Christine Anderson


Respect the Distance; Ironman Boulder

Posted in Racing by
I came into this race the fittest I've ever been. I posted my highest watts and fastest run in Racine 70.3 two weeks leading up to the Boulder Ironman. The week before the race I was able to get my heart rate up proving I was fully recovered from the half. I got my weight down to my ideal race weight just days before and I took two months off drinking in preparation. I was pumped to have a break through day in my home town. After racing 5 Ironman's last year I felt I had the distance dialed in and came into Boulder over confident. I didn't have expectations to win, my goal was to place top 3. My confidence was in the hydration, nutrition and pacing aspect. I got lazy and did not properly hydrate or load my glycogen stores the days leading up to the race. My day started with a relaxed wait for the swim start. The majority of the field were local friends so we chatted until the start gun shot.


As we started I broke free of the field on the left and Laura on the right.

swim start PMswim 2

We met together and I quickly hopped on her feet and Kerri on mine. Laura led us off course inside the 2nd buoy, I followed hoping I could stay with her. Soon enough she surged and dropped us. I was now in charge of pulling Kerri, which I did around the entire reservoir. I maintained a consistent pace without wasting too much energy. We passed 3 pro men who began 3 minutes ahead. As we exited, Kerri tried to surge around me to exit first and we ended up running out together. I wasn't too worried and ran through transition in control knowing we had a long day ahead. She made a few small mistakes and I wound up leaving transition slightly in front but 1 minute behind Laura. I swam my standard 55 minute IM time, but posting this time at altitude and pulling the whole way was an improvement for me.

swim exit

swim exit 2photo 4

Kerri caught and passed as we exited the reservoir entrance. I settled into my pace, sticking to my race plan. As I did I noticed my target watts weren't coming to me as easily as usual. Typically I have to hold way back the first hour of the ride to keep from over biking. My glutes felt stiff; they weren't firing. I've never felt this bad so early on in any Ironman. I feared this could be a very long day but I pushed those thoughts aside and concentrated on riding smooth and steady. At the St. Vrain turn around just 10 miles in I was able to spot the field. Kerri had already caught and passed Laura, both were putting time on me. I rode on slow and steady by myself for miles and miles, still unable to hit my watts. I finally decided to stop checking my average and go by feel, to work with what I had on the day.

bike tri juice

Around 50 miles in my coach, Curt came by. I shared how I was feeling and wished him well on his day. At special needs I had to slow way down as a volunteer happily ran after me with my bag. A few more familiar local amateur men came by offering words of encouragement. It was great to see so many friends having awesome days. I didn't feel terrible the entire ride I had highs and lows but mostly just felt flat.

photo 1

Mile 70 came as Uli and Daniel rode up to me with two amateur men and the head race official. I was jealous to see they'd been working together legally and latched on. I rode with them for about 15 minutes as we all changed positions numerous times. The men were dropping into the legal draft zones which made me nervous of penalties. I was struggling to hold their pace so eventually they pulled away and I was left riding alone again.


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As I made the turn from highway 52 just past 100 miles I got a second wind and pushed up the three short steep climbs which were lined with fans.

Stevens hill climb Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 8.51.46 AM

As I made the turn onto 75th I saw my brother and niece cheering me on which put a smile on my face. I pushed through the last few miles only to be greeted by my husband Owen who caught me around 110 miles. He tried to chat but I urged him on; scared he would receive a penalty for exceeding the 25 seconds allowed to pass. I followed him the last two miles and entered T2 just after him. The run into T2 was long and the ground was hot, I ran slowly trying to keep my heart rate down. photo 2 I was now in 6th place, Owen came up behind me taking slightly longer in transition. I finally urinated for the first time during the race a clear sign I wasn't taking in enough water and was dehydrated. After some words of encouragement Owen ran away from me. I was so happy he was having such a great day. Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 8.52.30 AM My legs were feeling stiff and my lower back was tight from the ride but it started to loosen. I waited a few miles hoping to feel better and get into a groove. It was difficult to get my calories down but I choked them in anyhow. 10583064_10203145463250594_2449407579773580453_o The course made a large Y which we covered twice to make up the marathon. The first out and back I was able to spot the competition. I was surprised to see how badly the pro women's field looked. Kerri was in the lead and walking, and everyone else just looked hot and tired. I put my head down and trudged through hearing cheers from so many spectators encouraging me to catch those ahead. As I hit mile four I saw Kerri lying in a ditch with medical attending to her. This is when I knew we were in for a challenging run and a war of attrition.

