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TriColumbia Merchandise

TriColumbia Training 
Take the Titanium Girl Challenge
Blackwater Duathlon
Celebrating Heroes Triathlon
Off Season Training
Fueling for Cold Weather
The "Rack Jacket"
2012 Event Schedule
FAQ's & Resources
November News From TriColumbia



During this season of Thanksgiving, we at TriColumbia reflect on our many blessings - good health, family, dear friends, sponsors, charitable organizations we support, and of course, our amazing and supportive athletes.  


We are grateful that you have chosen to allow TriColumbia to be a part of your life, as you strive for a healthy and fit lifestyle, and challenge yourself to test your limits. Your participation in TriColumbia events allows our non-profit to touch the lives of so many in need. Thanks to the extraordinary fundraising and advocacy efforts of charity teams receiving TriColumbia support, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been raised for a wide range of worthy causes in our community.


In this issue, you'll find information about new 2012 racing opportunities, off-season training programs and tips, and a new TriColumbia partnership with the Howard County Public School System designed to encourage fitness for life among our youth.    

Thank you for embracing life-long fitness, and for helping us make a difference!  


Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! 


Celebrate Life,

Robert Vigorito, Level 2 Race Director, and The TriColumbia Team  



Take The 2012 Titanium Girl Challenge - 2 races, 7 days, 3 medals = ONE TITANIUM GIRL!
2012 Athleta Iron Girl Columbia logo The Athleta Iron Girl Columbia 1/2 Marathon and the Frederick Running Festival have teamed up to offer women the ultimate endurance test.  Finish both half marathons in the span of one week and you will earn the coveted title of "Titanium Girl 2012!"  Yours to keep will be an awesome 2012 Titanium Girl medal and exclusive bragging rights!

Join Joan Benoit Samuelson, the Gold Medalist in the inaugural Women's Olympic Marathon, at the first Athleta Iron Girl Columbia 1/2 Marathon & 5K on April 29, 2012! Taking place in scenic Howard County, this event will start and finish in Columbia Town Center adjacent to the Columbia Mall on Little Patuxent Parkway.

The first of its kind in the Mid Atlantic, this inspirational all women's event is about empowering women toward a healthy lifestyle, and celebrating your unique "grace" as you journey toward the finish line. Join other women on the quest to live better and challenge yourself to be the best that you can be!

Produced to benefit the Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center, Howard County General Hospital's resource to assist those living and coping with cancer, the Athleta Iron Girl Columbia 1/2 Marathon & 5K, seeks to raise money and awareness for this amazing facility.

The Frederick Running Festival Half Marathon takes place on Sunday, May 6th at 7am. This year's half marathon field will attract over 6,500 runners from around the country.   The running festival format also includes a 5K and Kids Fun Run (both May 5th) and a two-person team relay. If you run in both the 5K and Half Marathon, you'll receive a bonus "Nut Job" medal.

Registration for the Titanium Girl Challenge is limited to the first 1000 women!

Hurry! For a limited time, use coupon code "earlybirdfall11" to receive a 10% discount off your registration to the Athleta Iron Girl Columbia 1/2 Marathon.

Click HERE  for more information on the Athleta Iron Girl 1/2 Marathon & Coed 5K
Click HERE for more information on the Frederick Running Festival

Brand New 2012 Blackwater Duathlon - USAT National Long Course Duathlon Championship - June 3, 2012
Blackwater Duathlon logo If swimming isn't your thing or you're looking for a great pre-race training option for the 2012 Ironman 70.3 EagleMan Triahtlon or other long distance event, the 2012 Inaugural Blackwater Duathlon provides a challenging course, and has been chosen as the USAT National Long Course Duathlon Championship event.

The Blackwater Duathlon, shares the same venue as the Ironman 70.3 EagleMan Triathlon, located in the heart of Maryland's Eastern Shore, a rural area steeped in history and rich in natural beauty. Home to Native Americans for centuries, the English settled the land in the mid 1600's.  Harriet Tubman, shepherd of freedom-seeking slaves along the Underground Railroad called Dorchester County home.

The Blackwater Duathlon's two 10K run courses are flat and fast traveling along Egypt Road, and will start and finish at the Cambridge South Dorchester High School. The bike course consists of a two loop, windy and flat 70K bike, traveling though portions of the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. Be sure to keep an eye out for wildlife such as Eagles, Egrets, and Osprey as you proceed through one of the most beautiful and revered wildlife refuges in the country.

Hurry, for a limited time, use coupon code "earlybirdfall11" to receive a 10% discount off your registration to the Blackwater Duathlon.


TriColumbia Leads The Way In Triathlon Instruction Partnership With Howard County Public Schools                  

Learn2Tri logo TriColumbia, the Mid-Atlantic's premier endurance event production company is partnering with the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) to implement elementary, middle and high school triathlon instruction during physical education courses in an effort to educate students on the experience and lifestyle benefits of triathlon. 

