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303Endurance Podcast

Mar 4, 2023

Welcome to Episode #377 of the 303 Endurance Podcast. We're your hosts Coach Rich Soares and 303 Chief Editor, Bill Plock. Thanks for joining us for another week of endurance interviews and discussion.


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In Today's Show

  • Endurance News - IM Broadcast Schedule, USN Academy, Invest in Your Swim
  • What's new in the 303 - Chris McGee’s New Role with Bicycle Colorado Overseeing Bike Racing
  • Video of the Week - Super League Arena Games: Full Heat 2 Semifinals


Endurance News:


U.S. Naval Academy Becomes 13th NCAA Division I Program and First Military Academy to Offer Varsity Women’s Triathlon

March 1, 2023

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. /ENDURANCE SPORTSWIRE/ – USA Triathlon and the United States Naval Academy today announced the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, will become the 13th NCAA Division I program, and the first U.S. military academy, to offer women’s triathlon at the varsity level. A member of the Patriot League, Navy will begin competing in fall 2023 and be coached by Billy Edwards.


“As an NCAA nationally emerging sport for women, triathlon defines exactly who we are at the Naval Academy and the type of opportunity we should offer to our midshipmen,” said Naval Academy Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk. “The broad-based requirements through highly competitive swimming, running and cycling highlight the demanding physical characteristics that correlate with personal confidence and leadership development.”


“The addition of women’s triathlon at the U.S. Naval Academy represents a major milestone in the women’s collegiate triathlon movement,” said Victoria Brumfield, USA Triathlon CEO. “One of the storied U.S. military academies, the U.S. Naval Academy prepares our future leaders and for years has had a thriving club triathlon team. We are thrilled to now see increased competitive opportunities for Navy’s student-athletes at the DI level. More opportunities will help drive collegiate triathlon competition to the highest level.”


Edwards currently leads the Naval Academy’s club triathlon team, one of the strongest teams in the nation. The Naval Academy’s club triathlon team won the overall team title at the 2018 USA Triathlon Collegiate Club National Championships.


Will CU or Army be next?


The commitment by the Naval Academy continues the momentum women’s collegiate triathlon has gathered toward becoming an NCAA Championship sport. With more than 40 schools now offering women’s collegiate triathlon, the NCAA Emerging Sport for Women has met the 10-year window to demonstrate sustainability and success at the NCAA varsity level. Now, women’s triathlon has a few more steps to take on its way to being fully managed by the NCAA as a championship event, including committee, council, divisional and budget approvals.


Women’s triathlon is a fall sport, and the varsity season includes two National Qualifiers followed by the Women’s Collegiate Triathlon National Championships held in November. The draft-legal races are sprint-distance, featuring a 750-meter open-water swim, draft-legal 20-kilometer bike and 5-kilometer run.


In the draft-legal format, athletes work together in packs on the bike and make multiple loops on a closed course. The exciting, spectator-friendly draft-legal format is the same format contested in the triathlon competition at the Olympic Games and on the World Triathlon Championship Series circuit.


For more information about triathlon as an NCAA Emerging Sport for Women, visit Interested in helping to identify and recruit the next women’s varsity collegiate triathlon program? Inquiries may be directed to Tim Yount, USA Triathlon Chief Sport Development Officer, at


Women’s Varsity Collegiate Triathlon Programs


NCAA Division I (13)

Arizona State University (Tempe, Ariz.)

Delaware State University (Dover, Del.)

Duquesne (Pittsburgh, Pa.)

East Tennessee State University (Johnson City, Tenn.)

Hampton University (Hampton, Va.)

Queens University of Charlotte (Charlotte, N.C.)

Texas Christian University (Fort Worth, Texas)

University of Arizona (Tucson, Ariz.)

University of Denver (Denver, Colo.)

University of San Francisco (San Francisco. Calif.)

University of South Dakota (Vermillion, S.D.)


U.S. Naval Academy (Annapolis, Md.)

Wagner College (Staten Island, N.Y.)


NCAA Division II (15)

American International College (Springfield, Mass.)

Belmont Abbey College (Belmont, N.C.)

Black Hills State University (Spearfish, S.D.)

Cal Poly Humboldt (Arcata, Calif.)

Colorado Mesa University (Grand Junction, Colo.)

Drury University (Springfield, Mo.)

Emmanuel College (Franklin Springs, Ga.)

King University (Bristol, Tenn.)

Lake Superior State University (Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.)

Lenoir-Rhyne University (Hickory, N.C.)

Montana State University Billings (Billings, Mont.)

Newberry College (Newberry, S.C.)