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At the 2nd turn around I caught and passed Morgan making my way into 4th place. I was still choking down my calories and struggled to get enough water through aid stations. Heading down the creek path we entered the shady part of the course which was lined with fans at least 10 deep. They were cheering so loudly it felt like a bike race in Europe, I couldn't help but pick up the pace as I ran through so many familiar faces calling out my name. It was a party atmosphere; many tubing down the creek and I desired so badly to join them rather than running the remainder of the race. I was even cheered on by some homeless hippies and it wouldn't be the creek path if it didn't smell like weed. Hammond_Christine_IMBOULDER300 Running in the shade cooled my core temperature down and I began to feel better and pick up the pace (slightly). As I began loop two fans shared that Uli and Laura were beginning to fade, somehow my slow pace was catching them. Uli put up a good fight for miles, spectators and fellow racers continued to tell me she was walking but each time we crossed paths she was head down running. It took me until mile 22 to finally make the pass which gave me a surge of adrenaline as I entered the tunnel of fans. Everyone likes watching the underdog come from behind, so seeing me come through in 3rd got even louder cheers. I now had my friend Shelby as my lead biker pulling me in through the final four miles.

run 2Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 8.53.39 AM

At mile 20 I had thrown my last bottle away only half consumed, not able to hold anymore down. At mile 24 I felt the missing calories. I had nothing left in the tank. At this point I'd run out of course to catch Laura, Morgan and Uli were too far behind to catch me back so all I had to do was run it in. I ran those last two miles at a snails pace but finally made it there. I collapsed over the line and was so happy to see Owen's smiling face after finally standing up.



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Overall I'm happy with placing third, and achieving my goal. It was a tough day out there which was made apparent by so many going down on the run course. I don't believe a single amateur man passed me on the run. Meanwhile I ran the slowest marathon of my career after biking my lowest average watts in over a year (11% lower than races last year). I haven't been able to pin point exactly what I did wrong, my only estimation is hydration and nutrition leading up to the race left me starting depleted rather than loaded. This was a painful reminder to always respect the distance no matter who you are and how much experience you have it's always a difficult and challenging race. Anything can happen out there which is why we all love it and crave the ability to master it. I already have Ironman amnesia because I'm planning my next chance to prove I have a better performance in me. 10550083_10203145463810608_6286400565126010563_o Huge congrats go to Owen, having the race of his life out there taking 2nd overall amateur only behind my coach Curt Chesney killing the field with his sub 9 performance.


  Massive props to Danielle Kehoe and Justin Daerr for taking the wins, they were in a class of their own destroying the men's and women's pro fields. Teammates Richie Cunningham for 2nd pro male, Wendy Mader for 1st amateur female and Luis Alveraz for his 109th Ironman finish. Training partner Amy Becker for taking 2nd amateur female in her 1st Ironman. You are all amazing, enjoy your recovery.

CTC small pro podium small


Racine 70.3

Posted in Racing by
Believe it or not this is my first time racing in Racine, WI. Owen and I missed a visit to Chicago last month due to my work schedule, we rescheduled for this weekend allowing us to race in Racine and visit my family all in one shot. We arrived in Chicago late Thursday night, after a few short tune up workouts we headed north towards Racine. We stopped for a visit with my best friend, Jill in Barrington. We were treated to a boat ride up the Fox river, our mode of transportation to lunch. jill We arrived in Racine to our homestay, and what a homestay it turned out to be. We were lucky enough to stay with Mike and Susan Arts, the caretakers of the historical lighthouse landmark. Their home is over 100 years old (I love old houses), complete with a private tour up the lighthouse tower.


Mike and Susan were more than accommodating to Owen, Tamara (ex-Timex teammate) and I. They cooked delicious food, offered any assistance we needed and Mike even rode us down to the race start Sunday morning. Saturday morning was another treat, Mike; ex-Navy nuclear engineer, took us up flying in a two seater plane! We got the bird's eye view of Racince harbor and race course.


