About Me

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San Luis Obispo, CA / Belize City, Belize, California, United States
Hello, My name is Casey Bateman. I am a professional triathlete on the Belize National Team. I am currently working on making the 2016 Olympic Team and the 2018 Commonwealth Games Team. I came from a swimming background in the USA and have since switched my focus to triathlon.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

2Toms Blister Shield and Sport Shield Product Revie

Medi-Dyne 2Toms Products for healthy Feet

Recently I had the opportunity to use the Medi-Dyne 2Toms product line of which includes the Sport Shield and Blister Shield products. If you are runner or triathlete these two products are a must have. As we know blisters are very common in running and especially triathlon where you constantly have soft and wet feet. These conditions often lead to very painful, gross and sometimes debilitating blisters on our feet. Ever since I have begun using the Sport Shield and Blister Shield products I have not gotten a new blister and my feet are healthy and happy!
2Toms Sport Shield Stick
2Toms Sport Shield Travel towelle

The Sport Shield comes in both a travel towelette and a sport stick. The sport stick is great it is a quick roll on non-stick substance for all areas of the body. I have so far used it under my arms for my tri-suit; on my feet when running and cycling; and as a chamois cream for long bike rides. It isn't noticeable and at first I was hesitant that it would not be a long lasting barrier; but it sustained during 2x2 hour workouts without need to re-apply. Removal is easy as well, after you are done working out or racing just rinse off with soap and water like most of us do after workout and the sport shield will be gone. As a professional triathlete I am constantly travelling the World for different races, having the towelette option available makes bringing skin comfort along easy. I would suggest bringing two towelettes for each workout you are planning to need skin protection as to make sure you are completely covered.

2Toms Blister Shield Bottle
2Toms Blister Shield Travel packets


The Blister shield also comes in a large bottle as well as a travel size companion. Before all of my workouts on the bike and run I make sure to put a little of the blister shield powder in each of my shoes. The blister shield again is unnoticeable even when I am training and racing sockless. The powder is scent free non-stick and works great when paired with the sport shield.

Since I have started using the 2Toms Sport Shield and Blister Shield products my feet have not been happier. I have no pain from blisters, no more bloody socks and shoes and no longer risk infection from cutting my feet up due to blisters in the shoes. I’m very happy to be working with Medi-Dyne and 2Toms this season and look forward to telling you all about the products that Medi-Dyne and 2Toms have available for all athletes! 

To Check Out more of the 2Toms and Medi-Dyne products make sure to click on the links below and see for yourself what they have to offer for you! 

Friday, May 2, 2014

2014 Bridgetown PATCO Sprint Pan America Cup Recap

Hello Everyone,

This past Sunday I started my triathlon season at the Bridgetown PATCO Sprint Continental Cup. The event took place in Bridgetown, Barbados.

I arrived in Barbados on Wednesday night only to find that my bike was still stuck in Miami, however it did arrive the next day. I was greeted by Ann, our host for the week, and she whisked us away to her house where she so graciously put us up in her lovely home.

Thursday I took time to get a short run in to help my body acclimate to the weather. It never ceases to amaze me how tough it can be to train and race in the humidity. Growing up I never had an opportunity to race or train in it and my body is still developing a feel for it. After resting the remainder of the morning Ann took us to pick up my bike as well as show us the race course for the first time. After checking out the course we cruised through the beautiful town of Bridgetown for a bit. The beaches are beautiful, the town square and parliament building are stunning, and the remainder of the Garrison surrounding it is simply beautiful and filled with history. I learned that the parliament building is the oldest parliament building in the entire Commonwealth and that Bridgetown had been an important trading and shipping route for many European countries throughout the years.

Barbados Olympic Aquatic Centre

On Friday we headed down early to the Barbados Aquatic Centre for an early morning swim and a shakeout on my bike. The pool facility was amazing and the staff was so generous by letting all the triathlete use the facilities. After the swim-bike workout we headed to one of the local beaches; I found a great shady spot to take a nap and enjoy the Caribbean Sea, as well as enjoy some local cuisine. Thank you Nikki for finding us some great food!

Saturday we headed down to swim at the race venue, as well as a short run on the run course. It was extremely hot so I made sure to stay cool and not push too much as this was only a familiarization. The swim course was so clear and beautiful that I saw hundreds of fish! After the familiarization we headed down to the pre-race meeting and home for an early night.

