• 2013/07/30 Meredith Kessler Mid Season Report
    • Meredith Kessler Mid Season Report Meredith Kessler Mid Season Report Meredith Kessler Mid Season Report

      We wanted to send our partners a mid season report and start looking forward to the championship months. After St. George a lot has happened; the typical huge ups and downs in the Life of a Triathlete…


      Meredith, her team, and coach deliberated and made the difficult but prudent decision to race Hy-Vee 5150 Championships, Kona World Championships, but skip the 70.3 World Championships. Even though she has had much success at the 70.3 distance, there are numerous reasons why racing this event is not ideal, although there is no right decision. We will elaborate more in an upcoming blog but we wanted to let you know first.


      Meredith raced in her first ever Olympic distance race at the Columbia 5150 and she got 2nd place behind an Olympian. This was some much needed experience before the Hy-Vee 5150 US Championships on September 1st in Des Moines, Iowa and a good tune up for the Kona World Championships. We then traveled to Quassy, Connecticut for one of the biggest Rev3 races. The competition was fierce and weather hot as Meredith posted a respectable 4th place after being under the weather. As we know, it is part of the job to push through these minor setbacks. It was fun to have Saucony at the event cheering her on!


      We then traveled to our home town of Columbus, Ohio where Meredith gave the commencement address at our high school. She showed off her speaking skills as she gave an inspiring twenty minute speech for the graduating class, teachers, and parents in attendance. Her talents never cease to amaze me!


      The whirlwind tour continued as we immediately traveled to Cambridge, Maryland to defend her title at Eagleman. The race was going extremely well as Meredith had a comfortable lead in 1st place with three miles left on the bike. She last remembers feeling happy with how the day was unfolding and excited to jump in her Saucony shoes for the run. I received the dreaded call from her coach, Matt Dixon of purplepatch, as all the pro women entered and left transition, that someone had crashed into Meredith and she was being airlifted to the hospital. We were all mortified (her parents and my parents were in attendance) as we did not know what to expect as we blindly drove to find the hospital. Some reports were many broken bones and unconscious, but we didn’t know how we would find her.


      The site in the hospital was heart wrenching as she was completely out of it and in obvious pain. The preliminary X-rays came back negative but we knew the recovery would be a long one because of the apparent head trauma, her third concussion in a year from accidents out of her control. We plan on releasing some blogs about adversity in the upcoming weeks to discussing the ensuing road to recovery for other athletes to learn from our experience…which leads us to Vineman.


      After much deliberation, brain testing, and hard work, Meredith and her team made the decision to attempt to race Vineman. The day started out with the dreaded equipment scare when, after charging the Di2 battery, the shifting became intermittent at best (a result of the crash). The onsite technician was able to get it working and we crossed our fingers it would not be temperamental. We built the Cannondale bike back up after the crash but we will be getting a new one soon for the championship races. Meredith powered through the swim in her Roka wetsuit and finished first out of the water. It should be noted that the first three swimmers were in Roka wetsuits!


      It took a little riding to get comfortable on the bike again and settle into a fast pace. Meredith was being cautious but her training allowed her to push the pedal at a swift pace. XLAB supplied a new water bottle, the Torpedo, which allowed better access to water throughout the ride – a great addition! The transition times were quite slow but it allows us to know where we can improve to make up some easy seconds, or in Meredith’s case, minutes. Meredith’s focus on the run came through on the Vineman course where she posted the fastest split of the day and held off Heather Jackson for the victory. She was thankful to be racing again after such a dramatic crash and to make it through the race, healthy again. It was great to see the whole Roka Sports team in attendance along with Recovery Pump!


      We then traveled the next week to Lake Stevens, Washington to compete in Ironman Lake Stevens 70.3; the dirty double. Meredith was in control from the start of the race as she emerged 1st out of the water, rode a controlled, safe bike, and ran a smooth 1:21 half marathon. It was two victories in two weeks and a heads up to everyone that she is back. It is remarkable to see her evolution as an athlete over the past four years as a professional. Before, she would will her way to a podium finish, exhausted to the point of collapse at the finish line. Now, she is controlled and smooth in her effort, crossing the finish line with a smile on her face with more in the tank.



      As always, thank you for all your support. Meredith does a lot of the heavy lifting but she couldn’t do it without her team and partners. We will hopefully be releasing Life of a Triathlete: Race Preparation in late August and, from the initial signs, it should be quite popular. Please take note of the list below as we enter into the 2nd half of racing in 2013. I’m sure, with every season, there will be more ups and downs but with proper preparation and a little luck, we hope to have the highs outweigh the lows.