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303Endurance Podcast

Mar 11, 2023

After publishing last week's show I opened the Pro Race Schedule spreadsheet. I was so focused on preparing for this weekend's Clash Miami race that I had completely forgotten that last weekend was the World Triathlon Series season opener in Abu Dhabi. So this week we are starting in Abu Dhabi to talk about the pro women and men's races. And, we will preview / report live on Clash Miami. 


Other pro races that have occurred in the last few weeks: 70.3 Tasmania, Challenge Wanaka, 70.3 New Zealand, IM African Championship


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Celebrating the Women of Team UCAN


In Today's Show

  • Endurance News - Taylor Spivey snags bronze at WTCS season opener; Clash Miami preview
  • What's new in the 303 - What is Mips and why should I care? By Andy Schmidt
  • Video of the Week - 2023 WTCS Abu Dhabi: Women's Highlights


Endurance News:


Crossing the line in 58:27, the third-place finish granted Spivey her first WTCS podium since 2021 and fifth-career WTCS medal.

ABU DHABI, UAE — Showcasing an impressive start of the season, U.S. Elite Triathlon National Team member Taylor Spivey (Redondo Beach, Calif.) earned the bronze medal in the opening race of the circuit at the 2023 World Triathlon Championship Series Abu Dhabi on Friday, March 3.


Crossing the line in 58 minutes and 27 seconds, the third-place finish granted Spivey her first WTCS podium since 2021 and fifth-career WTCS medal.


The top-three finish also offered sweet redemption for Spivey, after she just barely missed the podium last season with three fourth-place finishes and ultimately a fourth-place overall Series ranking.


“To earn the bronze medal — pleased is an understatement. At one point in the race I was in fourth place and I thought ‘I can’t let this happen again!’ I am not the most confident athlete and racing is a way to build my confidence. And at the end of the day, I just executed every step of the race pretty perfectly and I finally came away with a step above fourth place, I am happy with it,” Spivey said of her result.


Abu Dhabi opened the season as the first of seven total stops on the 2023 WTCS calendar, with athletes returning to the same host city that crowned the World Champions last November.


Placing fifth in Abu Dhabi last fall, Spivey improved her position to third on a sprint-distance course (750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike, 5k run). She finished just 31 seconds behind the victor, Beth Potter of Great Britain, who won in a time of 57:56, followed by British compatriot Sophie Coldwell with the silver (58:14).


U.S. Elite Summer Rappaport (Thornton, Colo.) also had a standout season-starting result, placing fourth. After a dominating swim where was third out of the water, she crossed the finish line just 8 seconds behind Spivey to claim the fourth-place position with a time of 58:35.


Fellow U.S. Elites, Kirsten Kasper (North Andover, Mass.) finished 25th with a time of 59:28, while Katie Zaferes (Cary, N.C.) clocked a time of 1:00:21 to finish 37th overall. This marked her first competition back to racing since 2021 and seven months after giving birth to her son last summer.


Gina Sereno (Madison. Wis.), fresh off her win last week at the Arena Games Triathlon Series in Montreal, made her second-ever WTCS appearance, finishing 41st.


On the men’s side, Matt McElroy (Huntington Beach, Calif.) finished strong for the U.S. men, earning eighth place with a time of 53:19, his best WTCS result since 2019.


2023 World Triathlon Championship Series Abu Dhabi

750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike, 5K run


Elite Women’s Podium - Complete Results

1. Beth Potter (GBR), 57:56

2. Sophie Coldwell (GBR), 58:14

3. Taylor Spivey (Rendondo Beach, Calif.), 58:27


U.S. Elite Women Results

3. Taylor Spivey (Redondo Beach, Calif.), 58:27

4. Summer Rappaport (Thronton, Colo.), 58:35

25. Kirsten Kasper (North Andover, Mass.), 59:28

37. Katie Zaferes (Cary, N.C.), 1:00:21

41. Gina Sereno (Madison, Wis., 1:00:46


Elite Men’s Podium - Complete Results

1. Alex Yee (GBR), 52:53

2. Vasco Vilaca (POR), 52:59

3. Manoel Messias (BRA), 53:06


U.S. Elite Men Results

8. Matt McElroy (Huntington Beach, Calif.), 53:19

DNF Kevin McDowell (Geneva, Ill.)

DNS Morgan Pearson (Mt. Vernon, Vt.)

DNS Seth Rider (Germantown, Tenn.)


World Triathlon Series - Abu Dhabi

  • Women's
    • Flora Duffy not racing
    • Taylor Spivey 3rd place
  • Men's
    • Morgan Pearson pulled out morning of
    • Kristian ill
    • Alex Yee first out of the water
    • Kevin McDowell in the front at the end of the bike
    • Yee first out of the water
    • Best 4 races of the 8
    • Includes Paris Test Even
    • Total Prize money for the series championship work 2.5 million



CLASH Endurance Miami 2023: Start time, preview and how to follow live

By Tomos Land

7 Mar 2023

On Friday, some of the best middle distance athletes in the sport will head to Florida to chase those all important PTO points and a slice of the $50,000 prize purse at CLASH Endurance Miami.


