Happy Holiday

It is hard to believe the Christmas is just around the corner, and that the 2006 Season is coming fast. I have enjoyed these past couple of months since the Ford Ironman World Championships. It was quite clear after the race, that I needed to step away from things to gain some perspective and to give my body and mind some much needed rest. I have done just that.

I have always preached to the athletes that we coach that at the end of the season a person needs to get out of shape to get back into better shape. This is something that I strongly believe in but for some reason last season I never followed my own advice. After the 2004 Ironman Hawaii race, I was very jacked up and excited and never really took any time at the end of the season. I told myself that I was taking a break but now when I look back I really didn’t– by Christmas I had already done a few 5 hour rides, and I was doing interval runs. At the end of this season I promised myself that I would go back to the basics – take an extended break, and get out of shape. I have taken this to a whole new level, but have loved every minute of it.

During the two months since Ironman, I have tried to step away from the swim/bike/run of my everyday life and do some different things. I have played a few games of golf – I am truly awful, but I really enjoy it. Roch took me out on the paddleboard one day – I thought my arms were going to fall off!! We also went on our first true vacation – 2 weeks in Costa Rica with Huddle and Paula. We had an incredible time. The theme of the off-season continued. We kayaked a few times, went ATVing, Zip lining, and walking – yep I said walking!!! I have never been one to walk – I always said, I am either running or I am driving – I don’t walk anywhere. Since I wanted to take a break from running – Roch and I did some great walks and I now have an appreciation for it. You certainly are more aware of the things around you when you walk. I came back from the vacation with my batteries recharged and with a refreshing new outlook on things.

Now it is time to think about slowly stepping back into reality. I am going to continue to enjoy myself over the holiday season, and then start to get back into a regular routine. The key to starting back will be patience – I cannot try and rush getting back into shape. It will come – it might take a little longer than in the past but I know I will be stronger both physically and mentally.

As a little aside, please check out the Jan 2006 Issue of GLAMOUR magazine – on shelves now. I did a photo shoot for Ford and Timex and it is in the Jan 2006 Issue.

To everyone – have a wonderful holiday season. We will see you out at the races in 2006!!!

Ironman Hawaii 2005

We as we all know, the Ironman World Championship for 2005 are now in the record books. It was a tough day at the office for me. After 15 years, I have experienced the gamut of emotions and performances out on the lava fields. There are those great days, there are those good days, and then there are the days like I had on Saturday. Here is a little account of how things went on race day.

The swim is the part of the race that I get most nervous about. I have never had a great swim in Kona – not one that I feel I am capable of. Fortunately, the race has never been won in the swim. With a few minutes to go to the start, the swim marshals start to bring the athletes back to the line and ready for the start. For some reason this year, some of the athletes mistook a comment by someone on the pier as the signal to start, and away they went. Assuming that the paddlers would bring them back, I watched as they swam away. To my dismay they did not bring them back and about 5 seconds later the cannon went off, and the race was officially underway. Lesson #1, if you see people start swimming – start swimming yourself!!! After the physical contact of the start, I was able to settle into a pace and find the feet of Lisa Bentley to draft off of. Lisa tends to have good consistent swims here, so by being on her feet, I thought I would be in pretty good position. We exited the water in a relatively slow swim time, but I have learned over the years that the actual time is not all that important, but rather how far behind the leader is more relevant – it was time to focus forward.

I was off on the bike through the Kona town loop before heading out on the Queen K. I felt OK starting the bike, I could tell however that it was going to take a little while before my legs started to come around. I rode as fast as I could based upon what my legs would allow me to do on the way out. From all accounts, I was losing time to the leader Michellie Jones pretty consistently. Learning to never get discouraged, I kept plugging along. After the turn-around in Hawi, I could feel like I was coming into my own, and the time gap pretty much stayed the same on the way back. We really had incredible weather conditions on the bike ride. There were very few sections that we had a headwind, and never had the terrifying crosswinds of past years. It was going to be a fast day out there!!!. I felt strong all the way back into town and kept picking off some athletes along the way. I got off the bike just outside of the top ten, and I had the fastest bike ride that I have ever had here – 5 hours and 9 minutes – this was very encouraging.

