John Pilkington & Steve Burton on their ElliptiGOs from San Francisco to San Diego

John Pilkington & Steve Burton on their ElliptiGOs from San Francisco to San Diego. Photographer : Bill Pinnell






Anna Deshautelle in La Jolla for the triathlon

Anna Deshautelle in La Jolla for the triathlon

I attended the San Diego Triathlon Challenge this weekend in La Jolla, and I’m still beaming with inspiration at being in the presence of so many amazing performances, made possible by the Challenged Athletes Foundation‘s (CAF) good work.  Several of my friends have asked me how to get involved, and I don’t mind singling out two athletes in particular who gave so much of themselves this weekend for an incredible cause.

Anna Deshautelle participated in the triathlon, and she swam a mile in the not-so-calm waters of La Jolla Cove, then rode 44 miles over the hilly-est possible course, then turned around and ran another 10 miles over those same hills.

All the while, John Pilkington and Stephen Burton were on a like-minded mission for CAF, riding their ElliptiGOs — yes, that’s right! — tough as that sounds, all the way from San Francisco to Encinitas (San Diego County) over hill and dale in wind and gales, night and day. These amazing feats were all for the good work CAF does.
My admiration and gratitude goes to them today.  I love each one of you!

Read more about Anna:…

And about John:…/donorR…/donorPledge.asp…

CAF - ElliptiGO riders John+Steve Oct2014-a

Photographer: Bill Pinnell

Anna Deshautelle at the start of the swim in the triathlon, La Jolla Cove

Anna Deshautelle at the start of the swim in the triathlon, La Jolla Cove


CAF Tri Start - La Jolla Cove  Tri start - Annas Wave


Marco’s home city, Florence, Italy.

I have been looking for an oppportunity to use Marco’s beautiful picture of Florence, Italy.  This is the sight of one my better race performances ever, one that produced a world best time of 52:15 for 15-kilometers.  I love this city, and I thought of the experience as “waking up in a museum” upon my first arrival.  Never mind that while the Florentine hills are exquisitely beautiful, they were tough to deal with on the course.

Following up my last post with Marco in Florence, I have learned that on his 42nd birthday,  he did indeed finish his 42-kilometer race in the Warsaw Marathon in Poland, as he describes in his latest blogpost:

As I replied to him, it’s time to simply reflect on what went right and what could be improved, and take the lessons learned so that perhaps next time, there doesn’t have to be a “wall.”

The rest of my week has been quite interesting, actually!  Now that Marco has moved from “novice” to “experienced” on my list of the runners I mentor, a new young female athlete arrived on my doorstep at the most unexpected moment!

Here I was earlier this week, in fact the day Marco sent me his report, making an appearance at a conference for a business industry, not at all related to sports, much less running.  I’ll be quite honest in saying that I’ve been preparing for this for months, but within the final week, I nearly got cold feet (pardon the pun) and thought to myself “why on earth did I agree to this? I am out of my element!

About the new “student athlete” I’m pleased to be mentoring  — well, who would guess that in the audience of a few hundred business people I was speaking to, it would also include one class of university students from none other than my alma mater, California State University at Northridge!?  So I relaxed, greeted them, and said “Go Matadors!”  Yes, I’m an alum, a Hall of Fame inductee, and a current advisory board member.

My speech was well received, as I drew parallels between the world of sports and the world of business, with a focus on teamwork. Afterwards, there were lots of questions and I sold lots of books (so there were interested runners in the audience too), but in particular, “Sandra” has asked me to help her towards her goal of her first marathon.  I am happy to oblige.

Just as I said to Marco, “what lessons did you learn?” I am now telling myself that “you don’t grow unless you’re willing to step out of your comfort zone.”  Lesson learned.

JQ conference CSUN group JQ conference speaker

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