St. Thomas Aquinas College (Sparkill, N.Y.)

Wingate University (Wingate, N.C.)


NCAA Division III (14)

Alvernia University (Reading, Pa.)

Calvin College (Grand Rapids, Mich.)

Central College (Pella, Iowa)

Coe College (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)

Concordia University Wisconsin (Mequon, Wis.)

Eastern Mennonite University (Harrisonburg, Va.)

Greensboro College (Greensboro, N.C.)

Guilford College (Greensboro, N.C.)

Millikin University (Decatur, Ill.)

North Central College (Naperville, Ill.)

Northern Vermont University-Johnson (Johnson, Vt.)

Transylvania University (Lexington, Ky.)

Trine University (Angola, Ind.)

Willamette University (Salem, Ore.)


For more information about triathlon as an NCAA Emerging Sport for Women, visit Interested in helping to identify and recruit the next women’s varsity collegiate triathlon program? Inquiries may be directed to Tim Yount, USA Triathlon Chief Sport Development Officer, at


About the U.S. Naval Academy 


As the undergraduate college of our country’s naval service, the Naval Academy prepares young men and women to become professional officers of competence, character, and compassion in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. Naval Academy students are midshipmen on active duty in the U.S. Navy. They attend the academy for four years, graduating with Bachelor of Science degrees and commissions as ensigns in the Navy or second lieutenants in the Marine Corps. Naval Academy graduates serve at least five years in the Navy or Marine Corps.


About USA Triathlon


USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon, paratriathlon, and indoor and virtual multisport events in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,000 races and connects with more than 400,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work at the grassroots level with athletes, coaches, and race directors — as well as the USA Triathlon Foundation — USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including World Triathlon Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of World Triathlon and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC).



2023 IRONMAN Live Broadcast Schedule

Tune in all Season

Watch for free as your favorite pros battle it out this season with race coverage from around the world.

IRONMAN races can be seen here or on the IRONMAN YouTube Channel. IRONMAN 70.3 races are exclusively on Outside Watch. Save the schedule below so you don't miss any of the action!


Invest in Your Swim

TriDot Pool School ("TPS") is an 8-week program designed to make you swim faster, more efficiently, and more confidently.


The instructional method used at TPS works effectively for all levels of swimmers - from beginner to advanced. Past participants, on average, have seen these huge improvements in pace:



What's New in the 303:


Chris McGee’s New Role with Bicycle Colorado Overseeing Bike Racing

By Bill Plock

March 2, 2023–Change is not always easy and often comes with challenges and opportunities. When Bicycle Colorado acquired Colorado Cycling (a.k.a BRAC) it was with clear knowledge they would be inheriting many challenges along with the complexities of organizing a race schedule and managing a membership that is probably a bit confused with all the changes. They also took on a long history of bike racing and the ups and downs of the local overseeing racing association and some challenging times over the years with USA Cycling and its multitude of leadership changes and focuses.


But there is equally as much optimism. With a rising tide mentality, they are hopeful that with a larger audience, a renewed focus, and a strengthening relationship with USA Cycling that more riders might be attracted to not only race but to participate in all cycling events.


They knew they needed to hire someone to oversee all of this and meld it into the bigger mission of Bicycle Colorado. And so they hired Chris McGee, a long-time race organizer and one-time Executive Director of BRAC to take on this important stewardship.


Chris McGee with Bicycle Colorado

Vintage Chris McGee


When asked about his vision, he said, “ I look at the big picture and my role is events and finding ways to work together to help overcome common challenges. The kindred spirit of what we have as a cycling community is so important to foster. It makes the experience better for everyone riding bikes in Colorado.” 


When asked about road bike racing in particular, Chris said “There is definitely a decline in road racing and those events, but at the same time if you look at what’s going on in Colorado and look at Bicycle Colorado’s calendar and see all the events in Colorado, and knowing how big some of those events are and how they attract cyclists from all over the country, I’m really excited! If you look at events like the Triple Bypass, Ride the Rockies, Ironhorse Classic, the High School Cycling League, Collegiate Nationals, and big mountain bike events, there is a lot of reason for optimism for overall cycling—we are pretty lucky here! But the number one thing to know, BRAC as an entity for building the race calendar, assigning officials, and helping race directors is still intact and we dropped it into Bicycle Colorado. Yvonne van Gent, who has been a pillar at BRAC for many many years is still doing what she has always done.”