Now the fun was going to start. I was now in my domain, the run segment of the race. If I could have a consistent run, realistically I could move my way up through the field and a top 5 finish would not be out of the question. I started the run not feeling too great, but that is quite normal for this race. I ran the first 9 mile segment of the run very consistently, making up small amounts of time on the girls ahead. Something was just not right however, I didn’t have that bounce in my step that I normally do. I needed to stop at a couple of aid stations to try and regroup and see if I could get my energy level to where it needed to be. Things only continued to go downhill from there. By the time I reached the highway at about 10 miles, I had slowed to a jog and stopped again at the aid station. I can’t say for sure what was going on, but it was becoming clear that for once my run was going to let me down. I have always said that there would be a race somewhere, sometime when this was bound to happen, but I hoped it wouldn’t happen here. My focus changed from trying to move up through the field to trying to keep forward momentum. With about 7 miles to go, I met up with Michael Lovato. Michael was having a rough day as well with some GI distress, so we decided that misery loves company and we made our way towards the finish. We would make little plans along the way – walk for 3 minutes and then run for 7, walk to the next power pole, and then run to the 5th. I must say that it was nice to have the company on what was a disappointing day on the lava fields. I have way too much respect for the race and for the forces of the island – that dropping out was not even an option. If someone like Sara Reinertsen (the first female leg amputee to compete in Ironman) can be out there competing and overcoming the hurdles she has to be there, I can certainly continue on and get across the line as well. I have always been under the opinion that all athletes, pros, age-groupers and PC athletes are all out there with the same goal – to cross the finish line. Today it became clear that this is not something to take lightly or take for granted.

I did cross that finish line and I did get my finishers medal. It may not have been in the fashion that I had envisioned but I did it and I am proud of that!!!! Often times, we learn the most about ourselves on those days when we have to deal with adversity. I did learn a lot about myself out there on the lava fields, and while I can’t say that I am not disappointed with my performance, I am focusing forward and can’t wait until next season. Now I am ready for some quiet time and a much welcomed holiday!!!

Thanks to all of my incredible sponsors and support network. Your continual, unconditional support is greatly appreciated and does not go unnoticed. Without this support I could not continue to do what I love to do.

Heather

2005 Ironman Hawaii – Three Weeks and Counting!!

Well, we are pretty much in the 3 week window of Ironman Hawaii. Every year, time seems to go by faster and faster. It is really hard to believe that in less than 2 weeks we will be boarding our flight for Kona – for the 15th time. Yep, this will be the 15th time I have competed in Kona!!!! In some respects it feels every bit of the 15 years, but in other ways, it feels like just yesterday that I toed the line in Kona for the first time. In 1991, I had no expectations, I simply wanted to finish and finish with a smile. I stopped 12 times on the bike to use the porta potties – yes, I actually went into these little steam rooms and not only that, a number of times I waited in line!!! I have had many emotional and physical ups and downs on the lava fields in Kona since that first race in 1991, but the basic goal still remains the same – to go and have the best race possible.

Many things have changed over the years:
– I am no longer of the “new faces” in Ironman but rather someone that is facing the twilight of her career. I can remember going to the pro-meetings those first years and being star struck with I saw the likes Paula Newby-Fraser and Mark Allen. Now when I go to these pre-race meetings, I am lucky it I know ½ of the people – there are so many new faces.
– My performance expectations have come full circle. I have gone from zero expectations in 1991 to many years of placing an incredible amount of pressure on myself to place well. Now I am back to the point not feeling that I have nothing to lose. I feel as though I have nothing to prove out there – if I have a bad race, life will go on, and if I have a great race, it is icing on the cake!!!!

