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Empire Spotlight – Mona Rayachoti

We recognize our athletes achievements which help build team spirit and inspire athletic advancement.

Meet Empire athlete Mona Rayachoti

Having a few marathons under her belt, Mona decided to try triathlons as the next challenge in her life.  Gaining a spot for the Panasonic NYC Triathlon in 2016, she joined Empire to help her train.

“Until last year, I hadn’t ridden a bike in almost 2 decades.  I was also a terrible swimmer.  In fact, as a child, I kept failing the beginner swim classes! I hoped that by doing triathlons, I’d get over any fears of swimming in open water.”

“Training for a triathlon is more interesting than just running.  Each day is a different workout.  If I get bored with running, it’s nice to mix it up and do other workouts.  I feel it’s also better on the body and once I started swimming and cycling more, I noticed my running pace had improved.”

Mona ran the Virgin London Marathon this past April and got a personal record by 33 minutes!

“Since joining the team my running pace has improved tremendously.  It’s still not considered fast and I’m always in the back of the group during our group runs.  When I think of how far I’ve come in the last couple of years, it makes me feel confident that in time, I’ll get faster and stronger with swimming and cycling as well.”

Mona is gearing up this summer to complete her first Half IRONMAN at the inaugural IRONMAN 70.3 Lake Placid in September.

“My main goal is to train as best as I can and just finish.  I will be training all summer and I like that I will be doing it with Empire!”

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Empire Spotlight – Harry Neuhaus

We recognize our athletes achievements which help build team spirit and inspire athletic advancement.

Meet Empire Coach and athlete Harry Neuhaus

Harry has been coaching with Empire Tri Club for 3 years.  He has participated in 8 marathons (PR 3:21:07), four 70.3 (PR 5:11:26) and many half marathons and Olympic triathlons.  He is a USAT Level 1 Coach as well as a RRCA Certified Coach.

In March, he competed in his first triathlon of the season the Monterey Gatorade Race for Team Mexico.  He came home with 2nd place AG win!  It took a lot of self-discipline to prepare for the race, working out through the winter months and holiday season!  His willpower didn’t stop there, the race course wasn’t inspiring having to swim in a man-made lake, loops upon loops on the bike and again on the run.  All made worse by the non-stop rain throughout the entire race!

The race is a qualifier for the Mexican National Team.  The top two people in each age group qualify for a slot.  The win gave Harry a trip to this summer’s 2017 World Championships in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

His resolute mentality is evident in his coaching:
“Harry always pushes you just beyond your comfort zone. Triathlon training is hard enough, and just when you think you have no more left in you. Harry “suggests” you may have another lap or some more speed to spare…he’s usually right!” – Yael Bartur

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#ProjectRun with Mike & Joey Devlin

We’re running across the country for ALS Research.

That’s right, across the country. 3,000 miles. 5 million steps. 114 marathons.  From San Francisco to New York City. All of it.

Three years ago, we watched as our Grandmother passed away from Bulbar ALS.  We watched as this horrific disease attempted to strip our Grandmother of her humanity.  We wanted to do something about it.

In partnership with Project ALS, we are launching a self-funded expedition to run across the country in the hopes of raising money and awareness for ALS Research.

This is completely self-funded.  We aren’t going to be taking a dime.   Nada.  Zip.

We are committed to making sure every dollar raised is used directly for funding ALS research and finding a cure. Every. Single. Dollar.

We are heading out on this 3,000 mile journey across the country in honor of our Grandmother, Edna Devlin.

 

Grandma Devlin was an absolutely, incredible human being.  Mother of five children and Grandmother to many more, she was the first person to let you know how amazing, beautiful, or wonderful you were!  She lit up every room she entered with her smile and her voice, especially her voice.  Grandma Devlin loved to talk.  A quick conversation could quickly turn into an hour.  HOWEVER, she wasn’t talking about the weather or the news or anything like that… all she ever wanted to talk about was YOU.  It didn’t matter if you were her own child or someone she just met, she wanted to talk about you.  After each conversation with her, you walked away smiling from ear to ear, thinking you were the most special snowflake, the most special human being who ever lived, that you could conquer the world!  It was kind of mind blowing. But, that’s what she did.  That was her super power.  She made you feel loved. In everything that she did, she made you feel completely loved.

Four years ago, Grandma Devlin got sick.  She was playing bridge with her friends when she started to slur her words.  They thought it might have been a stroke.  But, when she went to the doctor, they couldn’t find any indications of a stroke.  A month later, it was worse.  Much worse.  Grandma Devlin was slurring her words and having trouble speaking.  Doctor after doctor tried to figure out what was wrong, but no one was sure.

Finally, in December of 2013, right before Christmas, Grandma Devlin was diagnosed with Bulbar ALS.

That Christmas was strange.  We knew we didn’t have much more time with her.  The disease was aggressively attacking her body, taking away her ability to speak and making it difficult for her to eat.  But, when Grandma Devlin arrived, she was smiling.  Most years, our family gatherings were filled with her voice.  She would be bouncing from person to person talking up a storm. But, not this year.  When we were all sitting together, Grandma Devlin took her white board and wrote, “God told me that I’ve done enough talking for a lifetime.”  We all laughed.  There she was again, making us all feel loved.