The race will also contribute towards the Challenge Family World Bonus and results will count towards qualification for the Challenge Family The Championship.


Below are details on the start times of the races, information on how to watch, and a preview of the elite men and women that are looking to kick their season off in style in the Sunshine State.


We should stress though that the start lists are very much subject to change, with a number of big names – such as Vincent Luis, Joe Skipper and Jackie Hering – initially announced but now not taking part. And there looks to be bad news on the coverage front this year, with no live pictures but instead a post-race production…



IRONMAN New Zealand 2023 results: Phillips and Visser take titles

Alistair Brownlee setback as he rules himself out of IRONMAN South Africa

IRONMAN explain reasons for Justine Mathieux DQ in South Africa

Start time and how to follow

The elite race at CLASH Endurance Miami takes place on Friday March 10th, 2023.


The start times are as follows:


Elite Women – 0830 local time / 1330 UK / 1430 CET

Elite Men – 1200 local time / 1700 UK / 1800 CET

Past editions of the event have been streamed live – and for free – on the CLASH Endurance Facebook and YouTube channels.


But this week the following message was posted about current plans: “If you know CLASH Endurance, you know we’re always trying new things. There will be no live coverage, however a post-race show will be released after the event.”


So if you haven’t got it already, then adding the CLASH Endurance app to your phone / mobile device is recommended for racing splits and results. It’s pretty much identical to the layout and structure of the IRONMAN app – which given that has proven itself over many years, is a good thing.


Event history and course

In 2021 the event was held under the ‘Challenge Miami’ banner, prior the rebranding of the Challenge Family North American events to ‘CLASH’. In 2022, CLASH provided some of the most thrilling races on American soil, in both Miami and Daytona.


Homestead Miami / Challenge Miami

In Miami, the race venue is the Homestead Miami Speedway, a self-enclosed motor racing circuit event. As with the Daytona International Speedway, a very convenient lake sits nicely within the centre of the circuit, primed and ready for swimmers.


Unlike the racing at Daytona however, CLASH Miami utilises the roads within the racing oval, and so is far more technical than the pure straight-line speed efforts that are the focus there.


The event will be raced over the following distances:


Swim: 1.7km / 1.05-mile (2 laps)

Bike: 62.7km / 39-miles (17 laps of 2.2 miles + one part lap to start)

Run: 16.9km / 10.5 miles (7 laps of 1.5 miles)

Pro Women

Last year, Ashleigh Gentle dominated, with the Australian winning by almost eight minutes in a performance that really set the tone for what was in store throughout the rest of the season for the PTO World #1.


This year, however, looks set to be a much more competitive race, with the absence of the defending champion from the start list really opening up the competition to a whole host of contenders.


Last season’s runner up, Brazil’s Pamela Oliveira, is an athlete who knows what it takes to get on the podium in Miami, but will face stiff competition if she has any hopes of going one better than last season.


The 35-year-old, who won IRONMAN Brasil as well as Challenge Brazil in 2022, will rely heavily on her endurance in Miami, and will have to hope her strong swim-bike combination will be enough to keep her away from some of the lightning quick runners in the field.


Sara Perez Sala (ESP) and Haley Chura (USA) are also likely to be to the fore from the outset.


Perez Sala, who won the Challenge Championship in 2022, before also finishing second at CLASH Daytona behind Angelica Olmo, will be hoping to build an insurmountable lead over the swim and the bike this Friday, with athletes such as Chura and Sif Bendix Madsen (DEN) the likely candidates to contribute to an early break.


Sara Perez Sala The Championship 2022

Sara Perez Sala – Photo Credit: Jose Luis Hourcade

Last year, Sala crashed out of CLASH Miami, so will be hoping that her return this time round will not be brought to such an abrupt end. If her winter training has gone well, expect to see her at the front from the gun and pushing hard for the win throughout the closing stages.


Lastly, Lucy Byram will be flying the flag for the UK, as the 23-year-old Brit looks to build on a 2022 that featured Challenge Wales and IRONMAN 70.3 Jesolo wins, plus runner up spots at IRONMAN 70.3 Vichy and Challenge Riccione, with a strong performance Stateside.


Pro Men

In the men’s field, defending champion Sam Long will look to take down some big names from both the ITU scene and the long course world as he races for the first time under the guidance of new coach Dr Dan Plews.


Sam Long (Photo credit: CLASH Endurance Miami)

Sam Long (Photo credit: CLASH Endurance Miami)

More stardust was sprinkled on the event at the start of this week when Canada’s Lionel Sanders announced he was a surprise addition to the field.


‘No Limits’ impressed pretty much everyone at the super-sprint distance of Arena Games Montreal recently, was second on his previous appearance here in 2021 behind Jan Frodeno) and will be locking horns with Long again after their epic battle at the Collins Cup last season.