Since my last update, I have jumped into my IM Kona training. Once again this year, Belinda and Justin Granger have come to train with me leading up to the race. It has been awesome training with these guys. Belinda is consistently one of the fastest cyclists in the sport, so to be able to chase her around the roads of North County San Diego has been of great benefit.

In addition, I was fortunate enough to get to meet my favorite Nascar Nextel Cup Driver – Jeff Gordon (#24). The folks at NBC arranged to have a meet and greet with myself and Jeff Gordon at the California Speedway on the labor day weekend. It was pretty exciting for me – kind of like a diehard Golf fan getting to meet Tiger Woods. I wasn’t sure if anyone had informed him as to who I was etc, but was pleasantly surprised that he did know what Ironman was and he was aware that I had used his ‘drive for five” motto in the quest for my 5th Lake Placid win. The meeting was very short, and after taking a few pictures and getting an autograph, he was on his way. I really appreciated him taking the time to do what he did – heck, it was a couple of hours before one of the most important races in his season. We then got to watch the race from the pits – this truly gave me an appreciation for what it is all about!!

Leading up to Kona I will be writing blogs on MSN’s special Ironman Web Page starting on October 3rd. You can follow my pre-race preparation; get the scoop on what is happening in Kona before, during and after the race; and then I will check in after all the hype of the race is over. From October 3rd – December 3rd click on the following link to follow my blogs:

http://spaces.msn.com/members/ironmanprofile1

Until then, take care
Heather

2005 Ironman USA Lake Placid Race Report

It is always a nice feeling coming back to Lake Placid, this being the 6th time back in 7 years. Everyone in the town has adopted me as their hometown favorite, which makes it awesome out on the course.

This year I had a motto in my head, the “drive for 5 in 2005”. I was trying to win my 5th title here in Lake Placid and what a better year than 2005. Being a huge Nascar fan, my favorite driver Jeff Gordon (#24) also entered the 2005 season hoping to win his 5th Nextel Cup Series Championship. With Gordon’s season not going as well as hoped, it was all on my shoulders to keep the drive alive. My motto for the race, was something that I never mentioned to anyone prior to finishing the race – you never want to jinx anything. Having said this, while it was my desire to try and win the race, I really would have been fine with whatever the outcome was. In a way, this takes all the pressure off.

This year the professional women were put in the spotlight. A first for Ironman racing, the women started 35 minutes before the main field. The reason was to highlight the women’s race, attract a stronger than normal field, and create a fair/ clean race. The race was a great success.

My day started with a slower than normal swim. One benefit to starting with the masses is that there are more people to draft off of. This was not the case for me, so I came out of the water about 4 minutes slower than in the past. The only good part was that all of the other women were slower as well. I have learned to never get discouraged when I see the clock exiting the water – just file it away, and move on to the bike portion of the race. This year I was riding my “speedy set-up” of my great K2 T-Nine bike with a ZIPP disk in the back and deep dish 808 on the front. This is definitely a fast set-up but one that requires perfect conditions. It was perfect conditions so the set-up was awesome. Throughout the bike, I continued to move up through the field. This is something that doesn’t normally happen, so I was very encouraged. I got off the bike in single digit-deficit territory – this is a first for the race here.

Now it was out on to the run – which is usually the best part of the race for me. From the start, I could tell that the legs were a little more tired than normal from the bike ride. I also was feeling the effects of the heat – and was very light-headed heading out on the run. I stopped at the first aid station I hit and walked through getting in lots of fluids and also some extra sodium. I was then able to get into my stride. One of the girls in front was the fleet feeted Kim Loeffler. I knew that it was not going to be an easy task to catch Kim, even though I was only a couple of minutes behind. At about mile 5, I finally caught up to Kim and made the pass. Kim kept the pressure on from behind, so from that point on, I was running scared. The crowds were amazing and this was definitely what kept me going. Only once I made the last turn-around with ¾ of a mile to go was I able to enjoy the fact that win #5 was going to happen.