On January 26th, 2014, three weeks before her 77th birthday, Grandma Devlin passed away.

Although the disease had worked quickly, nothing could slow down her infectious spirit.  Throughout those last few months, Grandma Devlin was a force of positivity.  When we were struggling, she gave us strength.  When we were feeling depressed, she lifted us up.  Just as she had always done, Grandma Devlin focused on the people around her.  She made us all feel loved.

For Grandma Devlin, we wanted to do something BIG.  We thought if it was BIG, we could make a BIG difference.  So, when we decided to run, we decided to run across the country!

But, the only way we are going to make a difference is with YOUR help!

All donations will go directly to research and we’ll let you know exactly where and for what.  We’ll tell you how you’re helping.  We’ll tell you about the research.  We’ll tell you about the progress.  Together, we can do something about this terrible disease.  Together, we can make an impact.

ALSO, we are going to document it ALL.  We will be posting, tweeting, snapchatting and Facebooking with all of YOU.  The whole experience.  The ups and the downs.  The highs and the lows.  We want to share this journey with you.

Because, the more we share, the more people will know. And the more people who know, the more we can all make a difference.

So, follow us on this journey. Join us on this cause. Together, we can make a difference.

Check out the #ProjectRun website.

The day is here!  One time Empire athlete Mike Devlin has taken on a 3,000 mile run, 100-day challenge across America.

DAY 1: SATURDAY APRIL 15TH / SAN FRANCISCO, CA / 8:00 AM

For Mike and Joey’s full schedule and to donate to #ProjectRun, follow their journey at ALSProjectRun.com, Twitter.com/TheMikeDevlin, Instagram.com/TheMikeDevlin, and Facebook.com/ProjectALS.

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Mailchimp account update

Dear Athletes –
As many of your know, our Mailchimp account was hacked on Saturday 3/18/17.  An email went out to everyone in our network claiming to be an order notification for a product you did not purchase (a coaching package for $319).  We are aware that you did not purchase this item and apologize for any confusion.  We have done our very best to reply to all the messages we received through Facebook, Twitter, Email and Text as quickly as possible.  We have been working tirelessly over the past few days to get to the bottom of this and keep you informed of the situation and will continue to do so until the issue is resolved.  If you have not done so yet, please DELETE the email and DO NOT CLICK on any links!
We have new information to share from Mailchimp….”Based on our analysis the link contained a trojan file, trojan.valyria.  Anyone who clicked the link should perform a full system virus scan and remove any found malicious files. We suggest one of the following programs:”

We want to ensure you that while the email was disguised as an “order confirmation” eliciting people to click on a fake “receipt” you were not charged, nor do we store credit card information in Mailchimp so there is no way for your card to be affected.

We understand that this malicious email was confusing and upsetting to many people in our community.  (Trust us, we were just as shocked!).  We truly hope that you follow the above instructions to ensure your computer is rid of any potential virus.  We sincerely apologize and will continue to keep you updated of any new information as it becomes available to us.

Best,
Alison & Jessica
Co-Founders, Empire Tri Club

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Empire Spotlight- Liz Harris

We recognize our athletes achievements which help build team spirit and inspire athletic advancement.

Meet Empire athlete Liz Harris:

Just 1 year of doing triathlons and already Liz has accomplished qualifying for nationals, placing 2nd overall in her very first duathlon, and several podium finishes at Olympic distance triathlons! “I have always been athletic and am always trying new things – marathons, body building, and now triathlons.  Last year I just went out, bought a bike and registered for a Half Ironman. I was committed (not to mention I had just spent a ton of money), so I was going to train and do it well.”

A love for travel and her new found sport, she’s combined the two by doing destination races. She finished her 2016 season at IRONMAN 70.3 Cozumel. “What’s not to love about Cozumel…  clear water, warm temperatures and the most amazing people. It is a magical place…and they have tequila! The race itself was so well organized and it is truly a fast, flat course. You swim in the ocean which is crystal clear and you can see the bright colored fish, then bike 1 loop around the island with amazing views of the ocean. The run is all along the main road where people are dreaming and cheering the entire way… just the motivation you need to cross the finish. Oh, destination races!”

What’s on her calendar for 2017?  The NYC Tri, IRONMAN 70.3 Lake Placid, and her “A race” IRONMAN 70.3 Cozumel!  We are sure to see her atop that podium again!

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Empire Spotlight-Larry Lue

We recognize our athletes achievements which help build team spirit and inspire athletic advancement.

Meet Empire athlete Larry Lue:

Larry had a very limited athletic background and was a self-proclaimed couch potato! He wrestled and played some basketball in high school but his only exercise since then was to walk 18 holes of golf every once in awhile.

In 2012, and not so sure of his decision as to why, he ran his first marathon in NYC.

“I enjoyed the atmosphere as a spectator and thought it was a great event. The real reason was probably that I was turning 53 that year and was beginning to feel my age and my mortality. I then saw an ad for the NYC Triathlon and thought it might be interesting, although I knew almost nothing about triathlons. I went out and bought a bike and had to learn how to swim properly. That’s when I found Empire and signed up for the Beginner’s Program. I enjoyed the training and the fellowship and now I’m hooked.”