Jason West (USA), runner-up here last year, will look to challenge Long as will Tom Bishop (GBR), who was an excellent fourth at CLASH Daytona late last year.


Joe Skipper had been scheduled to take part but the only British man to have outperformed him in Kona, David McNamee, will look to rediscover the form that saw him take back-to-back IMWC podiums in 2018 and 2019.


In addition to McNamee and Bishop is fellow Brit Kieran Lindars, who won the European Long Distance Championships at Challenge Almere and finished a respectable 11th at CLASH Daytona.


Finally, internationals Matthew Sharpe (CAN) and Samuel Appleton (AUS), who have both finished sixth at CLASH events in Florida in the past, could be the only athletes with the swim ability to match Luis, setting up a potential scenario where the Frenchman has some real bike power to work alongside out on the speedway.


Prize Money: What’s on the line?

Athletes will be racing for a total prize purse of $50,000, payable eight deep as follows:


1st – $7,500

2nd – $5,000

3rd – $3,750

4th – $3,000

5th – $2,000

6th – $1,500

7th – $1,250

8th – $1,000


What's New in the 303:


What is Mips® and Why You Should Care?

By: A.V. Schmit


303 Endurance | Interior of Mips bike helmet

Interior of a bike helmet with Mips® Technology. Photo: Courtesy of Mips.


If you’ve been helmet shopping in the last few years, you have no doubt seen the little yellow circle that says, “Mips” on some of the helmets and boxes. What is Mips® and why should you care?


MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) was developed in Sweden, Stockholm to be exact, by a neurosurgeon and an engineer. The technology represents the intersection of academic research and industrial engineering.


The research, begun in 1995, was led by Hans von Holst of the Karolinska Institute, a practicing neurosurgeon, and Peter Halldin, an engineer with a background in aeronautics. Von Holst had witnessed the devastating aftermath of numerous Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) while performing brain surgeries on his patients. This inspired him to begin looking for ways to ameliorate these types of injuries.


By examining the design of commercially available helmets, he was soon convinced that the currently crop of helmets were not providing sufficient protection against brain injuries. Especially those involving rotational forces or secondary impacts after an initial impact.


He then contacted the KTH (Royal Institute of Technology) about initiating a research project focused on the prevention of head and neck injuries. That’s when he was introduced to Halldin who was at the time a student at the institute.


Halldin then commenced a PhD program studying biomechanics in order to investigate the problem and work on engineering a solution. Together they identified the way the dura membrane was critical to the brain’s ability to slide within the skull in order to prevent concussions.


They hypothesized, if a low-friction area could be created between the head and the helmet, rotational force, especially from an oblique (or angular) impact like that of a cyclist falling off a bicycle, could be reduced. They enlisted the help of Nigel Mills, who had access to the types of testing equipment they would need to prove their theory was correct.


During the same time period, Svein Kleiven also a PhD student at the institute, had begun work on developing an FE (Finite Element) model of the human brain. It has since been recognized as the highest fidelity computer / mathematical model of the human brain ever created. This model proved to be a key research / simulation tool for Mips®, as it made it possible to visualize and measure the effects of Mips® safety system in a variety of collisions.


Human cadavers and, in some cases, living subjects would have been used for this type of analysis, but because of ethical reasons, availability and variability in experimental results, the FE computer model is infinitely preferable.


Researchers and product testers can run an infinite number of simulated crash experiments without cracking any skulls. Now I know what you are thinking, “What about all those out-of-work crash test dummies?” Fret not, the FE model Kleiven developed is only for the brain, it will be some time before a complete FE model of the whole human body will be available. And Mips® and the bike helmet manufacturers still use synthetic human heads in testing.


The results of their research, a 50% reduction in rotational forces as a result of a crash. This led them to publish their results in 2001 and apply for a patent in 2002 which was granted in 2003. This led to the formation of Mipscorp, the company responsible for bringing Mips® technology to market through its brand partners.


Mips has become bicycle industry’s defacto answer to mitigating rotational forces on the brain in the event of a crash. When a cyclist falls, their head often impacts a solid surface at an angle. This angular impact creates a rotation in the brain, which has been proven to have significant potential to cause concussions and TBI’s.


Scott Sports was the first helmet manufacturer to integrate Mips® into their ARX helmet design, with other manufactures soon to follow. Now, Giro, Bell, Scott, POC and other bicycle industry leaders have integrated Mips® into their helmet designs.


As of 2016, more than 28 helmet manufacturers had integrated Mips® into their product lines, with a corresponding number of 1.7 million units featuring the revolutionary technology.


Well, there you have it… If a Mips® technology helmet can offer as much as a 50 percent reduction in rotational forces on your brain in a crash. Maybe we should all care what kind of helmet we wear.


Video of the Week:

2023 WTCS Abu Dhabi: Women's Highlights




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