In addition to all the tourist activities we got our meetings and race preparation workouts in with plenty of time to relax before the big day.

swim warm up

Sunday's weather turned out to be perfect. We rode in comfortable temperatures to the race venue. (after re-tightening my base bars knocked loose by the bumpy roads of the Midwest.) After a long walk to the swim start we were nearing start time. After watching the men, I realized the lake stayed shallow through the start and a smart strategy was to walk/dolphin dive rather than swim. I followed this strategy but not for long enough. As the women's wave began I quickly lost the feet of Helle and Malaika. I was swimming even with the chase pack which slowly diminished to three; me and Valentina swimming side by side and Melissa on our feet. As hard as I tried I couldn't shake them, so I settled in and swam my race. Unfortunately Valentina wasn't giving up either, she swam in my space attempting to push me off course. As we approached the swim exit we both picked up the pace and ran out together. I outran Valentina up the long trip to transition but Melissa passed us both.


I struggled with my new wetsuit around my ankles for a few seconds allowing Valentina to mount her bike first. We all settled into our paces (Melissa much faster than the rest). I kept Valentina in sight but didn't push above my target watts to catch her too early. We rode along the torn up roads, I found it hard to get into a rhythm and keep my watts up between the numerous turns, potholes and gaps jostling me around. At times it was so bad I feared my bike would fall apart!


Around the halfway point Lauren passed me. I watched as Valentina grabbed her wheel and tried to ride at Lauren's faster pace for some time. Shortly after this Valentina began to slow and drop back. She had now caught and passed Malaika. I was waiting for the perfect time to make my pass. Valentina was riding towards the center line which made it more difficult but I completed the pass by both of them with an official riding by our side. This earned Valentina a yellow card for blocking.


I continued on with my target watts separating myself from the women behind me. I was riding completely alone, no one to be seen either way, at times I worried I'd ridden off course. By the end of the bike I was really worried I'd passed my turn into transition, seeing the lake on my left. But fans kept cheering me on so I figured it must still be ahead. I finally rounded the last turn and hopped off my bike. Happy hitting my highest average watts for a half to date.

Bike 4

As always I took a few extra seconds slipping the left shoe over my bad foot but I was out on the run fast enough. I settled into a quick pace, remembering I took too long in Hawaii 70.3 waiting to feel good. As I saw some pro men, friends informed me I was in 4th or 5th place. As I approached the turn around I was able to spot the competition; those women ahead of me where fairly spread out. The closest being over two minutes ahead. Valentina was only a minute or so back with Tamara on her heels. Knowing both these girls are runners put an extra pep in my step. I concentrated on my form and cadence.


As I headed back to town I was being chased down by the lead pro men. Starkowitz passed me followed by Sanders and I got to witness Sanders complete the pass for the win as they lapped me. I rounded the lollipop cheered on by former teammates of Well-Fit my old training group from Chicago. I climbed up the only two hills on course, continuing to push the pace. Now the course was crowded with amateurs but I had no problem getting through.

Run Begin

Spotting my competition again; now first through third had put time into me and I'd stayed equidistant from fourth. As I rounded the last turn around I noticed that i'd put time into Valentina and Tamara. This boosted my confidence knowing I could hold onto fifth place.

Run finish

As I hit the final mile I pushed with everything I had left really leaving it all on the course. I was happy with my run split, my fastest post foot injury.


Overall this was a great race for me and i'm feeling confident in my fitness leading into Ironman Boulder.

owen awardpro women podium

On our way home I got to visit with Paula and Jeanie some of my dear friends from Chicago. Owen and I spent the next three days visiting with my family in St. Charles while recovering in preparation for Ironman in two weeks.

boat ride

Owen even got to take a boat ride, our family business in St. Charles.


