Big thanks to everyone for their congrats and encouragement regarding my new relationship with CID. I am excited to say the least and I appreciate that you are also excited for me!
I did want to mention that this type of sponsorship is not quite the norm in our sport. Not only because it's with a business not associated with triathlon, but also in the way it came about. Just to dispel any myths, it's usually not the outside company pursuing the triathlete but vice versa (ie: athlete begging company for support!), at least in my experience as an athlete with my results. I'd imagine it might be a different story if you are the reigning Ironman World Champion! Nevertheless, I think there are a lot of misconceptions as to what being a pro triathlete is like, how sponsorship works, etc... and I didn't want to add to that misconception. I'm obviously far from an expert and have much to learn myself but this is what I do know: sponsorship is all about relationships, forming good ones and expecting there to be give and take on both sides.
That aside, I did want to talk a bit about my other sponsors for this year (besides CID) and let you know how much I appreciate their support!
Simply put, there is no other sponsor that I have or ever will have that will come close to giving the support that my family has given me, both financially and emotionally, through the years. My parents have been "sponsoring" me now for 33 years! :) And Oscar, oh my. I'm not sure he knew what he was signing up for on our wedding day. But he has never once grumbled about this journey that we've embarked on. He certainly has had reason to. I have truly, truly been blessed with an AMAZING family and I have no doubt I wouldn't be where I am today without them.
If you don't already have one of their kits ladies, GET ON IT!!! I first noticed SOAS racing kits out on the course in 2011 when my friends Jess and Hailey were on the SOAS team. I pretty much had kit lust right away. I knew in 2012, my first pro year, that I would love, love, love to work with SOAS and so I approached Kebby and Steph, the two beautiful SOAS creators and it was a done deal! I LOVE training and racing in their stylish gear, but even more so, I love to work with a company that is for women and created and run by women. SOAS is a small business that is growing by the day and my goal is to grow as an professional triathlete along with them. Seriously, you know you want one...
I've been eating PowerBars for 20 years. No joke. I used to take one every day in my lunch all through high school. That was back in the day when gels didn't even exist. GASP! I consider PowerBar my first "real" sponsor, even supporting me as an age grouper. They are a great company that gives A LOT back to our sport. And their products simply work for me. I race on PowerBar gels only. I eat the bars in training constantly. Have you tried their new Energy Blends? If not, get on it!!!
I'm excited to work with Brooks again this year and race and train in their awesome shoes and clothes! I've worn Brooks shoes for a long time, pre-sponsorship for sure, and so it only made sense to try and form a relationship with the company that I already trusted with my feet! Usually plagued with injuries, I've done very well in Brooks shoes and so it's a company that I will stick with for a long time to come! And besides that, their stuff is really cool. :)
I've never worn any other brand of helmet. Seriously! The very first bike helmet I bought was a Rudy and I never strayed. Once you find something you like, stick with it, right? 2013 will be my first year of working with Rudy and I'm pretty excited to continue to race and train in their helmets and sunglasses. Rudy Project did save my life after all. When I was hit while out riding back in 2007, my Rudy helmet cracked in half but my head was intact. THANK YOU RUDY PROJECT! I still have a picture of that helmet, by the way. (but I won't post because it's all bloody and I don't want to gross anyone out :).
I'm also lucky to have some great local support in keeping me and my bikes healthy! First, Big Bang Bikes is where I've bought all my bikes now (among other things) and they have ALWAYS taken such great care of me. If you are in the Pittsburgh area and need a bike or a bike part or access to THE best mechanic ever, Big Bang is your shop. I can't tell you how many times I've shown up at the shop with a million requests and, "oh...by the way...can you get this all done by tomorrow?!?!" and they don't even bat an eye lash. Good people.
And finally, the people that keep my body in one piece: Dr. Brad at De Novo Pittsburgh Chiropractic and Greg Babiak, my massage therapist. I'm not sure what I would do without either. I see Dr. Brad weekly (sometimes more), his magic hands go to work, and then amazingly enough my hamstrings move again! If you need ART in Pittsburgh, Dr. Brad is your man. And Greg is your man for sports massage! He is THE most thorough massage therapist that I've ever gone to. He takes his time and makes sure that each kink and knot is worked out. And he genuinely cares AND understands as he is a triathlete himself!
Needless to say, I have a lot of people looking after me. I couldn't feel more thankful and blessed AND ready to do these people and companies proud in 2013!