Wednesday, November 30, 2011

She Did it!!!

Sara not only completed Ironman Cozumel -- she rocked the course and placed 6th overall female!

To recap...

MRT professional triathlete Sara Gross raced TWO Ironman races a mere 7 days apart and placed in the top ten at both of them!

Ironman Arizona: 8th Female Pro
Ironman Cozumel: 6th Female Pro

Looking at her splits, it's hard not to be awe-struck...

IMAz: 9:18:03
Swim: 54:09
Bike: 5:11:34
Run: 3:07:52

IMCoz: 9:56:29
Swim: 54:44
Bike: 5:38:29
Run: 3:18:18

The run splits alone are a testament to her high level of fitness...can you imagine clocking stand-alone marathon times that good a week apart? And one year after giving birth!

We are all excited with Sara's results!!

Next up, will be Sara's race report and her thoughts on "doing the double."

Congratulations Sara!!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Sara Gross goes for the Ironman Double!

Last week, Mercury Rising Triathlon head coach and professional triathlete, Sara Gross raced Ironman Arizona and rocketed to an impressive 8th place finish in a deep women's field that saw two women dip under the 9 hour mark.

Sara's splits were:

Swim: 54:09
Bike: 5:11:34
Run: 3:07:52

Even more impressive is that Sara had the THIRD FASTEST marathon split out of the entire pro women field. The only two women who ran faster, were the two women who went under 9 hours...

Not too bad for a gal who gave birth a year ago, eh?

She makes it look so easy -- this is what a 3:07 IM run looks like.

And now, 7 days later, Sara has decided to take on the additional challenge of racing another Ironman race -- in Cozumel, Mexico.

That's right -- she is going for some IM double trouble action!

Check out tomorrow (Sunday, Nov. 27, 2011) to track and virtually cheer for Sara as she goes for it again!!

Go Sara go!!!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

100 x 100ms....




Coming soon to a Calgary pool near you...(word has it, next week) A group of nut-minded swimmers and triathletes take on the challenge of swimming 100 x 100ms. Why are they doing this? Because they can!

For your reading pleasure, here is an account of last year's epic session seen through the eyes of a 14 year old girl, Niki Carrasco (niece to MRT athlete Tessa P.):

So, whats the result of nine brave swimmers? Sore butts, puffy hands, rubber ducky families and hot goggle dents on your face would be the answer. When there are groggy and apprehensive people put together about to swim 10km there are bound to be some jitters. The best way to cure these nerves, other than telling them they don’t have to swim anymore, would be pancakes and fruit kabobs! And that’s just what was presented to the eight companions- Keith Cartmell, Lisa Walsh, Kari Strutt, Mary Jessey, Leanne Sherman, Lisa Isley, Kendall Pritchard and Maria Susnjar!

I was sitting poolside with nothing to do for a few hours. Looking back at it now though, I see how difficult it must have been. I mean, if I was asked to swim even 1km I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have made it. Okay, I wouldn’t have even been able to keep myself afloat, but that doesn’t matter. Everyone had a strong mind set and didn’t give up. I was originally at Talisman to be a live lap counter. And that’s what I did. For - I would say - 2.5 hrs. Leanne was lucky enough to have her water MP3 with her to keep her company underwater. I did have some fun counting laps for Mary, and it also kept me awake. For all the swimmers at the meet it was smooth sailing- or swimming?

I have no idea why someone would VOLUNTEER themselves to go through what I witnessed on Friday, but... I don’t know. Why would someone do that?! Okay, fine! It’s actually really great to get that training and discipline into your system. And personally, I would do it just to sweat - sweating is fantastic for your skin! Although, do you sweat when you're underwater, you're already wet..? Any how it was fun to get out and see everyone at the meet and to be honest I wouldn’t have done anything in the time I was at the pool anyways! Mary and Kari, the full 10km finishers now have something special to remember that day (and me!). The two got little rubber ducky families. Yes, families. Dare I say, to have a celebratory swim with? Nahh, I don’t think anyone will be submersing themselves in water for a while - especially after Friday.

Now, if given the chance to go to another 10km swim meet, would I go? Sorry, no thanks...

Monday, November 14, 2011

New Sponsor -- Tri It Multisport!

We would like to welcome Tri It Multisport as our newest sponsor!

Check them out at their Calgary, AB location:

2640 Parkdale Boulevard NW
Calgary, AB
T2N 3S6
(403) 270-7776

Monday, November 7, 2011

Swim Camp: Jan. 6-8, 2012 Calgary, Alberta

Mercury Rising Triathlon has assembled a team of highly qualified professionals including photographer, physiotherapist, massage, and coaches for the weekend of January 6 -8, 2012!!!

For who: Everyone! Everyone can benefit from this camp: Athletes who trained 2 hours a day as swim club kids as well as those of us who learned to swim as adults -- there is literally something for everyone at this camp.

