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Athlete Spotlight: Cindy Carde

Let’s Meet Cindy Carde!

Empire Tri Club, a NYC based club with over 100 members, sits in the epicenter of the Coronavirus pandemic.  This month we had the chance to connect with Cindy Carde who contracted the Coronavirus in March.  

Cindy is a 7-year Empire Tri Club member with over 70 races under her belt.  This year, Cindy set her sights on becoming an Ironman.  However COVID-19 had other plans for her.  Read more for the full interview with Cindy!

Cindy, where are you from? The boogie down BRONX

Where do you live now?  Still in the boogie down but in a more diverse neighborhood

How long have you been a member of Empire Tri Club? I just made 7 years with Empire in April. It says a lot about Empire Tri Club when your members keep coming back for more.

What are a few races you have done in the past? 1 sprint tri, which was my first and worst race ever. 6 Olympics tris, 3 long distance 70.3 triathlons. Over 25 marathons and definitely over 40 half marathons

What are you training for this season (assuming we actually race!)? My goal this year was to compete in a full long distance 140.6 triathlon but with lack of being able to train properly due to being diagnosed with COVID-19 by 3 doctors put a halt on training and being able to compete with a strong mind, confidence and endurance.

When did you start experiencing symptoms? March 16th. I couldn’t sleep at all. Not a wink for 3 days straight. On March 19th I woke up with a crick in my neck, my shoulders and back ached and I had a fever. As the day went, my well being declined. My fever spiked, I couldn’t shake the chills and the body aches were severe that Thursday night. Some days I felt well enough that I could force myself to try to have a normal quarantine day of watching TV and catching up on some work emails. Some days I felt awful that all I could do is sleep for 2 days straight. Headaches, a slight fever and extreme fatigue was an everyday occurrence. I even had extreme dizziness for day. The list of symptoms can go on and on.
What lead you to believe you might have the coronavirus? When I lost my sense of smell and taste.
Did you get tested for it? No, because I am younger to those who are as risk and I do not have any preexisting health conditions. I was told that I could not be tested because they only have a small amount of tests available and because I am younger to those who are at risk and I do not have any preexisting health conditions.
How long did your symptoms last? 4 weeks
What did you do to recover?  Sleep, sleep and more sleep. Drank lots of fluids, which consisted of water, gatorade, tea and chicken broth
Were you scared?  Not at all, I keep a pretty healthy lifestyle of running, biking, swimming, hiking and walking, which made me feel healthy enough to beat anything that was trying to take over my body.
Was there any advice you received that you found to be particularly helpful? Yes, I was told that it was ok to take tylenol. That was the only thing that allowed me to kind of function when I could.
Do you live alone or was anyone in your household caring for you? I live alone. I would get regular food and medicine deliveries dropped at my door by my mother and boyfriend.
Were you in touch with your Empire teammates during this time? Absolutely, they were the reason why I would wake up and get out of bed. They feel like family and I needed to see what everyone was up to.
How, if at all, did they help you get through it? The constant banter, well wishes in a group/separate chat/text messages, words of encouragement made me feel like a had a team of COVID get well sherpas. They kept me positive when I had doubts of ever getting better. They even offered to get on a Citi Bike to bring me medicine and food at my way uptown residence.
How are you feeling now? GREAT!! Like myself again.I am itching to start swimming, biking and running. I have walked several miles and stared to sprint uphills during my hikes
Are you fully recovered? Fully recovered with zero symptoms
Any advice you have for fellow triathletes about your experience? Fight, never ever let anything/anyone take you down
Anything else you’d like to share? A quote that i take with me at every training day and race, “Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up” by Dean Karnazes – but i always add ever to the last statement of the quote so that it loos like Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never ever give up. It is truly a motto that i follow. You have to physically remove me from a course. I will never stop trying to reach that finish line. 4 flat tires and a broken hand couldn’t stop me from completing the 2018 NYC Tri.
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Empire Tri Club on Freeze / Cancellation Requests during COVID19