The first program of its kind in the Mid-Atlantic, TriColumbia will collaborate with physical education instructors to pilot a triathlon (swim, bike, run) program for fourth grade students at Hammond and Talbott Springs elementary schools, sixth grade students at Burleigh Manor and Wilde Lake middle schools, and ninth grade students at Glenelg and Long Reach high schools. HCPSS will provide instructional assistance in swimming, cycling and running, as well as necessary equipment and transportation.

"The HCPSS partnership with TriColumbia provides a new opportunity for our students to be active in a fun and exciting way," said Mary Schiller of the HCPSS Partnerships Office. "Students will learn that the sport of triathlon welcomes athletes of all abilities; that it is as much about embracing a healthy lifestyle and having a can-do attitude as it is about the finish line."

The program as conceived will provide students with the skills, knowledge and confidence to maintain an active lifestyle throughout their lifetime.  This fun-filled program focuses on promoting health and fitness to all students through the sport of triathlon.   This is both an education and skill based instruction program that provides the building blocks to be successful in all three life time sports. 

Each program will be designed appropriately for the students' ages and fitness levels, and modifications will be made as needed to ensure that all students, including those with disabilities, are able to participate successfully. TriColumbia will also sponsor 25 scholarships for age-appropriate triathlons, to be awarded by P.E. instructors to students at each participating school.

"Our goal is for students to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence to carry on when they leave Howard County Public Schools," said Jackie French, Instructional Facilitator of Physical Education for HCPS. "This unique program further contributes to that goal by providing a foundation for youth to build an active lifestyle that will last a lifetime."

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Maryland's state obesity rate was close to 25 percent in 2010, about a quarter of Maryland residents. Furthermore, across the United States, only 3.8 percent of elementary schools, 7.9 percent of middle schools and 2.1 percent of high schools provide daily physical education or its equivalent for the entire school year. Twenty-two percent of schools do not require students to take any physical education at all. It has been proven that regular physical activity in childhood and adolescence improves strength and endurance, helps build healthy bones and muscles, helps control weight, reduces anxiety and stress, and increases self-esteem, all goals of this triathlon instruction program.

"Having the opportunity to work with the Howard County Public School System to educate students on the benefits of healthy lifestyles through triathlon is a tremendous honor for TriColumbia," said Robert Vigorito, President and founder of TriColumbia. "It has always been a dream of mine to give back to the community and to educate our youth and I would like to thank HCPSS as well as our sponsors for making this possible."

Sponsors of the pilot program include CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Howard County General Hospital, The Horizon Foundation, McDonalds Family Restaurants of Greater Baltimore, Trek Bicycles and USA Triathlon Mid Atlantic Region.  Community Partners include Columbia Association, Race Pace Bicycles and Howard County Police.

Announcing The 2012 Celebrating Heroes Triathlon To Benefit MedStar National Rehabilitation Network                  

Celebrating Heroes Triathlon Registration is now open for the all new 2012 Celebrating Heroes (previously Celebration) Triathlon, a special sprint triathlon taking place in scenic Howard County, MD, celebrating both able bodied and challenged athletes, and benefitting MedStar National Rehabilitation Network.

MedStar NRH Network provides opportunities and support to people with physical disabilities so they can pursue active lifestyles through physical fitness and competitive athletics. TriColumbia and NRH share the belief that involvement in sports at any level increases self-esteem, encourages independence and enhances the quality of life.

MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital is one of the top hospitals nationwide which specializes in the treatment of physical disabilities caused by spinal cord, brain injuries, stroke, arthritis, amputation, multiple sclerosis, post-polio syndrome, sports injuries and other neurological and orthopedic conditions.

Those who registered for the 2012 Athleta Iron Girl Columbia Triathlon can use the coupon code "irongirlspecial1111" to register for a single entry to the 2012 Celebrating Heroes Triathlon for just $99.00.  But don't delay! This offer is only good through 11/30/11.


Off Season Training

If you want to reach peak performance or make an improvement next year, off season training is a must. Ensure that you achieve your goals and cross the finish line!

Fitness Concepts logoFitness Concepts offers VO2 Max testing, Evolution Running Clinics, Training DVDs and Off-Season Training Programs.  Enter discount code CTA to receive a 10% discount on all programs.

Also be sure to check out TriColumbia Training clinics, including bike trainings, boot camps, freestyle stroke clinics and open water swim clinics.  Clinics are available for all ability levels.

Fueling For Cold Weather Exercise

Are you ready for cold weather exercise? The following article by Nancy Clark for Active.com explains unique nutritional needs and tips for the season.

Some athletes embrace winter's chill as a welcome change from exercising in summer's heat. But others complain about hating cold weather.

