Next weekend our first full-triathlon season will kick off at “The Rookie” on May 6th.

Despite having to miss two of Austin’s major triathlons over the Memorial Day Weekend and Labor Day holidays – we are still going to have a full plate of TRI’s this summer: 

May 6 – The Rookie Super Sprint TRI 300M swim – 11 Mile Bike – 2 Mile Run

June 17 – Lake Pflugerville Sprint TRI 500M swim – 14 Mile Bike – 3 Mile Run

July 15 – Couples Sprint TRI 800M Swim – 11.2 Mile Bike – 3.2 Mile Run

August 5 – Jack’s Generic Sprint TRI 500 M Swim – 13.8 Mile Bike – 3 Mile Run

September 30 – Kerrville Olympic TRI 1,000M Swim – 29 Mile Bike – 6.4 Mile Run

October 21 – Austin Half Ironman 70.3 1.2 Mile Swim – 56 Mile Bike – 13.1 Mile Run

6 Events which will take us from the shortest of triathlon events all the way to the Half Ironman distance of 70.3 cumulative miles between the swim, bike and run.

There are a couple of running races on the schedule as well where I hope to run well and look to Age Group.  In June we are going for our 4th consecutive AG win at the Holland Texas 5K.  Being my last year running in the 40-44 year old category, I’d like to make it 4 for 4 which would be pretty special.

In September perhaps the “A” race of all “A” races in2012, The Prefontaine Memorial 10K in Coos Bay, Oregon. 

An event I’ve had on my bucket list since I started racing more than 5 years ago – it looks like this may be the year where I can make that trip happen, visit the famous track at Hayward Field in Eugene, OR and turn a few laps before heading to Pre’s hometown of Coos Bay.  With luck we’ll be primed for a big day running along one of his favorite training routes, past his Mother’s house along the route and at the end of the race, turn a final lap on the High School Track that bears his name.  Pretty cool.

One thing that I have learned about “race days” over the years is that you should expect the unexpected.  Poor weather, winds, storms, high heat, cold temperatures, having an illness prior to an event, not feeling well on race day and even simply showing up properly prepared mentally and physically only to discover over the opening miles that your head and heart were “in it”, but somehow your legs were not.

I’ve had it all happen to me over the years and as Boston proved just last Monday – you really can’t count on anything to go exactly the way you hope.

All you can do is show up and give it your best.

When it comes to the triathlon, this is even a dicier situation.  Not only do you need to have the weather cooperate – you need to be “on” in three different disciplines.

Your swim needs to be solid.

Your bike needs to be there for you.

Finally you must race smart to this point, conserving enough energy to let it all hang out on the run.

Of course there are also the matter of the two transitions to deal with.

Jack's Generic TRI 2011

You have to come out of the water focused and calm, get moving to T1 (Transition One), remove your goggles and cap, put on your socks, shoes, helmet and glasses, run to the mount line and hammer away on the bike.


As you power to the dismount line on tired legs you need to run into T2 (Transition Two), rack your bike, take off your glasses, helmet and bike shoes.  Slip on your visor or running glasses, race flats and your number belt – grab a quick drink and you are off again.

We haven’t even started talking about any equipment trouble or heaven forbid a flat tire on the bike, which I had the joy of dealing with on Wednesday this week on a training ride.

It all has to come together for you with no hiccups or missteps.

Looking up at my race schedule for all that to go perfectly not once, not twice but SIX times is highly, highly unlikely.

That is exactly what has me so excited about this Summer and Fall.  Sometimes the excitement is about the “not knowing”.  At least it should be.

With any luck and some hard work hopefully we will find our way onto a podium or two – but if not – the real goal is to earn that Half-Ironman Finisher’s Medal with Dawn and Landry looking on in October.

We’ve been fortunate enough to earn a few of those medals over the past 5 years of racing, but that last one on the list above to a “runner turned triathlete” who quite honestly could not swim the length of a 50 Meter pool one year ago today will be something special.

I know exactly who’s little neck I can’t wait to put that one around.

Here’s to a summer of swimming, biking and running. 


  1. Erin Ruyle says:

    No doubt you’ll impress in tris this summer, as you do in road races. I think you have a great season ahead of you. We’ve got several of the same races on our schedule (including the Holland 5k – I’m angling for another corn cob trophy as well!) – looking forward to seeing you out there!

    • Joseph Marruchella says:

      Hi Erin! Very excited for this summer. I fully expect us to sweep up in Holland the day before Lake P!

  2. Matt F says:

    Looks like a fun summer you have planned out Joe. I look forward to following your training.

    You mentioned flat tires. I’m wondering what your strategy is for flats during tris? Do you carry a repair kit on the bike?

    • joerunfordom says:

      Hi Matt! So great to hear from you, best of luck with your upcoming endurance challenge! So excited for you. Well, on race day this year I’ll be running my Zipp 808 tubulars. Those tires are glued and are essentially one piece (tire and tube) – they are less likely to flat than clinchers – the standard tires that have a seperate tube and tire as they tend to get “pinch flats”. But when a tubular does go flat – they are tough to change on the go. Some experts can do it quickly – but my strategy is going to use a “fix a flat” type sealant that also reinflates the tire – and get me to the transition.

      If the flat happens very early in the half-ironman and I still have 40-50 miles to go, and I cant get a good seal, I’m pretty much S.O.L. and I’ll be out of the deal, D.N.F. Part of the TRI that is frustrating, but adds a level of excitement when it all comes together for you and you have a great event. We’ll see. I would feel pretty darn fortunate if we make it through all 6 events without some kind of equipment issue – we’ll just check, check and double-check everything before race day and do all we can to minimize issues – but some of it is going to be left to luck …. fun times!

  3. robinandamelia says:

    Have a great season! I’m sure you’ll do great…

  4. Koji Kawano says:

    Sounds all good! One of my friends does Tri and he already had a couple of misfortune this year. Weather-related swim cancellation in San Diego and flat tires in San Jose. Happy training and good luck!

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