Empire Tri Club understands that many of our members are going through tough times and may be need to cut back on expenses due to job loss, furlough or other extenuating circumstances.  In response to freeze / cancellation requests we are adjusting our policy to better help our athletes. Here’s how we’re adjusting:

  • We will waive the 30-day freeze / cancellation period and process your request with 48 hours notice so you will not be charged at the next billing cycle
  • We will extend the 3-month freeze maximum to 1-year, allowing you additional time to get back on your feet
  • For all freeze requests, we will lock in your current rate for 1-year so when you resume your costs will not go up
  • If you are an annual member, we are adhering to the 12-month annual contract that you signed upon joining. Therefore if you have been a member for 8 months, we will gladly freeze your membership now and you can resume your membership to fulfill the remaining 4 months of membership at any point within the next year from the date of freezing.

As you can imagine, Empire Tri Club is also greatly affected by the COVID19 pandemic.  Here is a list of other things we are doing to adapt to the current situation.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at

We truly appreciate your understanding and continued support!  We are optimistic that this pandemic will lead to a stronger community and new innovative programs that enable us to come out even stronger on the other side!

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Empire Tri Club’s Response to the Coronavirus

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the multisport community at large. Empire Tri Club is continuing to monitor the situation and keep club members informed of information as it becomes available including updates about races and safe training guidelines. While social distancing guidelines remain in effect, we will limit and monitor our in-person group workouts.  We are committed to providing our athletes with camaraderie, support and a sense of community by hosting virtual clinics, workouts and info sessions whenever possible.
Some of the things that Empire Tri Club has recently done to adapt to the situation include:
  • Launching a new team communication app – Group Spot
  • Hosting a free Group Spot app info session with the founder
  • Hosting a live tire changing clinic on Zoom
  • Hosting a weekly live strength training classes on Zoom for club members only
  • Hosting a weekly live strength training session on Instagram – open to the public
  • Offering virtual team training rides on Zwift & Rouvy 2-3x a week
  • Posting various workout challenges on Social Media
  • Hosting virtual team socials on Zoom
  • Hosting live virtual yoga classes on Zoom
  • Publishing a training plan for members to follow on Training Peaks
  • Adjusting our training plan to include only workouts that athletes are able to complete at this time due to social distancing guidelines
  • Creating our first ever Virtual 10k event
  • Rolling out a new badge system to reward members for hitting certain milestones or participating in team events
  • Hosting a Q&A session with Coaches about how to adjust your training plan with the uncertainty of our race season
  • Hosting a live injury prevention clinic with Finish Line Physical Therapy
  • Adapting our 12-week beginner tri program to be virtual until further notice
  • Hosting our NYC Tri Program that concluded with the virtual NYC Tri
  • Mailing care packages to Empire Tri Club’s healthcare workers
  • Offering assistance to club members in need who have tested positive for the Coronavirus
  • Hosting virtual team races including a team 10K and team duathlon in place of Wyckoff Triathlon
  • Hosting a weekly Coaches’s Corner live Zoom with triathlon education and Q&A with our team coaches
  • Creating a fall marathon and half marathon program including tailored Coaches Corner Zoom sessions, a new training plan and weekly tips, building towards a virtual team race in November.
  • We launched our first Empire book club
  • Re-introducing in-person strength training sessions in Central Park with Empire Tri Club Coaches
  • Hosting a series of in-person workouts/clinics with the therapists from Clutch PT
  • Special events with guests including Sue Reynolds, Joe Friel, Ironman, Dina Griffin, Lauren Antonucci and more
  • Additional clinics, info sessions, guest speakers and workouts regularly being added!
Being alone does not mean you have to feel lonely!  We are a TEAM and continue to support one another, no matter the circumstance. We continue providing guidance, motivation, and information throughout these difficult times and do whatever we can to help the multi-sport community thrive on a global scale by working with larger organizations including Ironman, USA Triathlon and Triathlete Magazine.
We will resume with outdoor in-person group training as soon as it is safe and we are permitted to do so. If you have any questions about any of the above events / apps or would like more information on how to participate please don’t hesitate to reach out!
All of the above events are FREE to Empire Tri Club members.  Not a member?  Sign up for a free 2-week trial to see what we’re all about. We are still accepting new members and welcome you to join our team! To sign up, click here.
Questions? Contact or call Alison @ 201-218-3805. I will do my best to get back to you ASAP and appreciate your patience as we are operating with limited staff and hours.
Alison Kreideweis
Empire Tri Club
Co-Founder & Head Coach
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Empire Tri Club hosts first ever Virtual 10k!