But changes in racing are happening. In a nutshell, one of the biggest changes already is the paired membership model with USA Cycling. Says Chris, “one thing I am really proud of is our deepening partnership with USA Cycling. Racers need to only buy a USAC license to race in Colorado this year. No longer do they need a BRAC license. When they sign up for a USAC license they will automatically be registered as Bicycle Colorado race members. Registration will be much quicker and easier for racers and for event managers. Soon we will have a new website dedicated to racing with many of the features of the old BRAC site but also with many upgrades and of course all the history.”


Lance Panigutti, the owner of Without Limits who put on road races, cyclocross races, and triathlons, said this about the changes so far, “It mirrors other endurance sports like triathlon that have seen a grassroots resurgence these past several years.  What I’m hopeful for and would like to see is for Bicycle Colorado to focus on marketing the cycling race community as welcoming and inviting, not as an intimidating elite sport.  Race scenes like cyclocross are the perfect environment for races to fall in love with competitive racing, and then moving to the road scene is a natural migration.


But let’s take a look at why Bicycle Colorado took this on and how in the long run it hopes to help not only races but all cycling events.


Bike racing, at its heart, is a grassroots sport. Bicycle Colorado took on organizing the sport as part of its mission to improve the cycling experience for all. Including racers.  Take a look at the bike calendar. It’s packed. It’s an elusive creature to have one, up-to-date calendar presenting all the possible events and races available to cyclists.


Said Chris McGee, “it starts with a comprehensive event calendar so people can find events, and plan for events but also so we can help manage the impact these events will have on the community. Our goal with acquiring BRAC (Colorado Cycling) is to bring bike racing more into the mainstream of cycling and help improve the experience not only for racers but also for clubs and for the communities hosting these races. We also want to help attract more people to race and to be a stronger partner with USA Cycling to encourage the growth nationally and provide a stronger conduit of youth racers to grow the sport.”


Bike racing is a very niche sport. Riding a bike however is one of the most popular activities in the world. Some studies show riding a bike is the most popular activity in the United States. But based on a few google searches, and depending on how you define “activity”, it may not be the top activity, but it’s at least in the top five. Running, fishing, and hiking all seem to be higher in ranking.


So how many people actually are considered cyclists? Does it matter? Well, it certainly does to Bicycle Colorado which advocates for all cyclists, including bike racers and those that just want a safe route to ride for fun or commute.  Their website states, “Bicycle Colorado is a nonprofit advocacy organization championing the interests of all bicycle riders statewide. We envision a Colorado where riding a bicycle is always safe and convenient for everyone, where bicycling is the top choice for recreation and everyday trips, and where the benefits of bicycling are experienced and valued by all people in our state.”


Obviously, this would include racing. But for years, bike racing was a kind of satellite revolving around “biking” left mostly alone to advocate for itself and fend off trends and market forces that in the case of road cycling, have left that discipline battered and isolated, some might say unapproachable, complex and even elitist in nature.


For decades racing a bike, as an adult in Colorado has been sanctioned by different governing bodies and most recently was overseen by the Bicycle Racing Association of Colorado (BRAC) which changed its name in 2020 to Colorado Cycling but was essentially the same organization. But thanks to an aging, expensive website, COVID, and some would argue a wavering philosophy on their role in the sport, BRAC was at crossroads about its future or even if it had a future.


Something needed to change for the good of cyclists and the sport—it fit Bicycle Colorado’s mission to step in.


Bike racing, in particular, road racing has been on the decline for years. There are too many reasons and speculations to take a deep dive here as to why, but one thing is for sure, bike racing is complex. It involves getting a license, closing roads, finding, coordinating, and paying referees. Most people who race are on a team. People are categorized and race against others of similar ability. There are points and team competitions and on and on. It’s simply not the most approachable sport for someone not familiar with how to do it. Sure you can just show up and race (after getting the licenses) and not care about the rest, but to fully engage takes effort. But as participants age, or drop out of the sport, refilling the road peloton so to speak isn’t keeping pace with those leaving.


Unlike triathlon, where for the most part, people are sort of racing themselves and do it for the challenge of finishing. Obviously, people race to win in triathlon as well, but in general it’s a participation sport and all one needs is USAT license (can be a one day license) and show up and race. Triathlon comes with its own barriers of entry such as the cost and the intimidation of maybe doing a sport, like swimming, that is not comfortable but is very approachable for the most part.


Those in the bike racing governing bodies have been talking for years about how to make it more inviting, to attract new people, and to make it more accepted in the community. To make it more sustainable and with a brighter future. To grow the sport. To make it simpler and broaden the appeal to the biggest audience possible.


 Let’s hope and help Bicycle Colorado navigate the future and achieve those goals.


Video of the Week:

Super League Arena Games: Full Heat 2 Semifinals




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