Longtime Barbara Schmidt Millar Triathlon and 5K participant Offers Insight on This Year’s Event | TheUnion.com
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Longtime Barbara Schmidt Millar Triathlon and 5K participant Offers Insight on This Year’s Event

Longtime Barbara Schmidt Millar Triathlon and 5K participant Offers Insight on This Year’s Event

Local IRONMAN athlete and fitness coach Tiana Rockwell first fell in love with triathlons after participating in the Barbara Schmidt Millar Women’s Celebration of Life Triathlon in 2009.

“The water in the lake may be low, but our spirits are high!” – this is the upbeat theme of this year’s 26th Annual Barbara Schmidt Millar Women’s Duathlon (normally Triathlon) and 5K. After having to cancel the 2020 event due to COVID-19 and then pivoting to a 2021 duathlon due to water shortage in Scotts Flat, the BSM Duathlon committee hopes to make this year’s charitable event a huge success.

“While the whole world seemed to stop last year during the pandemic, breast cancer diagnoses did not,” said BSM Duathlon Race Director Danielle Scallin. “It’s vitally important that we continue to promote this fun-filled event and raise funds for breast cancer care and support here in our community.”

Unlike a triathlon — which starts off with a swim — a duathlon consists of a combination of running and cycling. This year’s duathlon event will take place in Cascade Shores and will include a 2.6 mile run, followed by a 10.5 mile bike, and ending with a 1.4 mile run to the finish.



Local endurance athlete, Certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, and endurance athlete coach Tiana Rockwell, NTP, believes this year’s event will give women in the community a chance to come back together and enjoy the feeling of camaraderie the race has historically offered.

While Rockwell has an impressive total of nine Ironman distance triathlons under her belt, the BSM Triathlon holds a special place in her heart as it was her first ever triathlon. After the event Rockwell says she “fell in love with the sport” and continued to train, working towards longer distances.



“My BSM Triathlon story is probably similar for a lot of women,” says Rockwell. “The support is unbelievable. Fellow athletes and every single person out on the course and in training wants you to succeed on race day. It’s one of those races where you can make it as competitive as you want, but the focus is on having fun and supporting a great cause.”

Rockwell thinks this year’s change from a triathlon to a duathlon will offer returning women a chance at something fun and new, while providing many women who aren’t swimmers or don’t have regular access to a pool a chance to participate.

“COVID-19 has limited pool access to many in our community,” says Rockwell. “A lot of folks haven’t had the chance to be in the water. The swim can also be the scariest part of the race for many athletes. My hope is that having the duathlon will open more doors for women who would like to participate.”

Rockwell suggests prospective BSM Duathlon participants practice “brick” training leading up to the race. A “brick” consists of a full bike workout followed immediately by a full run workout; in other words, it’s a session in which each part could stand alone as a complete workout.

“I frequently do bike/run combination training,” says Rockwell. “It’s a great way to train and it can be really fun. The second run — after getting off the bike — is generally the harder of the two, so practicing running off the bike will really benefit athletes come race day.”

Rockwell says it’s a great idea to practice training in Cascade Shores where the event will be held. She recommends the following workout:

■ Ride up Lake Lane and coast back down three times, for one to two minutes.

■ Run on a flat section of road and do one minute of “hard” (athlete’s level of hard) running with one minute of easy recovery.

■ Run through three to four cycles of the above combination.

“This workout recruits new muscle fibers so that your body gets stronger, faster,” says Rockwell.

In addition to the duathlon, the event also offers team opportunities. Athletes who are runners can find cycling buddies, and vice versa. The 5K Walk/Run also serves as a great way to honor the memory of a loved one or celebrate someone who has survived cancer.

“This event offers a great way to work on your own personal level of fitness while giving back to our community,” says Rockwell, who has several clients and a sister-in-law who have survived breast cancer.

“I think this is a golden opportunity this year to go out and remember why we are participating in this event,” says Rockwell. “I would encourage folks to get back to their roots as to why they started participating in the BSM Triathlon to begin with, then focus and go out and have a great time.”

Know and GO

BSM Women’s Duathlon and 5K

Sunday, Sept. 19

Cascade Shore, Nevada City

The funds raised from this event benefit affordable mammograms at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital’s Women’s Imaging Center, as well as scholarships for female high school graduates who are going into the field of health care.

For more information or to sponsor the event, visit bsmtri.org or call 530.477.9700.


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