Check out the new Spring Meadow Triathlon Website

The new race directors Carolyn Blasch and Kat Azurdia for the Spring Meadow Triathlon created a new website for the event. Check it out at for up-to-date information related to the race.  Also, check out the Race Schedule page for links and results.


Winter Party 2013

The Team Great Divide Winter party for 2013 will be held on January 25th from 6pm to 9pm at the Garage. Byron and the Social Committee are planning a fun get-together for the entire team and our sponsors. Music, drinks and space provided by the team, please plan to bring a dish to share.  Look forward to seeing everyone!


Last Hell Ride Report: 8-28-2012

Last Tuesday was the final Hell Ride of the season. I made it that close to not having to do a report all year, and for good reason given the quality of the reports sent out this year by Byron, Drew, and many others. Since I am without such creative writing skills, this writeup will be a little more on the minimalist side.

We had a remarkable turnout for the final ride, on what was probably one of the nicest days of the year. Winds were out of the east (yes, east), which made the ride a little different from the usual west winds we are used to.

Rebeca started out at a little before 6 for the B ride. Drew, Josh, Byron, Steve, Robbert, Randall, Jesus, Cory, Elizabeth, Rick and myself (I think I have everyone and I have the names right – sorry if I missed) were rolling out of Spring Meadow right at 6:00 when Mark rolled in. Being the ladies and gentlemen we all are, we patiently waited for Mark as he got ready to ride. We finally got on the road at about 6:15.

As noted, winds were out of the east, making the first leg faster than usual. Everyone stayed together (I think) until Josh started to push the pace on the Birdseye Hill, which caused a split in the group. I stayed with Josh, with Drew and Jesus trying to bridge the gap. Josh and I hit the final climb to the finish before the chasers could close it down. I was able to just get around Josh at the finish, with Drew and Jesus finishing just behind us.

On the second leg, everyone initially seemed content to sit in and take it easy. That is, until Mark and Steve tried a dig just before we crossed Silver Creek. That had the effect of kicking the hornets nest, and it was game-on. The group was able to shutdown the Mark and Steve attack, but then it became a game of wheel-catching, with Josh, Drew, Jesus, and Rick all making moves. Rick made the final move to the finish, but I was able to sneak around just before the line, with Josh just behind.

The third leg was unusual in that it was into the wind rather than being the super-fast down-wind leg it typically is. There was too much wind for anyone to get away, so everyone sat in. We tried to get a rotating pace line going, but it never took hold. As we approached the final sprint point, things started to amp up quite a bit. No one really made a move until Steve unleashed an attack around the group with an acceleration I have not seen from him all year. Unfortunately, Steve went a little too early, and as he faded at the top of the hill I was able to come around. Steve took second, and I believe Byron was third.

Afterword, Byron hosted the riders at his house for some frosty beverages and good eats.

Well, that’s it for Hell Ride 2012. I look forward to seeing everyone out again in 2013.


Whitefish Triathlon Report

At the request of Big Seifert, I am offering up a report from our last triathlon of the summer. The TGD list serve has became familiar with my writing skills over the summer, but we thought I should stop being so selfish and share with all.
Anyway, this was my second year doing the Whitefish Triathlon. It’s one of my personal favorites due to the clarity of the water, fun hills on the bike course, and great race director (Stan Watkins) and volunteers. Of course it was windy the morning of the race, so the swim was pretty choppy. We like swimming in that, but as I struggled to stay on course, Mom was filling her goggles with water (pretty sure she did the whole race with one eye open). At this point I was feeling like maybe I should try that activity called “warming up” before a race because I felt pretty ragged. Mother makes us set up right next to one another in transition so we can “chat”. She was the first woman out of the water, with me a minute behind. I had some ground to make up, but slowly closed the gap through the bike (thanks to all who push me through those time trials! P.S. Hill climb championship this Thursday 6:30). We both got passed by another woman at this point. Boo. Again, the little duck followed the big one out of transition for the run (a nice out and back through the neighborhood) that starts right off with a hill comparable to the West Side. I took a chance and moved into second place here, thinking Mom would probably run me down when I lost the small amount of endurance I have. At the turnaround, I realized I was gaining on that first woman. Unfortunately, my legs (and mind) let her finish about a block ahead of me, BUT left me with a PR for any 5k. Ever. Undoubtedly, I can only thank Phase II (the only phase I ever do) and all you great runners out there for this.
I have to say, the men’s race was way more competitive than ours! Evan Eck defended his overall title with a time faster than last year and Aidan Reed set a fast baseline for his first time on this course (oh, and crushed the other person in his age group by over 30 minutes I think). Yay boys.
If you’re wondering, and who wouldn’t be with all the trash-talking that Ann Seifert does, she and I tied for wins over each other this summer. 2-2. If anyone should have bragging rights though, it should be her. As I always tell her, she is the reason I do so well. I will be going back to school on Monday and can say right now I, and my physical abilities, will miss all my training friends! Until next year 🙂