Empire Tri Club is excited to announce our first ever virtual 10k!

Friday 4/16/20 – Sunday 4/19/20

April 18th was supposed to be our first team race of the season (ITU World Triathlon Bermuda) – and while we unfortunately can’t be in Bermuda enjoying the sun and sand together, we can still get excited about a team event and have something to look forward to.

Here are the details:

1. Make a homemade race number and finisher medal with materials you find around your home. (Family members are welcome to help with this!)

2. Pin your race number to your favorite Empire Tri Club shirt. (You may do this event in any Empire gear of your choice – tri top, long sleeve run shirt, tech t, run jacket, etc. New to the club and don’t have team gear yet? Be creative!

3. Run your 10k (the focus of this event is not speed but if you wish to “race it” you are welcome to!)

4.You’re encouraged to record your run on Strava, Training Peaks or any other workout tracking site (but it’s not required).

5. At the end of your run, put on your finishers medal and take a picture!

6. Post on Facebook and/or Instagram with hashtag #EmpireTriVirtualRace and #EmpireTri

All finishers will receive a badge of completion that you can post on your wall!  A special creativity badge will be awarded to one person who has the most creative race bib and finisher medal! Get creative! Make it festive and fun!

Your Virtual 10k can be completed anytime between Friday 4/16 and Sunday 4/19 to be eligible for a finisher badge. Be safe!! Remember to complete this run Solo and follow social distancing guidelines!

This event is free and everyone is encouraged to participate. If you wish to use this event to benefit a greater cause, feel free to make an optional donation to a charity of your choice that benefits NYC Healthcare workers.

Have fun! I look forward to seeing your pictures and posts!.

#empiretri #workoutmotivation #virtualrace #empiretrivirtualrace#covidworkout

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USA Duathlon announces Virtual Run Bike Run to support multi-sport companies impacted by COVID-19

These are challenging times. As we all navigate the momentous impact of COVID-19 on our daily lives and those of our loved ones, we want to provide an outlet for people to stay active, healthy and safe, and competitive if they choose to be, during this difficult situation.
The USA Duathlon Virtual Run Bike Run presented by Tower 26, with supporting partners TrueFormand FlipBelt, gives you the flexibility to be a multisport athlete on your own time at your own pace and in your own space.
You can complete the Virtual Run Bike Run inside on a stationary bike and a treadmill, or outside on your local roads, trails and bike paths. The three legs can be done all at once or broken into one leg per day. That’s the beauty of virtual racing. Regardless of your fitness level, we hope you join us for this Virtual Run Bike Run. While these are individual activities, we’re all in this together. This standard-distance challenge requires a 10km run, 40km bike, and 5km run which can be completed in any order through the duration of the event.
Entry into this event is FREE, but we encourage you to make a $35 donation to the USA Triathlon Foundation COVID-19 Relief Fund. Your donation will directly support race directors and coaches across the country who are desperately fighting to keep their events and businesses. You’ll also receive an exclusive finisher medal as a thank you! Additionally, the first 500 people to donate to the USA Triathlon Foundation will receive a complementary Flipbelt Classic Running Belt.

Registration is open!

Here are the registration options:

  • Sprint (register here): 5k Run – 20k Bike – 2.5k Run
  • Standard (register below): 10k Run – 40k Bike – 5k Run

Event will take place from Apr 10 12:00 am – May 17 11:59 pm


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Dispatches: How Triathletes Around the World Are Adjusting

Empire Tri Club Coach and Co-Founder, Alison Kreideweis was recently interviewed by Triathlete Magazine about how the Coronavirus is impacting our club and coaching business.  Author Chris Foster writes, “As the coronavirus continues to affect our world and change the way we live, we check in with six triathletes to see how one big thing can be experienced in so many different ways.