Hawaii 70.3

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I arrived in Hawaii 6 days prior to the race attempting to acclimate to the heat and humidity. It's not such a bad rule to follow when traveling to destination races. I rented a cute house with an ocean view along the bike course. I set up to work remotely for the week, staying on mountain time. I ran into one snag when my bike didn't arrive on time, but luckily a friend loaned me his bike on Tuesday and Wednesday to get some easy spins in. By the time the weekend arrived I was relaxed and ready to go. Owen arrived on Thursday to support me for the weekend, he was able to join me for race prep on the beach.

swim warm up

Just before the swim start the co-ed pro pack was drifting away from shore, the lifeguards moved us back within the start area as the gun went off.

pre swim

I ended up in a good position and was able to drop most of the ladies right off the bat. I hung onto the lead pack of men's feet for awhile but they started drifting off course, I decided to continue on straight with a few others following on my feet.

swim start

Unfortunately the lead guys still made it to the 1st turn buoy before me so I was left pulling the rest of the way. I had a woman on each hip and 2 men trailing behind us. Thanks to my Foggle I had clear vision and could sight each buoy continuing to lead the way. As we rounded the last buoy I picked up the pace going for first out of the water. Maggie obviously wanted it too, we came in together stroke for stroke. As we reached the shore we began sprinting to the line. All of a sudden Maggie disappeared and I realized she face planted in the sand.

swim exit sprint

I ran into transition slowing after reaching the swim finish line, Maggie came up running next to me only to fall again as we made a sharp turn up the hill. After asking if she was ok, I grabbed my helmet, clipping it on while I ran which enabled me to pass the others back heading out on the bike first.


I stuck to my plan on the bike, holding back for the first few miles. I was passed fairly quickly by some of the uber bikers but my avgerage power was right on target at the first turn around. Heading towards Hawi we had a slight head wind climbing up and down the rollers. I haven't had the opportunity to get my new bike completely dialed in yet so I was shifting around in the saddle and my back began to ache.

bike 1

I toggled between a few of the other women in places but came up short up the last climb into Hawi. I made the turn in 6th place, as we descended down with a tail wind the others disappeared. I stuck to my target watts and fueling plan to finish off the bike course.

bike 2

We were unable to see T2 prior to the race, luckily I found my number quickly. While putting on my shoes I had some trouble with fans leaning over the guardrail which inhibited my space. After asking they quickly got out of the way and I slipped my shoes on. I was now ~ 2 minutes behind 5th place.

My first two miles felt sluggish, but then I started to get into a groove. I found a run buddy on course and we began pacing one another. My goal was to catch at least one girl to reach the podium.

run 1

As I was warned, the course was technical with many short punchy climbs and sharp corners. I took my coaches advice to charge the climbs and recover on the descents. As we approached the long out and back at mile 9-11 I had closed the gap to 15 seconds. During these two miles I pushed and pushed but just couldn't complete the pass. Karen was putting up a good fight, but I was determined.

run 2

As we headed back onto the golf course I turned up the heat and completed the pass by mile 12. The last mile I continued putting time into her. Little did I know I was gaining on 3rd and 4th place as well, but unfortunately my bike split being off took me out of that race.


Overall i'm very pleased with my Hawaii 70.3 performance. I handled the heat and winds well. This was a great indicator of my fitness level coming of my spring training block. I've been working on improving my open water swimming; check and my run speed; getting there, but it seems I need a bike training block in preparation for my Ironman's planned for August and November.

Owen and I were able to enjoy our 2 days post race enjoying Hawaii to the fullest. We went out on a chartered snorkel boat, cliff jumping and hiked the Z trail in Waipio which turned out to be the best hike we've ever been on.

boatwaipio horse wading owen walk tree top of world ocean beach couple beach black sand granola


HITS Grand Junction Half

Posted in Racing by

I decided to take a longer break from racing this year after ending my season in 2013 with an Ironman in November and getting hitched two weeks later. This enabled me to enjoy off season more than in year's past (2013 racing IM Cabo in March). I rarely felt guilty heading to the mountains to ski or taking an entire two weeks off from all exercise for our honeymoon to Bora Bora this winter. I got in some solid months of training with no races interfering. This proved to be harder than I thought, not realizing how much rest those races awarded me in between tough training blocks. The week leading into Grand Junction I found myself in a hole, overtrained and fatigued.

My race plan for 2014 starts in Hawaii on March 31st for Honu 70.3 but I require a warm-up race to shake the winter cob webs out. After racing HITS last year my husband Owen suggested I join him, therefore we headed out to Grand Junction for our summer opener. I backed off heavy training for only a few days leading up to the race.