Cost: $400

Why YOU should attend: This is an intensive swim-focus camp. You get one-on-one personal feedback from our three head coaches. Our coaches patrol the deck, and will give you specific drills to work on. The most exciting part of this camp is the detailed video recording of your swim stroke. Shot from various angles, the coaches study and break apart every aspect of your swim stroke and give you detailed feedback in the form of specific drills, stretches, concepts to think about, so you can improve your swim stroke.

Our Head Coaches:

Sara Gross (Professional Triathlete): Professional Ironman triathlete and former European Champion, Sara has a record of taking athletes beyond their expectations. An admitted non-swim-club-kid swimmer, Sara now consistently swims 53-55 minute Ironman distance swims. She explains and demonstrates swimming concepts in a way that is easily grasped and understood.

Clint Lien (coaching credentials include an Ironman Champion): Clint is THE uber-swim coach-guru-extraordinaire. Based out of Victoria, you can find him on deck coaching athletes of all swimming ability: both professional and age-group triathletes. Calling himself a “student of the sport [of triathlon]”, Coach Clint brings more than 27 years of experience with him. This is one guy who WILL help you with your swimming!

Carrie Matsumoto (dolphin trainer) – Yes, she really is a dolphin trainer. She, too, has extensive experience coaching all levels of swimmers – from beginner to advanced. Carrie’s swim instruction/advice has finesse – her strengths include explaining the nuts and bolts of your individual swim stroke while providing valuable advice as to what changes you can implement to start improving your swim stroke immediately.

Even More:

Maryna from Maryna Massage will be present on Saturday, January 7 to provide complimentary massages for camp attendees.

Scott from Panther Sports Medicine is back again this year, to answer, assess, and talk about anything and everything physiotherapy. Attendees from last year’s swim camp can attest to his impressive ability to assess and recommend specific treatment protocols for the individual athlete.

Kaz from Kaz Matsumoto Photography is also back again with his mad camera skills – catching all the action for attendees!

January Jump Start Swim Camp 2012

Fri Jan 6 @ 7:00pm - Sun Jan 8 @ 1:00pm

S.A.I.T. Aquatics Centre Calgary, AB

Tentative Schedule:

Friday January 6:

  • 7:00pm Welcome & Introductions on deck
  • 7:30pm – 9:30pm Swim Session #1; including individual underwater video recording

Saturday January 7:

  • 9:30am– 12:30pm Classroom Session #1; including video analysis, coffee and snacks
  • 2:00pm – 4:00pm Classroom Session #2; including injury prevention Q & A with our sponsor, Scott Sherman Panther Physiotherapy Trico Centre.
  • 4:00pm – 7:00pm Swim Session #2; including individual feedback

Sunday January 8:

  • 10:30am – 1:00pm Swim Session #3; including individual feedback

On Sat Jan 7 our sponsor Maryna Massage will be at the camp and offering a limited number of short massages, from 8:00am – 9:30am & 12:30pm-2:00pm.

Coaches: Sara Gross, Clint Lien and Carrie Matsumoto

Cost: $400 (includes 7.5 hours pool time, coffee, snacks, video recording and analysis, massage, photographs, injury prevention Q & A and individual stroke feedback)

Location: S.A.I.T. Aquatics Center, Calgary AB

Registration: Please download registration form under CAMPS tab on and submit to Questions and payment arrangements can be made to

Friday, November 4, 2011

Sponsor Spotlight -- Panther Sports Medicine

Why train in pain?

Panther Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Centres ( is a physical therapist owned and operated rehabilitation company. They are a network of 6 rehabilitation centres located throughout the city of Calgary that offer a wide range of programs and specialized services to help their patients restore and maximize their physical capabilities.

Along with their emphasis on orthopaedic, sports, and work related rehabilitation, they also offer specialized services including spinal rehabilitation, vestibular therapy, massage therapy, acupuncture, intra muscular stimulation (IMS) cranio-sacral therapy, orthotics, and custom braces.

Their team of highly trained professionals and dedicated support staff are committed to providing clinical excellence and exceptional customer service. Patients receive individualized rehabilitation with innovative, effective treatment techniques.

This past year, Panther Sports Medicine helped out a number of our athletes -- their physiotherapists taught us how to tape our feet and avoid future injury with a personalized stretching/strengthening regime. They also played an important role in getting 4 of our athletes to the Ironman World Championships in Kona healthy and ready to race!

Panther Sports Medicine physiotherapists are meticulous and thorough -- they take into account the specific training an athlete dose and the bio-mechanical demands on his/her body. For example, an Olympic/Sprint distance triathlete has different training and loading than a half-iron or full-iron distance athlete. And a hockey player has decidedly different training demands than a basketball player.

In any sport, the body naturally adapts to training loads and grows stronger. But sometimes, despite sufficient recovery and adequate nutrition, an athlete will still experience pain or suffer an injury. This can be incredibly frustrating for the athlete who is doing every "right" but is still suffering.

Most injuries have their roots in the spine, and the spine is like the control centre of the body -- even a small problem can be traced back there. Like the CPU of your computer, if it is busted, the physiotherapists at Panther Sports Medicine can take you apart and find out what is broken.

Take the leap to good health!