When we started Steelhead Select late in 2017, we had no idea our first year would be so full of fast racing, personal bests, laughter, and the organic growth of unconditional support between teammates. It has been a wonderful year of development, fast racing, risk-taking and accomplishment. Here are some of the highlights from our first year, with some 2018 “Personal Firsts” thrown in:
The BATWomen grew from five to ten core members, with athletes now racing in four different age categories as well as the Pro field.
We created an extended, supportive community of over thirty speedy and committed men and women who join the core group regularly for organized rides and runs,
Two BATWomen earned their Pro cards.
In the year-end Ironman All-World Athlete rankings, the BATWomen finished with two golds, three silvers and a bronze status.
We organized the first annual BATWomen Epic Solstice Training Day in Hood River, which saw two dozen athletes participating across our six swims, bikes and runs, with nine stalwarts participating from the dawn run to dusk’s beer relay.
At our first team race at the Hagg Lake Triathlon, BATWomen swept the Olympic podium and won the Sprint race.
As a team, we volunteered at WHY Racing’s Scary Run, offering encouragement and direction to runners in the 10K and half marathon races. BATWomen also ran a transition clinic and helped at community rides and track practices.
Through partnerships with local companies, we’ve grown relationships with Output Speed Lab, Tritech Bikes, Pastini and Handful.
Juliet Thompson Hochman:
Leading and growing and laughing with the BATWomen
Winning my age group at both 70.3 Victoria and Whistler and qualifying for 2019 Worlds.
Giggling my way through early season Cat 4 bike races with Elise.
2018 Firsts: a Team Time Trial (exceeding my FTP for an hour - ouch!); a 70.3, a stand alone 10K, ten pull-ups.
Earning my pro card in my first draft-legal triathlon.
Having the patience to come back from a serious injury.
Hitting 40 mph on the bike and developing courage on the descents.
Finishing a snowy Ronde PDX with Juliet and the subsequent gigantic team brunch.
2018 Firsts: Century bike ride with Amy, draft legal triathlon, 70.3, 10K open water swim
Kona: Earning my pro card, top 10, sub-10 hours and riding a sub-5 hour bike leg.
BATWomen sweeping the podium at Hagg Lake Olympic Tri - nothing better than racing on a course full of friends!
Racing as a BATWoman and feeling the support of my team in every aspect of my races; drawing strength from our successful workouts and pushing myself harder knowing that everyone was watching the race tracker and cheering me on.
2018 Firsts: Actually strategically racing an Ironman (not just executing a race plan), setting a race course record (Best in the West 70.3), racing two Ironmans in one year, biking from Portland to the coast with Cymon on her first 100 mile ride.
Finding my PDX tri family
Fitting training into my Physician’s Assistant school schedule.
Running rim-basin-rim in the Grand Canyon
2018 Firsts: Figuring out rain gear, racing a 72.3, swimming in the Columbia River at the BATWomen Solstice, Swim-Run in the San Juans.
Winning the Hagg Lake Olympic Triathlon
Riding the 250k Amy’s Gran Fondo around Port Phillip Bay in Australia
2 mile PR - fastest time since high school
The BATWomen Epic Solstice Day.
2018 Firsts: Training at 4am before a 30 hour travel day, 3 flats in one ride, hitting the BATWomen swim standard of 10x100 on the 1:30 in a freshwater pool in Australia, trail running in New Zealand and the Swiss Alps.
40 second mile PR
27 minute 70.3 PR/smashing the 5-hour mark by ten minutes
Breaking 1:40 in the 1/2 marathon off the bike
2018 Firsts: Hood-to-Coast, racing two unexpected duathlons!
Racing every month April through August (and winning enough sandwich bread for the year!)
Top 10 finish at USAT Sprint Nationals and qualifying for the 2019 ITU World Championships
Finding my courage on my bike and achieving a new 40K TT PR
Runs around Hagg Lake on beautiful, warm summer mornings
2018 Firsts: Hood to Coast, swimming across Hagg Lake and back.
Completing my first full Ironman at IM Canada
Having a rippin’ day at the Boulder Olympic tri and totally surprising myself by winning my age group
Whispering my prayer to the universe for one or two cool, fast women to train with and having it completely and outrageously over-deliver when I showed up in Portland to discover the BATWomen.
2018 Firsts: First Ironman, joining my first real team since high school, consuming a record number of Clif bars in one day (not exactly proud of that one).
Moving to Portland for grad school and stumbling upon this group of inspiring, badass female triathletes.
20 minute PR at 70.3 Victoria
A newfound confidence in myself both in and outside triathlon and appreciation of my abilities. “Start where you are. Use what you have. do what you can.”
2018 Firsts: Stand alone marathon at Revel Big Cottonwood, racing a duathlon
4th female amateur at Ironman Lake Placid
Qualifying for 2018 70.3 World Championships at 70.3 Couer d’Alene
Getting engaged at the start line of my hometown half marathon in front of friends and family...and then winning due to the adrenaline!
Joining an incredible team of women who inspire and push me - The BATWomen
2018 Firsts: Setting a race course record (Oregon Dunes), competing in my first Xterra triathlon.
So the BATWomen had an amazing first year! But triathlon, like life, is not all fun and games and unicorns and rainbows. We won’t paint an Instagram-fake reality across our first year. There were also some tough times. One of us was sidelined for six months with a nearly career-ending injury. Another faced an unexpected cancer diagnosis with subsequent surgery. Like many high performance athletes, the BATWomen have ongoing discussions about body image, imposter syndrome, anxiety, balancing training with work and relationships, and where to take this crazy triathlon endeavor into which we sink so much time. There is endless, sometimes uncontrolled laughter, but there are also tears. But the strength of the BATWomen is that when one of us wins, we all win; when one of hurts, we hurt alongside her but carry her along. We are #strongertogether.
Here’s to more of EVERYTHING in our second year. Roll on 2019.