As of this writing, roughly 850,000 people have been infected with the coronavirus worldwide, according to the World Health Organization, and as the pandemic continues to spread, COVID-19 is something that will likely change the rhythm of our world and our sport for a very long time. As triathletes, our very nature is to seek out challenges, then prepare, adapt, and try to overcome them. In some ways, this crisis is no different. Many triathletes are faced with an ever-shrinking physical world while simultaneously trying to continue doing at least one of the things we love: swim, bike, and/or run. Virtual training groups, virtual races, and “quaranteams” have sprung up to form the communities and challenges that we look for, and triathletes have continued to identify as part of the multisport world even in conditions that were unimaginable only months ago.

We’ve spoken to six triathletes—each in very different geographical areas, with different athletic experience levels, and in different situations. They range from international-level pros to age-groupers to coaches to college athletes. Below we’ve collected some of their observations about how the coronavirus has affected their tiny corner of the world and their perspectives on how they’re coping and what they hope will come next.

Over the next two weeks, we’ll be posting expanded dispatches from each of these six triathletes to give you a closer look at how restrictions, wellness, goals, and personal decisions effectively “create” the smaller world that now surrounds each of them. While not everything is rosy all of the time—in fact, much of it isn’t at all—the fact remains that we are still triathletes preparing, adapting, and overcoming together, even if the challenges have drastically changed.”


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Empire Spotlight: Meet Maud Walas!

Maud Walas raises her arms as she crosses the finish line of her first Half Ironman, IMAC 70.3 last September. This summer, she is training to become an Ironman!

Empire Spotlight!  Meet Maud Walas

Last week we had a chance to connect with Empire Member Maud Walas and dig a little deeper into where she’s from, what she’s training for and how she’s coping with COVID_19. Read more to find out!

Empire: Were are you from?
Maud: I am from Paris, France.

Empire: When did you move to NY?
Maud: I moved to NY in March 2017.

Empire: What brought you to NY?
Maud: Work, I am working for a French Bank.

Empire: When did you start racing triathlons?
Maud: My first triathlon was in June 2019 – The Wyckoff / Franklin Lakes Sprint Triathlon in NJ.

Empire: When/Why did you join empire?
Maud: I joined Empire last year as part of the beginner program to prepare NYC triathlon. Unfortunately, it was canceled so I never raced an Olympic distance!

What were some races you did last season?
Maud: Wyckoff, some sprints and Atlantic City 70.3. I also ran NYC marathon and NY 60k.

Empire: What are some of your races / goals for this season?
Maud: Hopefully, I will race Escape from Alcatraz (although I am a little nervous about the swim).  And thanks to Empire and to my inspiring Teammates, I will try to become an Ironman in Lake Placid next summer.   Then, I plan to race the Chicago and NYC marathons.  

Empire: How are you adjusting to the changes imposed by COVID 19? (are you still able to work?  working from home? do you have very structured hours or a flexible schedule?)
Maud: Except that I am working from home, there is no change in my schedule. I am still working in front of my computer all day long -the only change is that I can wear comfy outfits.  I am an early bird and I continue to wake up at 5:30am every morning to go for a run or to jump on my home trainer. To have a good day: “Coffee, but first gym!”

Empire: What home equipment do you have access to?
Maud: I am so glad I bought a home trainer last year. Except that, I use elastic bands and a bottle of laundry detergent as a weight for my strength routine!

Empire: How are you adapting your training due to social distancing?  When/how/where are you working out?
Maud: I run early in the morning, when everyone sleeps. I love the morning lights, that is so peaceful and the sky and city offer a different show every morning. As the streets are empty now, my husband comes with me with his scooter, for safety (I must admit that it makes me happy to spend this time with him too 🙂 ). After my morning ride or run, I do my 20 minutes strength routine defined with the help of my PT Dave at Finish Line Physical Therapy. This is not what I like the most but time, injuries and 12 years of running teach me that this is part of the training.