If that's your stance, remember that exercising with proper nutrition (and layers of dry clothing) offers the opportunity to chase away the chills. After all, an aerobic workout can increase your metabolism by 7-10 times above the resting level. This means that if you were to exercise hard for an hour and dissipate no heat, you could raise your body temperature from 98.6 to 140 degrees F. (You'd cook yourself in the process!)

In the summer, your body sweats heavily to dissipate this heat. But in the winter, the warmth helps you survive in a cold environment. Runners can enjoy a tropical environment in their running suit within minutes of starting exercise. Because food provides the fuel needed to generate this heat, the right sports diet is particularly important for skiers, skaters, runners and other athletes who are exposed to extreme cold.

This article addresses some common questions and concerns about winter and nutrition and offers tips to help you enjoy the season.

For safety's sake, winter athletes should always carry with them some source of fuel in case of an unexpected slip on the ice or other incident that leaves them static in a frigid environment. Winter campers, for example, commonly keep a supply of dried fruit, chocolate or cookies near by for fuel if they wake up cold in the middle of the night. You want to have an emergency energy bar tucked in your pocket, just in case.

Why do I feel hungrier in the winter than in the summer?

A drop in body temperature stimulates the appetite and you experience hunger. Hence, if you become chilled during winter exercise (or when swimming at any time of year, for that matter), you'll likely find yourself searching for food.

Eating "stokes the furnace," generates heat, and helps warm your body. Food's overall warming effect is known as thermogenesis (that is, "heat making"). Thirty to 60 minutes after you eat, your body generates about 10 percent more heat than when you have an empty stomach.

This increased metabolism stems primarily from energy released during digestion. Hence, eating not only provides fuel but also increases heat production (warmth).

Do I burn more calories when I exercise in the cold?

Cold weather itself does not increase calorie needs. You don't burn extra calories unless your body temperature drops and you start to shiver. (And remember: The weather can actually be tropical inside your exercise outfit.) Your body does use a considerable amount of energy to warm and humidify the air you breathe when you exercise in the cold.

For example, if you were to burn 600 calories while cross-country skiing for an hour in 0-degree F weather, you may use about 23 percent of those calories to warm the inspired air. In summer, you would have dissipated this heat via sweat. In winter, you sweat less.

If you are wearing a lot of winter gear, you will burn a few more calories to carry the extra weight of layers of clothes, or skis, boots, heavy parka, snow shoes, etc. The Army allows 10 percent more calories for the heavily clad troops who exercise in the cold. But the weight of extra clothing on, let's say, winter runners, is generally minimal.

Why do I find myself shivering when I get cold?

Shivering is involuntary muscle tensing that generates heat and offers a warming effect. When you first become slightly chilled (such as when watching a football game outdoors), you'll find yourself doing an isometric type of muscle tensing that can increase your metabolic rate two to four times.
As you get further chilled, you'll find yourself hopping from foot to foot and jumping around. This is Nature's way to get you to generate heat and warm your body. If you become so cold that you start to shiver, these vigorous muscular contractions generate lots of heat - perhaps 400 calories per hour.

Such intense shivering quickly depletes your muscle glycogen stores and drains your energy. This is when you'll be glad you have some emergency food in your pocket!

What's a big nutritional mistake winter athletes make?

Failing to drink enough fluids is a major problem among winter athletes--hockey players, skiers, runners and winter hikers alike. Cold blunts the thirst mechanism; you'll feel less thirsty despite significant sweat loss (if you overdress), to say nothing of respiratory fluid loss.

That is, winter athletes need to consciously consume fluids to replace the water that gets lost via breathing. When you breathe in cold, dry air, your body warms and humidifies that air. As you exhale, you lose significant amounts of water.

Some winter athletes purposefully skimp on fluids because urinating can be problematic--too much hassle to shed layers of clothing (ski suit, hockey gear, snow pants, etc.) Yet, dehydration hurts performance and is one cause of failed mountaineering adventures.

What's best to eat to warm myself up?

If you become chilled by the winter weather, as can easily happen if you:

    Wear sweaty, wet clothing that drains body heat
    Fail to wear a hat (30 to 40 percent of body heat can get lost through the head)
    Drink icy water (from a water bottle kept on your bike or outside pocket of your backpack when winter hiking)

The best way to warm yourself up is to consume warm carbohydrates--hot cocoa, mulled cider, steaming soup, as well as oatmeal, chili, or pasta. The warm food, added to the thermogenic effect of eating, contributes to rapid recovery.

In comparison, cold foods and fluids chill your body. Research subjects who ate a big bowl of ice cream in five minutes experienced a drop in fingertip temperature of 2 degrees F in the first five minutes, 5 degrees in 15 minutes.