It has been 2 years since I have won an Ironman race so this one was extremely special. I have erased any doubts that I may have had as to whether I would ever win another Ironman. Now it is time for some R&R before the build-up for Hawaii!!!!

Another great thing about my win in Lake Placid is that this year I was able to give a little something back to the community. As a part of the TriDubai triathlon team (www.tridubai.com), not only was I racing for myself, but also to help raise money for the Lake Placid Child Care Committee. The committee provides affordable after school care for children of working parents – which is a great concept. Hopefully some of these children can be introduced to sports through this program. By winning the race, I was able to raise $5000 for the charity, and presented them with a check at the awards ceremony.

I want to take the chance to thank all of my sponsors who have been so supportive year after year. Without this support I would not be able to do what I do. Please take a look at my SPONSORS page and check out all of my great sponsors.

Happy training!!!
Heather

Heather Fuhr –More than a Pretty Face

Lynne Bermel wrote this great article for runnersweb.com. Read the entire piece at runnersweb.com

2005 Mid-Season Update

2005 Mid-Season Update

Well, it has been a while since I have given an update as to what has been going on. I have been doing a fair bit of traveling over the last month or so. The traveling included, a race in Kona and a trip to Lake Placid for the Multisports.com camp.

I was very excited to be heading to Kona to do the Honu Half Ironman on June 5th. Any opportunity to race on the Big Island outside of the major hype of Ironman is a bonus. I was also happy that the race would be out at the north end of the Ironman course – this is a much more exciting portion of the course – including the climb up to Hawi. Being a first year race, the atmosphere of the race was nice and relaxed. The Kona gods were being very kind to us on race day – moderate temperatures (in relative terms) and quite favorable winds greeted us. I have raced in Kona enough times to know how bad it can get and especially on the north end of the course – we certainly were spared on race day. This is not to say that the conditions were not tough – they always are but it is all a matter of degree. I was happy with my race performance – I felt strong for most of the race – never fantastic but just good and steady. Michellie Jones put on a fair bit of time on me during the swim and bike, and Tina Walter rode like a freight train posting the fastest bike split of the day. This left me in a very familiar position – trying to play catch up on the run. I finally caught Tina around 7 miles or so and Michellie was just too far ahead for me to narrow the gap enough. So, I would finish in 2nd which I was very happy with. Then it was time for a few days of R&R before flying directly to Lake Placid for the Multisports.com camp the following weekend. During these few days, I was reminded of how harsh the wind conditions can be. I headed out for a ride up to Waimea – immediately upon making the turn to start the 7 mile climb, the wind started to blow. When I say blow, I mean blow, I was going a whopping 5 mph the entire way up. More than a few times, I had to stop and unclip out of my pedals to keep from hitting the ditch. I really felt like I was taking my life into my own hands. When I got to the top (which was my only choice because I certainly was not going to turn around and ride down in the same conditions) I called Roch and Huddle to come and get me. I was mentally and physically exhausted from trying to keep my bike on the road, and I was very happy to get in the car. This is the first time that I had ever required a “pick-up” in Kona. I am actually glad that I had this experience before leaving the Big Island – it was a not so subtle reminder of how nasty it can be – October here we come!!!!

Next it was off to Lake Placid for our weekend Ironman Lake Placid training camp. This year the camp proved to be very popular with a record setting 50 participants. They were a great group of people who came out to try and learn as much as they could about the Lake Placid course and any last minute tips to get them to the starting line in great shape. It is also a great opportunity for me to check out the course and refresh my memory for the race on July 24th. On Friday the group did a long Key Ironman Swim workout in the pool – where the lesson of the day was pacing. The main workout for Saturday was the a long ride on the Ironman bike course. The group broke into 6-7 smaller groups and off we went. The athletes were again taught the importance of pacing for a Ironman bike ride and were able to practice their race nutrition. A short 30 minute transition run followed the bike ride before an afternoon off. We finished the day with an open water swim in beautiful Mirror Lake – the lake was already a comfortable temperature – which means for race day the water temperature will be very mild. Great weather greeted us in Lake Placid this year – warm humid conditions so the water temperature was considerably warmer that previous years. Camp culminated with the Lake Placid Half marathon on Sunday. We specifically planned our camp on the same weekend as the ½ marathon as it is a great opportunity for the campers to check out the Ironman run course in a race-type situation. I decide that I would jump in and run the ½ marathon as well – again a quick reminder as to what the course is like. All in all the camp was a great success, and I look forward to seeing many of the campers at the race on July 24th!!!!