Empire: Has it been helpful to be a part of a team during this time? (if so, what have you found to be most helpful)?
Maud: It is more than helpful! Here in NY, Empire is my second family. I have made so many training partners but also friends since I joined the club! And today I am happy to share my love for biking with my Teammates. Before COVID, I started to propose new routes for outdoor long rides but now that we are not able to go out, I organize four virtual rides per week on Zwift. People join the rides when they want and we bike together in virtual worlds. I love to prepare the rides in advance to add some fun, like jokes or our weekend achievements. I hope these rides help to spread a little bit of joy and entertainment in my Teammates’ life.  In addition to these rides, Empire is proposing a lot of different activities, like strength workouts, yoga classes, socials, clinics. It almost feels like we are still seeing each other’s four times a week as during race season. For me, that is a game changer to handle the actual situation and the anxiety related to it.

Empire: Is it true that you rode 100 miles on your indoor trainer last week? What prompted you to do this? Was this part of a training plan or just something you decided to do?
Maud: Good question! One of my weekend treats is my long ride! I love spending a day outside on my bike discovering new places. I guess it also releases all the stress of my week at work. On a rainy weekend, I decided to replace my ride with a home trainer session and picked a 80 miles route. But 80 miles is not an achievement, it is like running 23 miles when you know you are able to complete a marathon… so I decided to go for 100! And to be totally transparent, one of my Empire Teammates did it one week before and I wanted to prove to myself that I was also capable of the same madness.

EmpireAnything else you’d like to share? (something non-triathlon related that people may not know about you?)
Maud: Fun fact: In school, I was always the last at every race and I hated running so much that I hid behind the bushes of the track field to avoid running!

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A Different Kind of New Years Resolution

Every year, we see ad after ad, encouraging us to “lose weight” “get healthy” “join a gym”, etc.  Year after year, gyms are packed from January to March with the promise of a better body, more energy, etc. etc. etc.  But why is it that within a few short weeks, that annoying shower line at the gym dissapears?

There’s a big difference between a CROWD and a COMMUNITY, which is why you can go to a croweded gym and still feel no connection to the people in it.  How is it that you can feel alone when you’re surrounded by people? That’s the difference between joining a PLACE and joining a TEAM.  People who are part of a TEAM are more likely to STAY THE COURSE. 

What I’ve learned over the years from competing and coaching hundreds of athletes, is how big of a role COMMUNITY has on your ability to stick to your resolutions.

When you join a TEAM, you’re instantly connected with likeminded people with similiar GOALS and ASPIRATIONS.  You BOND over early rides and coffee instead of beers and wings.  You’re somehow convinced that a Ragnar Relay is a good idea, and that it would be fun to ring in the new year with a midnight run in Central Park.  Suddendly the one triathlon you set your sights on morphs into five, and you find yourself contemplating an IRONMAN for next season (what?!?).  You find your benchmarks shifting from “to lose 10 pounds” to “to PR my next race” and you’re looking for ways to make your body PERFORM at its best rather than LOOK its best.  (When you shift your perspective, the latter often follows!)

Before long, your teammates become FRIENDS who will hold you ACCOUNTABLE every step of the way.

You look forward to meeting your friend for a morning run and wouldn’t dare hit snooze and stand her up.  You LEARN what to wear as the seasons change to stay dry and comfortable when working out.  You realize that lending an ear on on a long run can often be better than a therapist.

It takes COURAGE to get involved and taking the first step may not always come easy.  I’m PROUD of you for making that committment to yourself.  SHOWING UP allows you to see that you’re NOT ALONE in this venture.  Triathletes come in ALL shapes, sizes, paces and ages.
This year, I encourage you to make a different kind of resolution.  RESOLVE to become an active part in your COMMUNITY and the payoff will far surpass the investment.  Crossing a finish line alone is one thing.  Crossing it in the company of your teammates with encouragement, laughter, and the promise of a post-race party, changes the entire experience.

I’m THANKFUL for each and one of my teammates and EXCITED about all the new friends that will join us this season!