Race day quickly came and went. It started out very cool and quite pleasant when the women went off. I was struggling a little bit to keep my stomach calm, but I think it was just pre-race nerves because it was the first race of the year. As I was closer to the bottom of the start list I had one of the last choices for pontoon selection. The gun was off and the swim began. I made some poor decisions early on and ended up getting pulled out of the first pack. The swim was a fight for longer than usual and things didn't calm down until nearly 250 meters into the swim. I came in from the swim in the back and headed to transition with three other athletes. I came out of transition with one athlete and didn't commit fully to bridging the gap, which ended up being my next mistake. I bridged up to the next athlete but he was not willing to split the work and ended up holding onto me for dear life. My stomach at this point was angry with me and was no longer able to keep food down. After discarding the insides of my stomach I felt much better; I did my best to keep the fluids going in, but it was a tough struggle. Once out onto the run course I was starting to feel pretty strong. I dropped the athlete that was riding with me and was cutting into the remainder of the field. Unfortunately I did not commit at the key points of the race so I ran out of room to catch any remaining athletes in front of me. I finished the day in 20th with plenty of lessons learned. A quick congratulations needs to go out as well to Alexander Hinton of Canada, Tommy Zaferes of the USA and Manuel Huerta of Puerto Rico for rounding out the podium. Some great things to take from the event includes: commit to all the moves that look to be successful, and don’t be afraid to fail. The worst thing that will happen is you fail and learn something new in the process. I am really happy with how my run turned out, as well as how well I stayed hydrated and acclimated to the heat.

On Monday we had the opportunity to drive around the entirety of the island with our host and the race director, Christine. We got to see some historic places, such as the Caribbean’s largest and only working sugar windmill and the oldest college in Barbados, which was built in the 1630’s. We also got to see some wildlife including monkeys and various birds and to top it off we saw Rihanna’s private villa!

I want to thank the Barbados Triathlon Association for hosting yet another successful and enjoyable event. You guys truly put athletes first, which creates a world-class experience for us. Thank you Ann for opening up both your home and refrigerator to us. I learned so much about the country and saw first-hand how much of yourself you pour into the event! I am so grateful to have met you and look forward to keeping in touch with you! Thank you to my sponsors Carbon Lite Racing, the Belize National Triathlon association, and Hypercat Racing. I wouldn’t have made it here without you guys. Lastly I want to thank my family and friends for all of their support. My next race will be the PATCO Pan America Cup in Ixtapa, Mexico on May 24th.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Transition Year

Good Afternoon Everyone,

The start of my 2014 campaign begins in 17 days in Bridgetown, Barbados at the ITU Bridgetown PATCO Pan-American Cup. I'm very excited to make my return as I have been spending the past off-season refocusing my goals and becoming an all around better athlete.

This off-season has been a life enriching process with plenty of learning and new life experiences. I have taken a new respect to recovery and nutrition as well as daily monitoring of training. Jenny has made it a goal to change the way I eat and I believe it as in turn helped me perform better, recover faster and maintain a healthy racing weight. In the past this has always been difficult for me as I am known for eating an entire box of hot pockets and plenty of hot dogs. My new nutrition plan is focused on more greens, health fats, proteins and a slight variation in carbohydrate intake. Overall I feel lighter, stronger, and able to maintain my energy levels more consistently.

I have also spent a bit of time learning from Eric how to become a better professional. I have taken a deeper role in the feedback and R&D with my sponsors, as well as being the best ambassador that I can be.

The first race of the year will be taking place in Bridgetown, Barbados. The event will be a sprint distance race consisting of a 750 Meter ocean swim, 20K 4 lap bike, and a 5K 2 lap run. The focus for the event will be to ride safely and have a strong run to back up the bike. I have placed a heavy emphasis on my run this off-season so that I can be competitive off the bike, I look forward to getting an opportunity to see where I am early in the year.

As for the remainder of the year I will be racing a world cup in Ixtapa, Mexico in May, ITU Chicago, ITU Stockholm, ITU Edmonton and another world cup in Mexico. I'm looking into a few other races to sprinkle in on top of that, but will announce those as they become available.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Belize National Team

Hello Everyone,
 Sorry for not keeping up to date on the blog. I have been building a new website for myself and it has taken a little bit longer then I had expected. The new website is up though and I would greatly appreciate you taking a look at it the website is HTTP://www.caseybatemantri.com The site just went up this morning and has been a long road but has been a very fun challenge.

