Wednesday, June 30, 2010

New Sneakers

Progrid Ride. Got a new pair. I love these shoes.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Philly Sprint tri death

This is a sad story....Read below and you can draw your own conclusions. I have done the Olympic race before and this can be scary for someone who never swam in open water. I am not drawing any conclusions since they still do not know what happened but one thing they may need to considered is making this race smaller. The just added the sprint a couple years back to allow more to race but I think it is just to make more money since the price has gone up drastically in the past 5 years. I am for the sport of triathlons but when the focus goes away from the positive aspect of the sport to the negative aspects such as a death many questions are going to be raised. I will be anxious to see what the results are and how they will approach this race next year. Please feel free to leave your opinion.

Cause of triathlete's death still unknown

By Alfred Lubrano

Inquirer Staff Writer

Summoned by a lifelong desire to excel, Derek "Rudy" Valentino entered the Schuylkill on Saturday in an amateur sprint triathlon to test and push himself.

The 40-year-old Prospect Park mail carrier also wanted to show his two sons that hard work gets rewarded, a family friend said.

His wife and one son gathered on the riverbank to cheer his efforts in the sprint race, a shorter version of a triathlon, which involves swimming, biking, and running.

But Valentino disappeared after he went into the water at 8:22 a.m. Saturday. A search was launched after he failed to emerge by 9:40 a.m., and police found his body in the river on Sunday, nearly 34 hours after the start.

The cause and manner of Valentino's death have not yet been officially determined. A source close to the investigation said that Valentino apparently drowned, but that it was not yet clear whether health conditions or other factors might have contributed to his death.

The organizers of the Philadelphia Insurance Triathlon said Monday they would give Valentino's sons, Jordan, 15, and Ryan, 17, race-finisher's medals to honor their father and the goal he could not reach.

"He always wanted to be the best he could be so he could be the best for his boys," said Samantha Savunikas, a family friend. "His boys admired him greatly for going after this goal."

She added that St. Gabriel Roman Catholic Church in Norwood and the U.S. Postal Service were organizing donations to the family.

Savunikas said that Valentino, nicknamed "Rudy" after the actor Rudolph Valentino because of his good looks, seemed to be in top condition.

In addition to his own athletic pursuits, Valentino had spent years coaching and helping his sons in football, basketball, and baseball, she added.

Valentino was entered in Saturday's sprint triathlon, which included a .47-mile swim, a 12.4-mile bike ride, and a 3.4-mile run. On Sunday, more experienced athletes took part in the Olympic triathlon, which normally includes a .93-mile swim, a 24.8-mile bike ride, and a 6.2-mile run. The swim leg of the race was canceled on Sunday.

Participants in the triathlon were shocked when they learned that Valentino was missing.

"The mood on Sunday for the Olympic was quite somber," said participant Deborah Chamberlain, 45, a human resources executive in Washington. "There was not much chatting or excitement. It was very quiet."

Conditions for the race were fine, according to Jim Carney, 45, of Bala Cynwyd, who participated in the sprint triathlon and entered the water 14 minutes after Valentino did.

"The current wasn't too bad," said Carney, who works in finance. "There was a little debris, like branches, in the water."

Water flow was 700 cubic feet per second, "significantly less than average flow" of 1,100 cubic feet per second, according to Bob Hainly, assistant director of the U.S. Geological Survey's Pennsylvania Water Science Center in New Cumberland, York County.

Carney said that the swimmers were not allowed to wear wetsuits. While wetsuits aid buoyancy, they are forbidden when the water is above 83 degrees because they would be too hot to wear, according to USA Triathlon, the official governing body of triathlons in the United States.

On Saturday morning, the Schuylkill was 84 degrees, said Richard Adler, CEO of Philadelphia Triathlon L.L.C., which owns and operates the race.

"It's a tragic accident," Adler said, adding that this was the first fatality in the six years of the race.

Speculating on what might have happened to Valentino, triathletes said some swimmers succumb to exhaustion and black out. Others accidentally take in too much water when having panic attacks or sucking too much wind. Also, in the beginning of a swim race when athletes are packed together, participants can get hit or kicked.

"People want to accomplish goals, and it can get difficult," said Julie Deery, 45, a Bala Cynwyd mosaic-tile artist who participated in four Philadelphia Insurance Triathlons, though not this last one.

"Sports are dangerous. People die swimming, or in marathons. Something could always happen to any of us."

I am back........

A bunch of much needed updates since my last post.


Well the running is going well. It is taking some time but I am getting back into form. I am averaging about 20 miles a week and will probably get close to a 100 for the month. I consider this all progress since the amount of time I was not running due to injury. Speaking of my injury it is getting better the pain comes and goes depending on the day. There is some tightness in my hamstrings and Piriformis muscle. So I am stretching regularly and doing my core work also. I did have one set of shoes I was running in but I decided that I needed a different pair since I think the shoes are causing some of my issues to get aggravated. I think before when I was hurt my right side was over compensating for my left so I did not notice any issues with my shoes but now since my body is working normal on both sides I notice small changes especially if the shoes are not correct. Also I decided to take a break from the Nike Frees. They were bothering my feet too much and I was not used to running in them and I did not want to risk injury. I think they will be good to use for track workouts. So that is a summary of how the rebuild/recovery is going.


Well I did my first race since Boston on June 19th. It was a 10 miler in Baltimore. I ran 1:06:28 and I was happy with my time. This was my first time running this race and the course was tough. I will definitely want to run this race next year. I also began running the West Chester Summer Series last Tuesday. It is a series of 8 races all cross country. It is a 5k race. I ran 19:53 last Tuesday. I hope to improve on that time tonight. Also this past Sunday I did the running for cover 5k in south Philly. I ran this race last year and had fun. I ran the 5k in 18:53 this year. I was 4th overall and was happy with my time. I have an 8k this Friday and a 5k next Monday July 5th. After that I have no real races scheduled until the fall so I probably will be doing a lot of training and slowly getting my miles and speed back.

In other news….

I have been sponsored by team marathon bar. I have included a link to the site here where you can look around and check out the profiles of all the athletes. I am responsible for promoting their product and giving out free samples. They provide me with racing gear and product. If you want more info or some product please contact me. This is a good program and I looking forward to promoting their product and before you ask the bars are good and I like the taste and they do give me energy.

I will post more this week. I wanted to give an update of what has occurred since my last post. Enjoy the week and keep cool in this heat.