Little Hannah Seifert

Coeur d ‘Alene Olympic Report

We left Friday morning to make it to CdA by late afternoon so Ann and Theresa could set up some USAT functions at the race headquarters. The trip over there isn’t too bad and goes by pretty quickly. Once there we located the HQ and got Ann and Theresa set up with their USAT booth. The HQ was a collection of race packet pickup and vendor booths and was a happening place when we got there. Several booths had interesting products including a demo of the weightless treadmill which was tested by Rebecca. The USAT booth gave away the best shwag, a nice T-shirt for annual members. USAT also sponsored an interesting talk on nutrition given by a nutritionist presenting her thoughts on a meat and veggie diet. We actually heard her say to use bacon fat for cooking!! No grains, fruits, or dairy though. (Or anything else that you might like to eat.) After the talk I jumped in the lake to see if I could remember how to swim since I hadn’t been in a body of water since the Spring Meadow Tri a month ago. The water temp was refreshing after the day’s heat and I enjoyed being in the water without a wetsuit. Lots of boat traffic kept the surface very choppy but it was fun bobbing up and down as the wake waves rolled past. Later the Helena group all met for a nice pre-race dinner with the nutritionist. I felt only a slight bit of guilt while gulping a beer and shoveling in the pasta salad…


To avoid the hot summer temps the race starts at 7am so it was an early morning wake up to get to the start area and set up transition. The sun was already warming things up at 6am so we knew we were in for a hot one. The large transition area was the nicest I’ve ever seen, complete with gigantic shade trees and soft cool “wall to wall” grass. I racked my bike and laid out the shoes and headed for the lake, actually looking forward to it knowing how comfortable the temp was yesterday. Soon the gun goes off and we’re running down the beach and diving in head first for what ended up being a crazy swim. For some reason I just couldn’t get away from wayward swimmers who apparently had sighting skills even worse than mine! But I made it around all the buoys and survived the blinding sun and flailing arms to get safely back on shore and onto the bike. Ahhhh. I had been hearing everyone talking about the climbs on the bike leg and after about 4 miles of neighborhoods and bike trails we hit the first climb which was just long enough to wake up the legs without too much lactic buildup. The route hugs the lake shoreline so the calming blue water and cool morning air almost made me forget I was racing. I hit the first turn around and felt like stepping it up a little so off I went….right into the first big climb. It takes off right away and had ground a lot of people down to a slow pull. I was still feeling good so I kept up the effort and the cadence, passing a lot of those people who were beating me up in the swim. The climb is long but with a few flats to recover along the way. One last steep ramp at the end and soon we’re up on some rollers and a bit of downhill which felt great to ride tucked down on the aeros at high speed. One more side out and back had some more climbing but then it was back down to the shoreline and a fast spin to town where we got to fly through empty streets normally choked with cars. I had a good transition, actually remembering where I had left my stuff. My legs switched to run mode pretty quickly (for me) and I hit the mile 1 sign just as the race leaders flew past. So much for feeling fast. At about mile 2 I was passed by a racer in my age group. I felt too good to let him go so I jumped in behind and held on as long as I could. The run course goes out and back along the lake in the opposite direction from the bike course. It’s mostly flat but being exposed to the mounting heat of the day was a factor for us slow old people. Then it was into the long finish chute which was lined with noisy fans which are always good for an extra kick at the end.


Besides myself, the Helena team consisted of Aubrey and Evan who were mixing it up at the front with a few pros (7th and 11thoverall, I think), Ann who represented TGD and USAT with an age group podium finish, and Rebecca the weightless treadmill runner. All agreed it was a great event although maybe we didn’t push ourselves enough since I rode the bike course again that afternoon and then Ann, Aubrey, and Evan jumped in a 2.5 mi open water swim race Sunday morning…. Evan finishing 4th or 5thoverall, I think, and the others not too far behind.