The camp was a great beginning to my Ironman training, and now I just have another 3+ weeks before toeing the line. The race this year is the Profession Women’s Championships, so the focus will be on the women. We will be starting quite a few minutes ahead of the field so that it will be a very clean and fair race – one I am looking forward to.

A couple of other happenings over the past couple of months:

For those of you in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania may have noticed my smiling face on a few billboards throughout the region. I am featured in the advertising a campaign of cosmetic dentist Dr. Mary Viechnicki. Mary was kind enough to give me a brand new smile – and now it is out there bigger than life. A great big thanks to Mary!!! See below for the billboard, and check out Mary’s beautiful work at: http://www.lvsmilesbydesign.com/

I was also been given the opportunity to reflect and realize how precious life is and how we need to live life to its fullest. A very close friend Kendra lost her battle with Leukemia in May. Kendra was an incredible person, one that we could all learn a lot from. She was always a bright light in any situation, and lived life to its fullest. Even close to the end of her very short life – she remained positive and encouraged us all to cherish what we have and enjoy every minute of our lives. I believe that things do happen for a reason. So rather than mourn her loss, we will treasure the time we were able to spend with her and take a lesson from her book – life is indeed very precious!!!

I will update you all after the race in Lake Placid!!!

Heather

Wilflower 1/2 and Dubai Update

Well I guess it is time to get everyone up to speed as to what has been happening over the past couple of months.

I finally got back to racing – starting my season off with the Wildflower ½ on April 30th. It felt great to finally get back to toeing the line of the races rather than watching from the sidelines. The race went well – I crossed the line in 2nd place. You can see my whole race report on the Multisports.com website at the following link:
http://www.multisports.com/news/1115171052.shtml

The next big event after Wildflower was a trip to DUBAI with some of my TriDubai teammates (Peter Reid, Cameron Brown, Jo Lawn and Chris Legh) and the Multisports.com gang (Roch, Huddle and Paula). The purpose of the trip was to introduce us to the beautiful country that we are representing as well as help out with a training camp for some local athletes.
Overall, the whirlwind trip was a great success. Dubai really is an amazing place. Heading over there, I had no idea what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised on all fronts. The local people were incredibly friendly. Being a woman in a region of the world where male dominance is the flavor of the month, was something that I was concerned about. All of my reservations went out the window immediately. Everyone made us feel very comfortable and did everything they could to make sure we had everything we needed, and more.

We were fortunate when it came to the weather. Typical temperatures at this time of year reach 45+ degrees C – which for our metrically challenged is near 120+ degrees F. We had one day of these temperatures before a “Shamal” came through giving us relief and cooler temperatures (only 35degrees C). As far as training in this weather – you definitely want to get things done early in the morning or later in the day. The first day we arrived, Huddle, Paula and myself went for a run at 11am – big mistake. We made it a whole 25 minutes before we had to call it.

One of the highlights of the trip was the mini training clinics that the Multisports.com crew put on for the local athletes. Because triathlon is only starting to become a sport that they are aware of in Dubai, we instead worked with single sport athletes – cyclists, swimmers and runner. We were very impressed with the great deal of natural talent that the local athletes had. Most of the athletes were running on pure talent and with some simple guidance, it will be amazing to see their progress. The kids (average age of all athletes was <20years) were very receptive to the information presented to them. They were just like sponges, soaking in everything that they could.