The big news for the year is that I am now going to be representing BELIZE for the remainder of my career as a triathlete. The move to Belize will be Mutually beneficial to both my career goals as well as the goals of the Country. I will get an opportunity to consistently race at the highest levels in triathlon which will give me the best chance at medaling in future Olympic games. For Belize I will have the opportunity to help develop the program from an athletes standpoint and will be able to become a leader and role model for youth and junior athletes who have been wanting to pursue triathlon. I am very excited about thus transition and look forward to the future of my career with the Belize National Team.

As for Sponsors this year I have signed with some new companies that I am very excited about!

 First off is Carbon Lite Racing, they are based out of San Francisco, CA. Carbon Lite Racing provides high quality race ready wheels at prices that don't dent your wallet. I am currently riding on the CLR-40's for training and Crit Racing. I also have a set of the CLR-38 Clinchers for my ITU races and hilly road races. Both sets of wheels spin up incredibly fast and do great in cross winds and unforeseen potholes.

Hypercat Racing- Hypercat racing will be providing me my coaching this season under the direction of USAT Lv.2 coach Rachel Sears Casanta. Rachel is a former professional triathlete and duathlete. Phil Casanta will be setting me up on the Retul bike fitting in the next few weeks to set me in my optimal bike position. I will be writing a blog about this shortly, I would highly suggest you give it a try. They are based out of Ventura, California.

As for racing my next race will be on April 27th,2014. I will be heading down to Bridgetown, Barbados for my 2014 season opener. I am looking forward to the racing this season and will be making some major step ups to get closer to my season goals.

Thank you for stopping by! Come Back Soon!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Triple Martini!

Hello All,

This past weekend I achieved one of my goals for the season: I finished the Triple Martini Distance Swim in Avila Beach, California. The Triple Martini is a distance swim hosted by my open water swim group the Avila Dolphins. Before this attempt there had only been three members in this prestigious group. The three members, in the words of Neil, included Duke "the first to complete," Neil "the Oldest to complete," and Rob "the First Naked (non-wetsuit) to complete." However, we have now added not one, but three more great athletes to the group. Our newest members include Dave "the First to truly swim around Avila Rock and second sans wetsuit," Byron "the Surprise Entrant," and lastly myself "the Youngest and first sub 3 hour finish".

Now onto what the triple martini is! The triple martini is a three lap 6-7 mile swim in the shape of a martini glass. The first lap starts at the beach and follows the Avila Pier. Once you reach the end of the Avila Pier you make a direct left turn and head toward the Avila rock. From there you turn back and swim straight to the Cal Poly Pier and then from the Cal Poly Pier you head back toward the Avila Pier. The longest leg of the swim is the swim from Avila Rock to Cal Poly Pier. The distance between the two is about 1 mile. This part of the swim is also the least protected as it is so far out from the cove. It can also be the most lonely part as you are so far from everything. Above I have posted a satellite image of the swim. This swim was done by Dave as I am not cool enough yet to have swim GPS. 

My swim started off amazing. The water temperature was about 57, but rose into the 60 degree range in parts of the swim. This was very important and crucial to me as I do not retain heat very well in the water being 5% body fat. After getting used to the water I made my normal slow and steady way to the end of the pier. Once I was at the pier my body was prepared and I was off! The first lap was great. I was warm and very comfortable. I opened up the first 2.3 miles in a fast 48 minutes. That is very good news for me as I start to focus on long course racing. That time could easily put me in the top 5 professionally in many Irorman swims. I felt easy, smooth and controlled. I thought to myself, "Wow this is going to be a piece of cake. Why was I so worried?" On the second lap I got a little cold, but still felt great. I posted another strong lap and had split 51 minutes, which was going to put me at a sub 2:30 swim. I was getting very excited. My goal was secretly to finish under 2:45 if conditions were right. 