Race weekend was warm but in keeping with May race tradition the water was frigid. HITS measured the reservoir at 62 but I felt it was no warmer than 59. Teammate Tim Hola joined Owen and I in the “fun” of acclimating to the water pre-race.

 HITS swim start

After only a few minutes my body was used to the water and I was ready to race. Shortly after the start gun shot, from waist deep water I pushed hard off the ground into a dolphin dive. After sitting in the cold water my muscles contracted and caused my calf to seize with a huge charlie horse. I slowed to what felt like a snails pace. My foot flexed and I bit my lower lip (a trick an age group swim coach taught me which is really just taking your mind off the cramp).

swim start

Eventually my calf loosened, now I was mid-pack so I had to pick up the pace to catch the leaders. I climbed my way from one swimmer to the next until I could recognize Tim out front. I grabbed the feet of the swimmer drafting off Tim and there I sat through the first 2 buoys. I didn't know this guy between Tim and I, he kept veering off Tim's feet. I tried numerous times to get around him with no success. Finally we reached the first large turn buoy. Tim and trailer slowed to each take a breaststroke pull allowing to navigate where the next buoy was. I took this opportunity to bury my head, nailed a few hard strokes and took Tim's feet. I trusted Tim to sight completely, I followed his bubbles sighting only half what I usually would. We coasted around the remaining turns of the course.

Exiting the water proved more difficult than expected, as I first stood I realized my legs were completely numb. Thank goodness for muscle memory allowing me to run out of the water because I felt I could face plant at any time.

swim exit

I chased Tim into a long run into transition. The one benefit of numb feet is I had no problem running barefoot up the beach and through the grass. Finally arriving in T1 I grabbed my bike and headed out leaving Tim still fumbling with his helmet (his fingers were too numb to clip it).


I hopped on my bike following the lead motorcycle embracing the cheers from spectators surprised to have a woman leading the race. At the 2nd turn I noticed the HITS sign pointing left but the motorcycle headed straight, I followed him, knowing right away it was wrong. I turned my head saw Tim approach and flagged him to make the turn I missed. From here he slowly pulled away from me. After 5 miles or so the lead moto found me and began leading again. He was unaware that Tim was now in front. Miles down the road Brian passed me very confused that I wasn't Tim and still had the moto. When we made the first turn around the moto saw and caught up with Tim to provide his lead. Even further down the road Owen caught me, we rode side by side chatting for awhile before I urged him to keep going to catch the leaders.

At the last turn around I noticed a blond pony tail only a few minutes back. This came as a surprise, I put my head down and hammered the remainder of the bike not knowing if she was bridging the gap. I later found out she was an ex-pro racing the aqua-bike.


Temperatures were rising as I approached T2. I made my change a little slower than normal before heading out on the run.


run start

The course began with some steep punchy climbs which got my heart rate right up. It was a straight out and back down unshaded dirt roads. On my way back every racer cheered me on. I made sure to respond each time with similar encouraging words. I soaked in the cheers as I crossed the finish line. I absolutely love the feel of local races, this is how I got into the sport and fell in love with triathlon. I recommend HITS Grand Junction to anyone, it offers a single loop for each segment with a challenging run course to test your fitness in a May race.


hammonds 2



Timex Camp at the IMG Performance Center

Posted in Fun, Training Camp by

Timex camp had a change of location this year. We headed South for some warm weather in Sarasota, FL to the IMG performance center. I never knew such a place existed, a “boarding school” for gifted young athletes. IMG is enormous complete with countless fields and state of the art equipment preparing young athletes for Division I schools and professional careers in tennis, golf, football, lacrosse, track, soccer and basketball.

kissing bruce

 I headed out a couple days early to meet up with Jackie in Fort Myers for some warm weather training and bonding. Jackie's grandma was generous enough to host us for two nights in Fort Myers. We headed from the airport straight to yoga, which was nice to get a good stretch after the long flight from Colorado.