We had the opportunity to do some hands on training with the athletes as well. With the cyclists in addition to doing Anaerobic threshold testing – they also did a 20km TT (based on the HR ranges that we determined for them). The TriDubai athletes also took part in the time trial – Cameron Brown smoked through the field – impressing all left in his wake. It was fun to be right in the middle of the action. For most of the athletes, I don’t know that they had ever worked out with female athletes at all. So to have three women riding right along side of them was a new experience.

The runners also did an AT test and then we shown some running drills by the Multisports.com crew. Again it was a lot of fun to be right in the middle – doing the drills right along side of them.

Underwater videotaping for the swimmers by Roch was a definite highlight for these athletes. With limited sports funding this was something that they would otherwise never have a chance to experience. Again just like sponges, they soaked in everything that they were told and seemed to be very receptive to the information.

I really look forward to following the progress of these athletes. Roch, Huddle and Paula will be developing training programs for the athletes to follow. With some training guidance, there is sure to be some incredible improvements.

We were also given some free time to be able to check out the sights that Dubai had to offer. One day we took a water taxi across the Dubai Creek to the local market. This was an interesting experience. Streets upon streets lined with merchants selling everything that you can imagine. Dubai is very well known for it’s GOLD. So the boys- Cameron and Chris picked up some great Mother’s day gifts for their wives.

The local beaches are really beautiful. We spent one afternoon playing in the surf and hanging out on the beaches. With some pulling of strings, we got permission to spend some time on the beach that overlooks the incredible Burj Al Arab hotel – the World’s only 7 star hotel. This is an amazing sight – from the exterior, and then you walk inside. The TriDubai team members were given an exclusive tour of this landmark. It is hard to even explain how amazing this hotel is – very glamorous. The hotel is on its own island and it is about 1km around. Of course you know that Chris Legh and Cameron Brown had to see how long it would take to swim around. The ocean was very rough and the second that they started their swim, every lifeguard on the beach was up on their feet, blowing their whistles and waving their buoys. There was no chance that these two were going to stop. They were met on their way in by one lifeguard who swam out to meet them and scolded them mildly.

All in all, the trip was a great success. We learned a lot about Dubai, and hopefully made a difference for some of the local athletes.

Up next will be the HONU half-ironman in Kona on June 5th. This will be a great opportunity to race on the big island in a race other than IM Hawaii. Look for a race report after the race.

Heather

The 2005 Racing Season Kicks Off

Well the 2005 race season has officially kicked off in North America with the Ralph’s Half Ironman – on March 19th in Oceanside. I have raced this race every year, and fully planned to start my season off with this race. My body had other plans – a little hip injury had flared up and I needed to make the hard decision not to race. I could have kept training through and been ready to race but this might have been at the expense of racing later in the season. I had to remind myself that it was only March, and the most important race of the year is Hawaii in October. It really made no sense to push through this injury. I decided to take some time off of running and figure out what was going on with my hip and what I could do to make it better. I can say that after about 3 weeks of easier training and a great deal of body work etc, the injury seems to be a thing of the past. It is so nice to run again without the dull/nagging pain that I had been feeling for quite some time.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching the race and I can honestly say that when the rain was coming down and the athletes were freezing on their bikes, I was happy that I was driving along in a car. This probably made my decision not to race much easier – had it been a perfect “sunny Southern California” day it would have been hard to be on the sidelines.

Now that I am back healthy, it looks like I will start my racing season with the Wildflower Half Ironman. But before my first race, I will head to Tempe Arizona to watch Ironman, do some more Ironman live stuff and generally support Roch and Huddle as they work their butts off preparing for this first year race. After putting a little bit of time behind the scenes, I have true appreciation for all that goes into putting on a successful race. As a participant , I show up do my race and head home, without any real concern for what goes on outside of my performance. For those that are putting these races on, the organizing starts the year before. I see how hard Roch and Huddle work on a daily basis getting these races set up and I count my lucky stars that I am still racing!!!!