It was a great weekend. CdA is a great hangout and the lake was sooooo nice! This would be a great event to compliment Onionman for a team race trip to an awesome venue!

7-17-2012: Tour de Hades Ride

Welcome race fans to the 11th stage of the Tour de Hades, this is Lil Phigget and Shaul Perwin who will be calling tonights contest. Tonight’s participants include Mark(Van den)Brooke, John(Thiebo)Tietz, Scott (Cavendish) Herzig, Robert (Sky) Ray, Byron(Boasson Hagen)Deford, Drew (Hoogerland) Malany, and Adien (Van Garderen) Reed. It is absolutely brilliant weather on the course with a balmy 85 degree temp and minimal winds out of the west. The race begins near the Chateau GreenMeadow a massive building erected during the late 90s and has withstood the elements and houses some of the best golfers in the Queen city. The riders are out of the starting line and are readying themselves for the team time trial.  They look as though they have been riding together for years and are reminiscent of the US Postal team of years gone by. Past the second set of tracks now and it looks like pure pandemonium has hit the peleton. Sky Ray has attacked the group and is turning the screws and applying pressure like no other. He takes the lead and carries it over the Cote du Marketplace. However this is short lived as the peleton applied a phenomenal chase and brought him back. That was a gutsy move by Ray but the peleton never panicked. Next across the flats to the base of the Cul de Birdseye one of the longest climbs in this year’s tour. First to hit the climb is Herzig who made a brilliant move to pass Tietz and take the lead. Next Brooke attacks and brings Malany, Deford and Reed along on his wheel. Next Herzig kicks again trying to dislodge the group and put time between him and the group.Only lasts for a short time as Tietz and Brooke are able to bridge the gap and hook on to the wheel of Herzig. Looks like Herzig, Teitz and Brooke are in this to win and are in a truly elite group of riders as we near the top on the Cul. Slight downhill now and the racers are hitting speeds of up to 47 kph. First to the lead is Herzig with Brooke and Tietz hot on his wheel. Next Brooke launches a massive attack and is the first across the finishing line with Tietz second and Herzig third. Second leg of the race starts with an enormous downhill that is very technically challenging and Im sure we will see some of the riders taking chances on these corners, Shaul. Looks as though the entire peleton has survived this most treacherous portion of the ride. Look Shaul there goes Tietz in a one man breakaway with one of the most violent accelerations I’ve seen in this year’s tour. He just rocketed past the other riders and is stealing away. Just when you think that the peleton has given up, out flies Herzig with an acceleration of his own and bridges the gap. Now with this two man group they will undoubtedly work together to keep the peleton away. Here we are near the finishing line for leg 2 and the two man break-away is riding neck and neck. You can see in Tietz’ eyes he is on a mission to sweep this stage. First across the line, Tietz, in a photo finish by several centimeters followed by Herzig. The race for third the still on. Van den Brooke and Sky Ray battling it out for third, Ray is right on the wheel of Brooke just waiting for his opportunity to pounce. There he goes with 200 meters to go. Brooke is accelerating to keep up with his move and looks as if he is going to keep the lead and finish in third. On to the last and final leg of tonight’s epic battle, the Cul de Scratchgravel. This portion of the ride ends on a classic up hill finish that punishes the riders with an almost 10% grade. From the beginning, this year’s wearer of the white jersey Aiden Reed took off showing his young and aggressive style of riding. The peleton wont let him go too far before they have to attack and reel him back in though. Down the steeps to the BigRedBarn and Boassan Hagen Deford is pacing the group and looks to be in winning form this year. Brooke has launched an attack wheeling around Deford through the rolling hills that surround the Cul de Scratchgravel. First to the base of the pass is Tietz, followed by Brooke, Ray and Deford. Once again Van den Brooke launches an attack that was just a brilliant move. Ray had better kick again if he is going to keep up. Nearing the top it looks as if Malany, Reed and Tietz have cracked and are unable to keep up with this tremendous pace. Deford, Ray and Brooke are shoulder to shoulder with a little nudging happening between them. You know Phil, the judges are not going to be happy with this move and undoubtedly will review this to see if Brooke cut off Ray at the finishing line. From my review Lil, it appears like Van Den Brooke kept his line and took first, Sky Ray second and Boasson Hagen Deford third. Wow Shaul that was some brilliant riding in this year Tour de Hades. Hope to see you here for the next stage.