Unfortunately things started to come undone quickly. After the first leg of the third lap I felt incredibly slow swimming to Avila Rock, but Jenny had given me my split and said it was right on track with the previous lap, however I did not feel good at all. I stopped at the Avila Rock to grab some warm tea to heat up my insides and started to carry on. The final swim to the Cal Poly Pier proved to be quite arduous. I was not happy mentally and at that point my body had begun to slowly shutdown. I should have taken in some calories at the rock, or better yet before that, but had elected not to because I had been feeling so good. My legs were starting to cramp and my arms felt heavier and heavier after every constrained stroke. I knew that if I had stopped for long I would give into the inner thoughts of giving up. When I thought I was fairly close to the Cal Poly Pier I dared to lift my head and stop for a moment. I was unfortunately greeted by the sight of the wrong pier. I was only halfway across the last long leg. Jenny, Allison, and Brad were there to cheer me on, but all I could think about is why am I going to swim to the Cal Poly Pier and then back to the Avila Pier again when I could just turn into the Avila Pier and call it a day. Now that I look upon it I should have realized that I may have been going into a hypothermic state and my mind was starting to run, but at that moment in time I just decided to put my head down and continue forward to the Cal Poly Pier. I was less than a mile from finishing and I was hell bent on achieving this goal to prove to myself that I could. As I started to head towards the Cal Poly Pier I stopped a few times and felt bouts of what I thought may have been sea sickness and needed to swim backstroke. I was still on pace to break 2:45 at the Cal Poly Pier, but the next 1,200 meters proved to be very demanding both physically and mentally. I felt as if the Avila Pier was not getting any closer as Brad, Jenny, and Allison used some choice words in an attempt to motivate me. My pace became very volatile. I would experience random bursts of speed only to be greatly disappointed by the even longer bouts of slowness. My stroke became very lethargic and I was not the happiest of campers. I was so excited to reach the Avila Pier with a few minutes to spare and a chance to break the 2:45 marker. Only 400 meters left I thought, but as I began to swim into the beach I was noticing that it did not seem to get any closer. I felt as if I would not make it in. I have swum this stretch so many times and it has always gone by so fast, but today it felt endless. After 10 minutes, yes I said 10 minutes, for a 400 meter swim I had hit dry land and was greeted by a nice sandy place to sit, a beautiful smile, and a warm towel. I sat and tried to realize what I had just finished, but could not quite understand it at the time. 

I sat on the beach for what I thought was a very short amount of time and waited for my fellow compatriots who had also joined in on this endeavor. It turned out that I had been sitting there for nearly 15 minutes and time had just quickly passed me by. As Dave and Byron were finishing up they were greeted by two lifeguards to check on how they were doing. I walked up shivering and the guards had not noticed that I had participated as well, but were quick to realize that I too had just completed this event. Dave's wife had brought a thermometer down to check on his core temperature, he rang in at  95.8. Not too bad, but still under the 98.6. His wife then realized that after a half hour I too had still been shaking. We decided to check my temperature only to see that after a half hour out of the water my core temperature was 92.1 and not budging up. Jenny quickly alerted the lifeguards and they quickly rushed me off to the "Fancy Shower" inside the lifeguard station. We only know of this shower from a prior instance in which Brad was hauled off to it after a hypothermic experience. We call it the fancy shower because if you have been to Avila Beach before and used the outdoor showers you know how cold they are, but this shower was so warm and I was able to bounce back to life. After my shower I was given a blanket and headed back to the celebration. 

The whole group ate some delicious food and the presentation of the hats began! It was a great time and I feel so happy to be part of this prestigious group of men. The amount of effort Rob put in made everything so much easier for the swimmers. The support on the kayaks was incredible I felt so safe out there and knew that nothing would happen to me. 

As I reflect back on the events that took place, I learned some very cool things. I got to see my physical limit and push through it even when my body began to quit on me. I haven't come to that threshold many times before, but it was an amazing experience to have a breakthrough and see the other side and the results that can happen. While I did not break the 2:45 marker, I was still under three hours and finish in 2:57. I had two very amazing and fast laps early, but met a quick demise on the third lap. My lap times were as follows: 48 minutes, 52 minutes, and 1 hour 17 minutes. Below I have posted some more pictures from the event including a wildlife shot that was captured. Check out the amazing rashes as well!

Thanks again for all the support: Rob for the organizing, Allison and Jenny for kayak support and motivational speeches, Duke and Brad for taking swim laps with me, Sharley for the wonderful tea, and all the words of encouragement from everyone along the way I would have not been able to do it without you all.