I look forward to seeing everyone out at the races this year. My updated race schedule will be up soon.

Good luck to everyone racing Ironman Arizona – I will be out there cheering!!!!

TriDubai Triathlon Team Announced

I am very excited to announce that I am part of a new and exciting triathlon team called TriDubai. The team is focused on Ironman athletes, 10 in total who will represent the City of Dubai, with the goal of promoting the sport of triathlon in the United Arab Emirates and worldwide. Besides including some incredible athletes the team has a unique “charity driven” focus. Through our racing and results, charities of our choice will benefit. When one of the athletes on the team places in the top 3 in a key race, the designated charity will receive a donation. It is a chance for an athlete like myself to feel like I can finally give something back to the community. I have been fortunate enough to be able to make a living doing what I love and to be able to give something back to the community is a wonderful feeling.

The team is starting it’s racing with Ironman New Zealand where Cam Brown will go for his 5th title there. He and team mate Jo Lawn will race for the Cystic Fibrosis Charity in New Zealand.

My first race as part of the team will be at the California Half-Ironman on March 19th. Along with a number of my team mates we will strive to race strong and raise some money for the Challenged Athlete’s Foundation (CAF). So wish us luck!!!!

For a chance to learn more about the exiting new triathlon team, following is the official press release for the TriDubai team.

February 2005: A New Player in Professional Triathlon. The Human Interest Group, a
Boulder/Dubai based sports management company, proudly announces the creation of a new multisport team, Tri-Dubai.

Represented by 10 of the best long distance triathletes in the world, Tri-Dubai has implemented some unusual characteristics in the team concept within the sport of triathlon. In addition to creating exposure for the primary sponsor, the City of Dubai, the team will also partner with local charities at major races. “We have a pretty cool program in place to reward charities based on the success of our athletes at competitions. When Tri-Dubai wins, the charity wins too!” said Michael Yux, Director of Athlete Relations. “Tri-Dubai wanted to be different than other well established teams, such as Timex or Degree, by allowing the athletes to maintain all of their existing, individual sponsorship relationships (i.e. uniform branding opportunities) with other companies that have supported them in the past. We didn’t just buy the whole uniform – every athlete has their own sponsors for bikes, clothing, sunglasses, etc, thus we are creating exposure for those companies too. All parties involved benefit from exposure and this will help grow the sport and the tri-industry,” stated Franko Vatterott, founder of The Human Interest Group.

As a very unique, non-corporate sponsor, the City of Dubai will also be utilizing the athletes of Tri-Dubai to help build their national endurance athlete program via training camps and clinics.

Chris Legh, world-class Australian triathlete, had this to say about his association with the Tri-Dubai team: “It is a privilege to be involved with a team of this caliber. This has to be one of the greatest things to happen within the sport of triathlon. It is fantastic to be involved from the beginning in something which could change the dynamics of our sport and even better to be given the opportunity to support our chosen charities via our own performances. Team Tri-Dubai has added a new team dimension to a previously very individual sport; the spoils of victory can now be spread throughout the community.”
Legh joins a hand-picked, elite group of international triathletes, all equally excited about the prospects for the 2005 racing season.

Tri-Dubai’s roster for their inaugural season includes triathlon greats Peter Reid and Heather Fuhr, Canada; Tim and Nicole DeBoom, USA; Joanna Lawn and Cameron Brown, New Zealand; Chris Legh and Kate Major, Australia; Simon Lessing, UK; and current world champion Normann Stadler, Germany.

Tri-Dubai’s first major race event will be Ironman New Zealand on March 5, 2005. The partner charity for this race will be Cystic Fibrosis (CF) of New Zealand. “With Cam (Brown) and Jo (Lawn) racing in front of their hometown fans, hopefully they will chalk one up for the kids of CF,” says Yux.