In summer, this cooling effect is desirable, but in winter, hot foods are the better way to warm yourself. Bring out the thermos of soup!

Why do I gain weight in the winter?

Some people eat more because they are bored and less active. Instead of playing tennis, they are eating mindlessly in front of the TV. For others, the change of seasons has a marked affect upon their mood (known as seasonal affective disorder, or SAD). Changes in brain chemicals increase carbohydrate cravings and the desire to eat more.

Holiday temptations also contribute to weight gain. A study of 195 people indicates they gained on average 0.8 pounds in the six weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year's. Overweight and obese people gained even more, with about 14 percent of the group gaining more than 5 pounds. The problem is, very few of the subjects lost those holiday pounds. Hence, yearly holiday weight gain--that's 8 pounds in 10 years--becomes a major contributor to America's obesity problem.

One weight-management solution is to stay active in the winter. By investing in proper clothing, you'll be able to stay warm from head to toe. You'll benefit from not only being able to enjoy exercise but also from sunlight--a good way to battle winter depression (and attempts to cheer yourself up with food).

Winter exercise is an asset for managing health, weight and the winter blues. The tricks are to dress right, fuel well, prevent dehydration--and you'll stay warm!

Nancy Clark, MS RD offers nutrition consultations to casual exercisers and competitive athletes at her private practice located at Healthworks, the premier fitness center in Chestnut Hill MA (617-383-6100). Her best selling "Sports Nutrition Guidebook," 3rd Edition ($23) and her "Food Guide for Marathoners: Tips for Everyday Champions" ($20) are available via www.nancyclarkrd.com.

  RackjacketTriColumbia Protects The Environment

As many of you know, we have banned the use of plastic bags of any kind on bikes stored overnight in the transition areas at our events. The bags fall off, blow off, or are simply left behind. If you attempt to use plastic bags, staff will remove them.
TriColumbia and Endurafit are pleased to announce a brand new product, The Rack Jacket, an alternative to using trash bags to cover your bike. We fully embrace the "leave no trace behind" concept, and strive to eliminate litter produced at our events. You may also use an old swim cap to over your bike seat if you like.
The Rack Jacket is the essential item for those of you who wish to protect your bike from the elements.

Key Benefits of the Rack Jacket are:
  • Designed specifically for triathlon bike racks
  • Made of highly water resistant ripstop nylon
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Reusable
  • Cord locks and Velcro straps keep it securely fastened in windy conditions
  • Reasonably priced
  • Available in a variety of colors
  • Team orders are welcome  
  Click here to order the rackjacket and other TriColumbia Gear

Our Sponsors

Sheraton Columbia Town Center   PNC Bank   Howard County Parks & Recreation   Howard County General Hospital 

ASI Photo   David's Natural Market   EnduraFit   Fitness-Concepts 

Gatorade   Hammer Nutrition   Maryland Public Television   Princeton Sports 

Subaru   Tyr   XTerra Wetsuits   Rackjacket 

event_schedule2012 Event Schedule
April 29, 2012 - Iron Girl Columbia 1/2 Marathon & Coed 5K - Registration is open

May 20, 2012 - Columbia Triathlon
Registration is open

June 3, 2012 - Blackwater Duathlon - USAT National Long Course Duathlon Championship - Registration is open  


June 10, 2012 - Ironman 70.3 EagleMan Triathlon & AquaVelo  - Registration is closed -  contact charity teams for possible entry opportunities or contact us for a CTA Community Slot.
**The EagleMan 2012 Aqua Velo has been named by the USAT Mid Atlantic Regional Committee as the 2012 Regional Championship.

June 24, 2012 - Celebrating Heroes Triathlon  Registration is open

July 22, 2012 - TriColumbia Kidz Triathlon   Registration opens on 1/9/12 

August 19, 2012 - Iron Girl Columbia Triathlon -
Registration is closed - contact charity teams for possible entry opportunities or contact us for a CTA Community Slot.

September 22, 2012  -Make-a-Wish Triathlon

September 29, 2012 - ChesapeakeMan Endurance Festival featuring the Ultra Distance Triathlon, Skipjack 75.2 Triathlon, AquaVelo, and The Bugeye Sprint - Registration opens on 1/2/12

** The ChesapeakeMan Ultra Distance Triathlon has been designated as the 2012 USAT Mid Atlantic Championship and was named by Triathlete Magazine as a "Best 140.6"

Columbia Triathlon Association is now on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Please join us on these site for daily updates, special offers, and race reports.

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Frequently Asked Questions & ResourcesFAQ's Question Mark
If you're not sure about some of the rules & regulations for CTA's races or if you're just looking for answers to commonly asked questions, download the FAQ   

Nutrition is a key component to proper training and racing. TriColumbia sponsor, Hammer Nutrition, has an extensive resource page 

If you still have questions about specific races, feel free to email us