Lap 1

Lap 2
The Beginning

Slightly hypothermic and first under 3 hours Casey

The first to swim around the rock 3 times and without a wetsuit Dave

The surprise entrant Byron!

The Flotilla

Support team waiting for swimmers to begin

Avila Rosk

Amazing guidance by Jenny and Allison

Nearing the end of lap 3...

My Shark Patroller

Duke taking lap 2 with me

Early on the first lap heading to Avila Rock

Monday, April 22, 2013

2013 70.3 debut and Much Much More (Long Blog but well worth the read)

Hello All!
Let me start off by saying wow what a week leading up to my debut at 70.3. It has been quite stressful and I feel like I did a great job with focusing on the task at hand and putting the other stuff behind me until after the race.

Friday Afternoon Jenny and I drove up to Morgan Hill and got all settled in at the hotel, built up my bike, and headed to packet pick up and the pre-race meeting. Unfortunately the pre-race meeting was cancelled for some unknown reason, so we decided to drive to the race venue and walk transition as well as drive some of the course. That made me relax quite a bit and I was feeling very confident about the next day. We drove into downtown Morgan Hill, which was a quaint little place filled with many restaurants and boutique shops. We decided on a small Italian restaurant called Maurizio's. It was amazing; the waiters were Italian, the setting was very small, and most importantly the food was amazing. After dinner we walked downtown for a few minutes and saw a small carnival with a ferris wheel so we chose to walk around there for a few minutes before heading back to the hotel.

Pre Race Pro Men Swimming to start buoy Courtesy of Jenny

Coming into Swim finish the first time have a large gap on third place and  on  photo courtesy of Jenny 

Saturday morning was an early wake up to ensure that I had time to eat before the race. I had a wonderful breakfast at 5:00 and we headed to the race venue. Once at the venue I checked in with the director, helped Jenny get to her volunteer position and proceeded to prepare to race. Transition was all set so I went and did a warm up run for 20 minutes and felt great. I slipped into my suits and headed down to the water for a deep water start about 150 meters into the lake. The race started and we were off. One other pro, Brian Duffy, and I developed a large lead on the whole field putting almost two minutes on all the other pros. However, this is where things came undone. At the final turn buoy Brian and I stopped for a moment to decide what to do. There was one more yellow buoy but it was not on course and so we split; I swam to the last buoy he continued to make a b-line for the finish chute. As I was finally coming into the finish chute Brian had put on a little time on me, about 20 seconds. I was coming up onto the carpet when I was stopped by a course marshal who told me that I had not swum to the far buoy at the end where Brian and I stopped to decide which way to go. She had not seen my whole swim and thought that I had cut around the peninsula because she watched me swim to the buoy that was right next to he peninsula. After talking to her for a good three minutes I decided to dive back in and yet again swim to the far buoy and back before heading onto the bike. After my 24 minute swim turned into a 43 minute swim I knew my day was done. I was disqualified, but was allowed to proceed onto the bike course and ride the sprint course as a cool down and run for twenty minutes as well. I wasn't sure if I wanted to come back and race the international distance on Sunday, but I did want to leave that option available. After cooling down and getting  a massage I headed out to watch the remainder of the race. I saw that one pro bike was back on the rack so I headed out on the run to watch Brice run. He turned out to have a pretty fast bike split, but was in his own world on the run and just had to get across the line to win. Turns out though all pro men were disqualified in the 70.3 race. After Brice finished the officials and race director held a meeting to discuss the days events and what they were planning on doing with us. The first topic of discussion was the swim. The race director apologized for not having a lead kayak on Brian and me. We also found out the buoy I had swam to was supposed to be a sight buoy for us that had not been anchored properly and had blown next to the peninsula. So I was unfortunately wrongly disqualified, but there was nothing to do about it. As for the other pro men, they along with the top 4 age group men, were all disqualified for not doing the bike course. Apparently on the bike course in the early miles a police officer who was directing athletes turned them down the wrong road where they eventually began riding into one way traffic before realizing they should not be going that way. They turned around and headed back onto the course but were all disqualified at the end of the day. Brice Winkler was the only athlete who decided to finish the whole race as the est of us thought about potentially racing Sunday. It was decided that all pro men who raced Saturday would be allowed to enter the international race on Sunday if they were inclined to. I chose to race Sunday and try to brush off the events of Saturday. Even though I was planning on racing Sunday I chose to let Saturday be like an other weekend and decided to take my race support (Jenny and Jeremiah) wine tasting and spend the afternoon relaxing and hanging out with them. Afterwards we were so kindly welcomed by Jeremiah to stay at his house instead of the hotel before the race. We made a great dinner hung out for a little bit and were off to bed to try this all again on Sunday.