“It was a huge honor to be selected for the Tri-Dubai triathlon team, not just because of the athletes assembled in the team, some of which I have looked up to throughout my triathlon career but for what the team will try and achieve; it won’t be just about winning races for the athletes but part of it will be supporting some of the most deserving charities, one of which I have an official association with, being the patron of Cystic Fibrosis New Zealand. Hopefully I can win my 5th New Zealand Ironman title, not just for myself but so I can support New Zealand kids with CF,” stated Brown.

“Two-time World Ironman Champion Tim DeBoom is also psyched about the Tri-Dubai
concept, “It means so much for Nicole and I to be involved with a team like this. It’s an
opportunity to be a part of something that could potentially change our sport and make an impact globally as well. We are always looking for ways to give back, and that’s what this team is all about. Triathlon has needed this for so long. It’s exciting to see the quality of athletes that are involved, and that we can now call teammates.”

Four-time world Olympic distance champion Simon Lessing shares his enthusiasm, “I am really excited to be part of the 2005 Tri-Dubai Team. In keeping with the individual identity of our sport, Tri-Dubai has enabled the best Ironman athletes in the world to unite and race together under one common banner. “I am sure that with the innovative concept of Team Tri-Dubai and the personalities involved, we will be excellent representation of a dynamic city (Dubai) that is truly committed to making a difference.”

Tri-Dubai will promote the amazing beach resort city of Dubai, located on the beautiful Arabian Gulf. Dubbed “The City of Gold,” Dubai was recently rated by readers of Conde Nast Traveler as one of the top tourist destinations in the world. With fine restaurants, unique entertainment opportunities, and the world’s only 7-star hotel, Dubai has unlimited possibilities to offer travelers.

For more information about Tri-Dubai Pro Triathlon please visit: www.tridubai.com or email info@tridubai.com.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

It is hard to believe that we are now into 2005. I have been thoroughly enjoying the off-season, doing the thing that I don’t usually have time to do. A Christmas tradition is that I bake cookies and send baskets to close friends and sponsors.

Happy New Year! Heather, Roch, Nadine and Cleatus This process has evolved over the past few years. Initially, I baked a few different cookies and it is now grown so that this year there were 30+ varieties of cookies on my list. I really enjoy the whole process of creating something that hopefully everyone will enjoy. I think it is a bit of love / hate for those that receive the cookies – they like them but they hate what they do for the waist line. I can attest to that fact – the total volume of cookies and cookie dough that I eat in a season is astounding!!! For those of you that didn’t get any cookies this year, I apologize. Maybe in the future there will be the “Heather Fuhr’s Cookies” website where you can place your order.

The holiday season is always a time for reflection, and time to spend with friends and family. Looking back on the year, overall, it was a very exciting year, not only for myself personally and professionally but for our sport as well. My racing season went better than it has in a long time – giving me the confidence to move into the next season with excitement. The sport of triathlon continues to grow, and more specifically the Ironman movement has really exploded. With new Ironman races popping up, our sport would seem to be the healthiest it has been in a long time. We of course had the “dark cloud” over the sport late this year when Nina Kraft failed her drug test at Ironman Hawaii. While it would be nice to claim the innocence of our sport, it would also be naïve to assume that use of performance enhancing substances has not been part of the sport.While this may just be the tip of the iceberg, it would also seem to be the start of the earnest fight against the use of performance enhancing substances. Those that would consider using these substances to better their performances or enhance their career in some way may start to think twice. It is this element of surprise that is needed in this fight. Athletes need to know that at any time, they can be drug tested and it will be ever changing as to what these tests will cover. So having said this, maybe this is what was needed to make us more aware of the entire situation.

We headed up to Canada spend some time with our families for Christmas. We got our “White Christmas” this year. It was great hanging out with everyone, and watching the kids get excited about Santa and the looks on their faces when they open their presents. That is what it is all about!!!

Over the next month or so, I will try to decide my racing schedule for the coming year, and plan my training accordingly. I hope to see many of you out at the races this coming season.
HAPPY 2005 to everyone!!!
Heather Fuhr