With love,
Co-Founder, Head Coach
Empire Tri Club
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Sascha’s story…. from nearly losing his leg to completing the Dirty Kanza

2019 Challenged Athletes Foundation Million Dollar Challenge bicyle ride from Palo Alto to La Jolla, California.

I have been very lucky in being able to take part in athletic competition from early on in my life. Growing up in Germany, I competed as a track runner and swimmer. I took part in my first triathlon at age fourteen. To date, I competed in three Ironman events (just missing a Kona spot in my first attempt), ten Half Ironman events (including the 70.3 World Championship), two NYC marathons and over one hundred smaller events. I was named 2007 Best Male Triathlete by SBR Multisports, 2007 USAT All-American, and accrued many podium finishes. My true passion being cycling, I rode my bike over 1,100 miles in nine days from Germany to Barcelona entirely self-supported in 2009. The highlight of my short bike racing career was winning my category at a New York Time Trial in 2010, placing sixth overall, including pros.

However, only a few weeks later I experienced first symptoms of what was soon diagnosed as Popliteal Artery Entrapment causing a severe reduction of blood flow below my left knee resulting in immediate surgery. The following years lead to eleven more surgeries including a bypass which then failed in 2016. Replacing this bypass was a high-risk procedure which could have led to immediate amputation, so instead I have been rehabbing my left leg from only 30% blood flow with the goal of making it the best it can be. When faced with the decision to keep or amputate my leg, the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) introduced me to athletes and their families who have gone through similar life experiences. It is through my whole family’s interactions with the CAF family we have been able to push through merely losing my left leg. Rather than watching TV in self misery, I was inspired to rally and eventually complete events such as the Dirty Kanza 200, a 200-mile same-day race on gravel with over 11,000 feet of climbing. Now, I am hoping to qualify for Leadville 100 and then attempt the Leadboat after that.

Beyond my personal experiences, CAF is an inspiring non-profit organization that gives hope to thousands of individuals with physical disabilities around the world by providing support, mentoring and grants for adaptive sports equipment, competition and training expenses. The courage and perseverance of these athletes has influenced me and my entire family since we first attended their Heroes, Heart & Hope Gala in 2007. From then we have only become more involved by offering athletes to participate in Empire workouts, volunteering at adaptive swim & run clinics as well as the NYC triathlon and participating in the Million Dollar Challenge , a 7-day cycling event over 620+ miles together with para-athletes.

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Holiday Giveaway

Are you an aspiring triathlete? Bummed you can’t afford the necessary equipment and resources you need to get started?

We know triathlon can be an expensive sport. The cost of training, equipment, races and travel can really add up! This holiday season, Empire Tri Club will be donating a FREE 1-YEAR tri club membership to one athlete who needs a little extra help getting started. To top it off, we’ll throw in some awesome gear from our sponsors!

That’s it. No strings attached.

Email with “Empire’s Holiday Giveaway” in the subject line and tell us some of your goals and why we should pick you in 200 words or less. One lucky athlete will be announced Christmas Day on Social Media. We will name additional sponsors contributing to our holiday giveaway over the next 2 weeks, so get excited by following us on Facebook and Instagram. Appications must be received by 12/20/19 to be considered. You may apply for yourself or a friend! Happy Holidays!


We’re excited to announce that the following partners and sponsors will be contributing to our Holiday Giveaway!  On Christmas Day, one deserving athlete will be selected to receive:

  • Empire Tri Club – FREE 1-YEAR Club Membership
  • UCAN – A season’s worth of UCAN products of your choice up to $250
  • Nutrition Energy – a sports nutrition jump-start package including:
    – one 60 minute nutrition consultation with a Registered Dietitian in either our midtown or downtown location
    – one Resting Metabolic Rate test
    – one race-ready nutrition session to discuss race day needs and strategy!
  • Clif Bar – $100 nutrition package
  • ROKA – swim caps, goggles, and a mesh bag
  • ITU World Triathlon Bermuda – 2 FREE race entries (for you and a friend)
  • …. Stay tuned for more contributions!
Our Partners and Sponsors:
  • Bermuda
  • UCAN
  • NYU Langone
  • ROKA Sports
  • Finish Line PT
  • Castelli


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