Exiting water in 4th place pro men international race  photo courtesy Jenny

Sunday morning was another early morning, but it was definitely a lot harder to wake up and I would have loved to have slept in. However, after a few minutes I was up and going. Saturday night was a very bad night of sleep. I probably only slept for 2 hours. I was not able to sleep and had to get up and walk around a one point. Once at the venue after breakfast I felt much better. I was very calm and relaxed and felt very good in warm up again. The pro field was deeper today which was also exciting and I looked forward to the challenge. The swim start today was much better. It was more organized, there was a lead kayak, and a faster swim field. I came out of the water in 4th, felt very happy about my swim split (17:46), and was in sight of the leader. After a very fast transition I was in 3rd and had 1 and 2 in my sight. I was able to move up the field for the first 5 miles finding myself in the top 3 and feeling calm and relaxed. At mile 6 things came undone. I was losing power and cadence on the bike. I took a deep breath and took on some nutrition and water hoping to feel better, but it was not helping me at all. I felt like I was riding backwards. I could not find a groove and was quickly losing ground. I tried resting and getting back into it, but it was to no avail. I just ended up putting my head down and doing whatever I could to get into transition. I hit transition and after a slow transition I was on the run course. Still not feeling well I just wanted to finish. I tried turning up the run and seeing what would happen. I ran hard for the first 2 miles but could not get a turnover going. I started slowing down from my already slow pace and just needed to get to the finish at the turn around I turned it all off and started to recover run and I ended up walking through all the aid stations and taking as much water and cytomax as I could so that I would not destroy my training for the coming week. When all was said and done I was the 6th place elite male across and not a very happy camper, but I did learn a lot.

Sunday afternoon Jenny and I chose to drive down Highway 1 and take it easy which was very very enjoyable. I have driven down the coast a few times but have never stopped along the way, which is nice. We got some amazing pictures and really got to enjoy the beauty of the California Coastline. I learned a great amount that I would like to relay onward. You cannot always control your circumstances in your race only how you treat them. And even though I was disqualified from the race Saturday I showed a great amount of maturity and sportsmanship by going out to the final buoy again and coming back in. Many spectators took that to heart and thought that was amazing after watching me do it the first time and instead of becoming more upset with the course marshal. It was talked about quite a bit throughout the weekend and many spectators were impressed with my decision to go back and do it again, even the course marshal was very impressed with my attitude during all that was going on. I also learned a great amount about mental capacity and what I need to work on. I felt the most calm and relaxed as I ever have coming into the race weekend and did a great job focusing on the task at hand.

To sign off for this blog I need to take a moment and thank a few very special people and sponsors. First and foremost, my amazing girlfriend Jenny for helping keep me calm and relaxed throughout the entirety of the weekend and being such an amazing travel partner taking care of everything she could do to limit my activity level leading up to the races. She even volunteered at the race due to lack of volunteers and did a great job at it. I felt so bad that I stressed her out on Sunday when my race was coming undone and she was unsure if I was alright. She handled it like a pro and I truly appreciate all that she has done. Next, Jeremiah for his amusing support throughout the weekend as well as putting us up at his home on Saturday night and cooking dinner and taking pictures throughout the weekend. Now onto USAP for putting on a great event and handling all the craziness that was Saturday so well: I look forward to racing more of your races. Sanpei Optics for your sunglasses and race support. Coach Tara of Pinnacle Racing for helping throughout the week leading into the race and her dietary support during race weekend. And last but not least, all my friends and family who may have not been there this weekend, but sent all there well wishes and support throughout the weekend.

Feel free to leave questions and comments I love to hear from those who are following the blog!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

2013 Season Begins SLO Half Marathon and 5k

Start of the 5k

Hello everyone,

After taking a few months to focus on my family and school, I’m back to triathlon! I’m looking forward to starting a new season fresh with new goals, new race distance focus, new sponsors, and a new perspective!

