Race Distance Result Time Shamrock 10 miler 10 miles OAF 1:02 FAU Wellness Triathlon sprint OAF 54:10 70.3 Florida 70.3 7th 25-29 AG 5:00 Best of the West Half Ironman 70.3 2nd OAF 5:04 Ironman Arizona Ironman 3rd 25-29 AG, 7th OAF 10:16
Race Distance Result Time 70.3 Florida 70.3 4th Age Group 5:12 70.3 World Championship 70.3 5:35 Ironman Florida Ironman 4th Age Group 10:36
Race Distance Result Time Buttar Moss Park Olympic Olympic 1st Overall Female 2:05:35 Red Hills Triathlon Sprint 1st Overall Female 1:14 Rhoto Ironman Florida 70.3 Half Ironman 4th Age Group 4:57 JAX Sprint #1 Sprint 2nd Overall Female 54 Florida Challenge Clermont Half Ironman 3rd Overall 5:45 Ironman World Championships Ironman 4th Age Group 10:58
Race Distance Result Time JAX Sprint #1 Sprint 1st Overall Female 1:01 JAX Sprint #3 Sprint 1st Overall Female 57:07 HammerHead Olympic Olympic 3rd Overall Female 2:23 Atlantic Coast Triathlon Half Iron 4th Overall Female 5:10 Ironman Florida Ironman 1st Age Group 10:34
- Ironman Florida
Coates is Going to Hawaii
By: Seeley Gutierrez
This year’s Ironman Florida was a successful day for many Tallahassee triathletes. Some finished their first Ironman, while others were able to add another notch to their Ironman belts. Two qualified for the 2010 Ironman World Championships. One of these, Shannon Coates, was also able to capture first place in her age group.
Coates, a former Florida State track and cross country runner, became interested in triathlon the way many runners do; while recovering from an injury she began biking as a way to cross train. This piqued her interest in triathlons, but she was unable to compete in them during cross country and track seasons.
While at Florida State, she enrolled in a Triathlon Training class taught by former Tallahassee triathlete Sean Phelps. Coates says Phelps was “very enthusiastic about triathlon and his goal was to share that enthusiasm.” At the end of the semester the class competed in the Longleaf Triathlon in Tampa. Despite resorting to swimming back stroke, Coates was able to come from behind on the run and win first place overall for the women.
Coates had lofty goals for herself heading into Ironman Florida. “I wasn’t just trying to finish the race, I was trying to race it and win my age group because I have always dreamt of competing in the Ironman World Championship. To earn the right to race in Hawaii, I needed to win my age group and planned to win at any cost.” With the help of her boyfriend, Frank Geraci, Coates hired professional triathlete Zach Ruble as her coach. She was given specific pro level workouts that prepared her for the race. Two of these workouts consisted of riding the actual race course in Panama City, which helped boost Coates’ confidence.
In the weeks leading up to Ironman, Coates was a bit anxious, as her friends and training partners did not have as much volume on their schedules as she. Once her taper started, however, she felt “amazing…like I was ready to race.” Coates’ family came up from south Florida to watch her race. She told them to tell her what place in her age group she was in coming off the bike. Thinking she was in third place heading into the run, Coates panicked and ran the first couple of miles very fast. She caught one girl early on, but kept hunting down the “other” girl she thought was in front of her.
In her search for this “other” competitor, Coates came upon Stephanie Liles, a training partner and fellow racer. The two ran the rest of the marathon together; Coates never found the “other” girl in her age group. Coates said, “Running with Stephanie made the run so much more fun and it kept me motivated and strong mentally. Even at points when we got too tired to chat, just knowing she was next to me running was so encouraging.” When Coates realized she was first in her age group, she “cried out in joy…racing Hawaii was a real reality. I could relax the last half of the run and Steph and I giggled and chatted the whole rest of the way.”
While Coates is now enjoying some much deserved time off training, she will soon gear up for her 2010 season. Ironman Hawaii will obviously be her main focus for the year, but she is also planning on doing some half-Ironman, Olympic and Sprint distance races. She would also like to lower her Ironman PR of 10:34. All this while applying and, hopefully, starting physician assistant’s school will be difficult, Coates states. But, “it is a juggle I am willing to take because triathlon is my livelihood and very much a part of me. Racing keeps me driven and motivated to accomplish any and all of the goals I have in all aspects of my life.”
Keep checking, more results to come!