This year he will be competing in his 4th NYC Triathlon and 4th NYC Marathon.  In addition to his second Half IRONMAN in Lake Placid and his second NYRR 60K race!

“My goal is to do a little better with each race but really just to stay fit and healthy while enjoying the training and the company of my teammates at Empire. I’m only two years away from turning 60 but, as long as I stay healthy, I plan to continue to participate in triathlons and marathons.

It occurs to me that triathlons are basically what I did as a kid growing up. Every day in the summer, I’d get up, ride my bike down to the park with my friends, run a few miles playing basketball, then ride to the lake to splash and float around before riding home for dinner. I guess I’m just back to being a kid again.”

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Empire Spotlight-Sara Bryant

We recognize our athletes achievements which help build team spirit and inspire athletic advancement.

Meet Empire athlete Sara Bryant:

Sara has always been a strong runner.  She ran high school track and cross country, both sports propelling her to be faster on the soccer pitch.  This past November she ran the TCS NYC Marathon with a finish time of 3:33, a 25-minute personal record from her first NYC Marathon in 2010.  As a result, she qualified for the 2017 Boston Marathon.  This impressive accomplishment came after an unfortunate IT band injury in September, giving her only six weeks to train for the marathon.

“It was actually the friends and teammates I met through Empire who allowed me to see that potential and encouraged me to go for it.”

After finishing her first marathon back in 2010 she was determined to find another sport that she equally loved.  After trying many sports, she gave triathlon a shot and was instantly hooked!

She has competed in a few Sprint and Olympic distance triathlons and is set to compete in two Ironman 70.3 races in 2017, in addition to the Chicago and Boston Marathons.

When asked about the future, Sara said she looks forward to winter training and a fun and challenging 2017 season!

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Empire Spotlight-Sharon Rochford

We recognize our athletes achievements which help build team spirit and inspire athletic advancement.

Meet Empire athlete Sharon Rochford:

Sharon is all too familiar with the challenges of being a triathlete and a single mom with a full time job.  Her time is a precious commodity.  It’s a balancing act between parenting, a demanding job, housework and getting her training in.  As Herculean as it seems for the rest us, to her this is a lifestyle.  She has learned to prioritize and make exercise part of her daily routine, just like brushing her teeth!  She’s had days when a late-night workout gets done after dinner, homework and putting her 12yr. old son Noah to bed.

She looks forward to her workouts because it makes her feel happier, stronger and helps her focus better at work.  Noah has also noticed the difference and encourages his mom to exercise when he notices her mood is down.

What makes this all worthwhile?  Being a mom that Noah can look up to and know that goals can be accomplished when your determination is strong.

“I would like Noah to know that anything is possible once you put your mind to it regardless of your age or fitness level.  The human body and the mind are stronger and more powerful than we think.  It is okay to push ourselves sometimes, even if we feel pain, because we are resilient”.

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Empire Spotlight-Olof Dallner

We recognize our athletes achievements which help build team spirit and inspire athletic advancement.

Meet Empire coach & athlete Olof Dallner:

He is a level I USAT certified triathlon coach and category 3 road cyclist.  This past October, Olof finished 3rd overall at IRONMAN Louisville with a time of (9:09) and qualified for the IRONMAN World Championship; the world’s most prestigious triathlon.   Within the same month he won 1st place at Empire Tri’s Beer Mile and finished of the season by marrying his fellow Empire coach and IRONMAN, Caitlin Alexander.

Olof is a firm believer that everyone can go beyond their perceived limits, and he is passionate about showing you how. He has worked with many athletes helping them reach their fitness and racing goals.

Olof has helped me tremendously. He pushes me to be stronger and faster than I thought possible. His coaching supports me both physically and mentally.” – Sam Tergek

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Monthly Swim & Coffee Social

swim-coffee

The first Tuesday of every month, Empire Tri Club and Red Tide Master’s Swim Team will be teaming up to host a swim and coffee social!
Start your morning off with a refreshing dip in the pool, followed by coffee and breakfast with your teammates!  (It’s a great way to meet each other, both in and out of the pool)!
The swim will take place at Baruch College from 6:30-8am.  After the workout, head around the corner to Gregory’s Coffee (Flatiron District – 327 Park Ave S).
Before you go:
  • This workout is not free.  To attend, athletes may sign up for a Red Tide 10-class pass or monthly unlimited swim membership.  However, ETC members can sign up for a free trial before signing up for a swim membership.
  • A free trial may be used at any swim on the schedule.  However, we strongly encourage athletes to attend our Swim + Coffee Social for your trial.  Red Tide coaches will be there to welcome new swimmers and make you feel comfortable.
  • Coffee and breakfast is not provided – you’re welcome to purchase anything you’d like at the coffee shop!
  • We understand that everyone has places to go and business to attend to.  If you can’t make the social, or want to just grab coffee and go that’s totally fine!  If you have the chance to stay and hang for a few minutes, we encourage you to do so, but there is no official “start or end time” to the social.
  • More details can be found here.