My race season has officially begun and this past weekend was my first race of the year! The first weekend in April was the San Luis Obispo Marathon, ½ marathon and 5k. I had the opportunity to take on multiple roles during the weekend, which brought me full circle to an event such as this. On Friday afternoon I had the opportunity to take a volunteer role in which I helped participants register and pick up swag bags. I felt that as being an athlete in SLO I need to do my part to volunteer at these races when I can because they do so much for the athletes and the community and I wanted to join in on that side of the racing as well. I had a great afternoon meeting some amazing people as well as help athletes prepare for the weekend of racing.

For my race season opener I decided to take on the 5k race on Saturday morning.  I   I ended up winning the overall title as well as narrowly missing the course record by a few seconds. My final time was 17:37 (5:40 mile pace), a great place to start for the year, but there is definitely room to improve as this is still early in the year. The course was a 2 lap course with a large climb in the middle of each lap. I decided at the start line that I was just going to go out as hard as I could and try to hold on for as long as possible before I would blow up. During the first lap I felt amazing, I wasn’t sure about my competition, but had opened up a sizable gap by the first hill and put about 250 meters on second place. Coming down into the second lap I started to feel a little light and whoozy but was too excited to slow down because there was such a large crowd at the beginning of the second lap screaming and yelling with excitement that it kept pushing me to run faster. Unfortunately when I hit the hill a second time I was starting to pay for the fact that I chose to just run as hard as I could until I no longer could, but knew that it was a gradual descent to the finish and I could make up my average pace there.I slowed a little and focused on creating a good forward drive up the hill with proper technique. Once I had crested the hill it was an all-out attack downhill where I was happily greeted at the finish by my parents, sister, and girlfriend. The final overall results are: 1) Casey Bateman 17:37 2) John Gugala 18:38 3) Brian Peters 19:14 4) Joe Morlock 19:17 5) Troy Swier 19:23

After a quick race on Saturday I headed back to the SLO Marathon to take on yet another job! This time I was to play the role of a Sherpa for my girlfriend Jenny, who was running her first half marathon. This for me was a tough new job! The hardest part of this job was the fact that I was here at the race to support and participate rather than race to win, but at the same time it was also the most amazing experience of the weekend. It was a whole new perspective for me. I’m always used to toeing the start line and sizing up my competition, focusing on my task at hand, trying not to let the pressure I put on myself not get too high and thinking about my race strategy. But on this occasion the race was not about a time, winning or even about me. I was here for the sole purpose of making sure Jenny would make it across the line safely.  As a participant I had no nervousness, I was very relaxed most of the race and I got to see the race unfold in a new light. Rather than always looking around to see if I’m going to catch the guy in front of me or wondering if the guy behind me was going to catch me I got to enjoy the people around me. When I race I look at others to see if they are struggling and use that as an advantage towards myself. I like to try and speed up and put more distance between myself and that person, but as a participant I felt compassion for those with signs of struggle on their faces all of whom have a goal of reaching the finish line standing up. Instead of wanting to inflict more damage on someone while running I wanted to tell everyone there how great they were doing and do whatever I could do to help them get to the finish line. As a Sherpa for Jenny I saw her go through many of the same struggles that I go though in a race even though we have different goals when racing. I saw her question why she was doing this; think about just slowing down and taking it easier and other questions like that. I also saw her choose not to give in even though the body was telling her no she kept telling it yes and that was a wonderful thing to watch. Jenny finished the day in 2:21:51 beating me by 10 seconds. She had an amazing race and I am glad that I was able to help her pursue this goal for the past 12 weeks as well as be there for her during the experience of finishing something she set out to accomplish.

I have taken a lot away from being a Sherpa for Jenny that I plan to apply to my own racing this season. I learned that I need to relax a little more when I’m toeing the line whether I’m there to win or participate. I learned that I need to be in the moment of the race; I tend to think ahead to the finish but I need to focus on everything that’s going on around me at that moment because that is what is leading me to the finish, and to smile a little bit no matter if I’m in first or last when I race I need to enjoy it, not everyone around me gets the opportunity that I have to race at this level and I need to take advantage of it because I don’t know when it’s going to go away!

My Next race will be April 20th, 2013 in beautiful Morgan Hill, California at the USA Production Silicon Valley Long Course Elite Triathlon. I look forward to the race and will be presenting new sponsors this week on my blog as well!
Prerace relaxing

Calm before the storm