‘He has a better full distance resume and a higher world ranking than Alistair. I’m looking forward to the challenge.’


“Honestly, I’m devastated, said Brownlee. ‘I was frustrated to miss St George, and now this. I’m gutted. I was so invested in the process and loved working with my team. This was the goal that stimulated me again in the sport, on par with the Olympics. I’ll do what I can to support Joe.”


Brownlee, who also missed the recent Ironman World Championships in Utah, will support Skipper by pacing him in the swim, and will also join the commentary team for the live broadcast on Brownlee replaces Richard Varga on Skipper’s team, with Jonny Brownlee also dropping out to be replaced by German national marathon champion Frank Schauer. Skipper retains the support of the bike pacemaking team led by Alex Dowsett, who is fresh off riding in the Giro d’Italia.



Ironman Des Moines Course


This unique 2-loop swim course will take athletes counterclockwise in popular Grays Lake. Starting at the boat ramp, athletes will make their way to the bridge where spectators can get an up-close look at their athlete. Before starting lap 2, athletes will get out of the water, cross the peninsula and head back in the water. This 2-loop, spectator friendly swim course is a great way to kick off your race day.




The rolling hills of this 1-loop bike course will take athletes through some of Iowa's best sights. Athletes will head west through beautiful West Des Moines before hitting the rolling hills of Dallas County and famous bridges of Madison County. In the heart of the course, athletes will ride through Winterset, the birthplace of John Wayne, before heading back north to Des Moines. May the wind be at your back and sun on your face.

4079 ft of elevation gain.




Athletes can expect an entertainment packed; 3-loop run course. After exiting T2, athletes will run around Grays Lake before heading downtown to the spectator packed Locust St where local restaurants, bars and parks will give the athletes tons of energy for their final leg of the race. Finish line will once again be in the heart of the entertainment district of downtown Des Moines: Court Ave. Music, lights, and the cheers of the crowd will give the athletes that final burst of adrenaline they crave. Be sure to soak in the beautiful Iowa summer night.



What's New in the 303:


Upcoming Multisport Events in Colorado (

Upcoming Classic Races in Colorado (


Video of the Week:

Robyn Benincasa is a CNN Hero





Good luck to those racing Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga and Ironman Tulsa this weekend!

Thanks again for listening in this week.  Please be sure to follow us @303endurance and of course go to iTunes and give us a rating and a comment.  We'd really appreciate it!

Stay tuned, train informed, and enjoy the endurance journey!