Wednesday morning our plan was to assemble our bikes, head for a swim followed by a long ride. Jackie has her new Trek Speed Concept but hasn't mastered it's assembly yet so this took longer than expected. We arrived at the pool only to find it was closed for the next hour for water aerobics aka dancing ladies; Fail! We were back to grandma's and on our bikes quickly. Unfortunately we forgot to eat breakfast through all the changed plans. We managed to find a decent route and got in a solid 4 hour hungry ride including lots of gossip time.

jackie ride

We headed back to the pool for our swim, which had now been heated by the sun all day, nice and toasty! Jackie and I were somewhat of a spectacle doing a set Curt wrote for me. We were asked several times if we were famous and some lap swimmers told us we were their inspiration. How sweet! We finished our day with dinner and wine with grandma.

Day two we got started at sunrise for our long ride, taking a similar route to the previous day. Jackie was pretty fatigued coming straight from Cliff English's camp in Tucson so she hung on my wheel while I busted out some 45 minute intervals. We ran on a lovely wooded path around grandma's gated neighborhood for our tempo run where Jackie dropped me like a bad habit each time. Some day I hope to hang with her on my feet. After showering and a quick bite we loaded up the car in order to make it to the ING performance center by 4pm. Somehow we managed to fit 2 bikes, my bike box and all our gear into grandma's car.

car pack

Upon arrival we were greeted by many team members, some of which we only get to see at camp each year which makes this weekend so special. We got a tour of the ING facility, then enjoyed a cocktail hour meet and greet. We shared stories, laughs and received some fun swag.

Jackie and I shared our condo with Sam Mazar and rookie teammate Kathryn Taylor. The accommodations this year were unique; we were bunked in dorm-like rooms with twin beds. Jackie's had a plastic cover, once she took it off we were informed it may have been a bed bug shield, Yikes! Either way she left it off for the weekend.

bed bug guard

Arriving the week of daylight savings combined with the two hour time difference created Friday's wake up call to feel quite early. We were awoken by our bus beeping outside the window; no need for alarms :) We enjoyed a refreshing swim in an outdoor fifty meter pool. I got to swim with the boys, our lane was lead by Bama collegiate swimmer Bruce Gennari. It's always fun to get some training time together.

swim 4

After breakfast we attended some clinics sharing our experience and opinions on Timex and competitor's products as well as social media, clinic and ambassador training. We fit in a Florida Tourist themed 5K fun run.

FL tourist group shotFL tourist 5KFL tourist run

The day was finished off by receiving more swag which included all our new Castelli clothing. This is by far the best clothing sponsor we've had in the 6 years i've been on the team. Jackie and I headed out for a quick ride, we had to test out our new kits! Unfortunately we didn't have adequate time for this ride so it made us a little late for the bus to the awards dinner. The whole team ended up waiting on us to run across campus, sorry guys but we had to get some saddle time in the sun. Now you know what we were up to :)

beach bikingbiking

The awards dinner was held at a local country club and included inspirational speeches by team members Bo Parrish and Dave Orlowski. The highlight of the evening was Dave Erickson presenting pro athlete of the year award to Matt Russell by mimicking his American Flag run shorts.

flag shorts

Saturday morning we had a similar bus beep wakeup call outside our window. With a pact of punctuality Jackie and I were some of the first on the bus. We enjoyed another refreshing morning swim.


After breakfast we headed back over to the track for some ambassador meetings to complete our day. We learned the latest about Trek, Shimano, Skins, and Blue Seventy. We are blessed with such amazing sponsors who ensure we're taken care of. We did get some time for a run in the sunshine during a break and finished our day earlier than planned.


It happened to be Adrianna from Timex's birthday so we celebrated with some wine by the pool.

pool drinking

Jennifer was kind enough to not only make a reservation for us at a local bar which included Bags set up for us to play while drinking. She also chauffeured us all to a from the bar (cabs had a 2 hour wait due to St. Patrick's day weekend). Ryan and I ended up in the back heading from the pool

dogs in the back 2dogs in the back

Following the tradition of Timex camp we celebrated our last night and Adrianna's birthday with too many cocktails and shots which made for a fun but late night.


Sunday we finished off camp with our head shots and team photos, looking fabulous as always after a night of drinking.

luisgroup shotbesties lounging Team Tristan timex buds

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