Posted On:
Tuesday, October 5, 2021
Updated On:
Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Athlete Race Recap: IRONMAN 70.3 Memphis, Waterman’s Triathlon, Baltimore Triathlon, & Wineglass Half Marathon

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SO MANY Full Circle Endurance athletes were racing this weekend!  While most (though not all) Full Circle Endurance athletes have completed their “big” A-Races for this season, many of them are finding fun races to do in this fall season.  This weekend was a big reason for these fun, lower pressure B- and C-Races. :)

IRONMAN 70.3 Memphis - Memphis, Tennessee

The inaugural IRONMAN 70.3 Memphis was delayed by a year, but finally took place on Saturday, October 2, 2021. Heidi Caruso and Jacquie Craggett both set their sights on this race as their first-ever race at the 70.3 triathlon distance.

Challenges confronted athletes first thing on race morning; heavy rains in Memphis caused a lot of flooding and caused a bit of chaos with the parking situation prior to the race start.  As a result, IRONMAN chose to push back the start time of the race.

Heidi Caruso had a strong swim, and once she cleared the water, she was delighted to be out on the bike.  The swim was giving Heidi the most grief mentally prior to the race (as it does for so many triathletes ;) ), so once she successfully completed it, she had a lot more confidence for the rest of the race.  

Heidi executed a strong, steady effort on both the bike and the run, finishing all 70.3 miles of the race quite triumphantly.  Heidi works as a nurse at a hospital (so she’s been busy at work for the last 20 months) and is a mom to three very busy teenagers, so fitting in the training to prepare for IRONMAN 70.3 Memphis was challenging for her.  Nevertheless, she persisted, chipped away at each workout, and successfully nailed her goal.

Jacquie is all smiles as she finishes IRONMAN 70.3 Memphis!

Jacquie Craggett has been swimming with a Master’s Swim group for more than 30 years, so unlike many triathletes, the swim is not concerning for her. For Jacquie, the challenge lay in the run. Prior to IRONMAN 70.3 Memphis, she had never run a half marathon. Running is also the discipline of triathlon she enjoys the least, so we have been working on mental skills and tactics to help her find more joy in this aspect of the sport.

I’ve been working with Jacquie for three years now, and she is a methodical, disciplined athlete who prepares diligently for any challenge she takes on. IRONMAN 70.3 Memphis was no different. We checked many boxes in her training as we prepared for this race, and she arrived at the start line uninjured and ready to face the day.

Unsurprisingly, the swim went very well for Jacquie.  She cruised right on through the bike course, and steadily chipped away at her first half marathon.  Jacquie’s strength and diligence paid off, as she finished SECOND PLACE in her age group at her first-ever 70.3-distance triathlon!  This positioning was high enough to punch her golden ticket to the 2022 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship!

Both Heidi and Jacquie each had such a stellar day.  After more than a year of contemplation and preparation, they were finally able to see their goals through to the finish line, each surpassing their own expectations for what they could achieve.

Congratulations on a marvelous day, Heidi and Jacquie!

Waterman’s Triathlon - Rock Hall, Maryland

Yvonne and Kenny smile before the swim start.

On Saturday, October 2, 2021, Yvonne Brown tackled her final goal race of the season: The 70.3 Aquabike at the Waterman’s Triathlon in Rock Hall, Maryland.

As she headed into race day, Yvonne kept telling me how she was not feeling anything except excitement about the race.  This is a massive deal, as just four short years ago, Yvonne experienced fear and trepidation prior to her first-ever 70.3 triathlon, the 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 Lake Placid.  Over the last four years, Yvonne has worked diligently to boost both her fitness and her confidence.  This season, she’s been racing with pure joy.

For Yvonne, one of the highlights of this race was getting to experience it with her dear friend Kenny Noel.  She also had the added bonus of support from fellow Full Circle Endurance athlete Carolyn Classen, who was in town to support her friend Karen in her first-ever 70.3-distance triathlon!

Yvonne was stung a couple of times by jellyfish during the swim, but this didn’t deter her.  She set out onto the bike, ready to blaze a trail through the course.  Unfortunately, Yvonne’s allergies flared up significantly due to the high number of people who were cutting their lawns as she cycled through the course.  This caused her to have to slow down a bit, but she was still able to finish the race with strength and joy, capping off this amazing season with a smile.

Way to go, Yvonne!

Baltimore Triathlon - Chase, Maryland

Jen's bib and finisher swag from the Baltimore Triathlon!

Jen Zanni capped off her triathlon season on Saturday, October 2, 2021 at the sprint distance race of the Baltimore Triathlon in Chase, Maryland. Jen finds such joy in racing and has really enjoyed being able to race frequently again after a year of no racing!

Jen encountered smooth waters for the swim. When she got to the bike course, she had a bit of an incident where a bus blocked the entire road for a bit, forcing her to stop mid-race.  After waiting that out, she cruised on in to run her fastest 5K so far this season!  This solid performance was enough to earn her third place in her age group!

Well done and congratulations on a great season, Jen!

Wineglass Half Marathon - Corning, New York

Rain and cloudy skies greeted the athletes racing the Wineglass Half Marathon on Sunday, October 3, 2021 in Corning, New York. Full Circle Endurance athletes Deborah Chucoski and Natalie Metz were among the athletes racing.

Deborah’s main goal for this race was to run steady and have fun. Deborah is a visually impaired (VI) athlete, and she just started working with a new guide recently. The Wineglass Half Marathon was their first race together! I’m so pleased to say that Deborah achieved both of her goals at this event, and we’re excited to see where she goes from here!

Natalie’s birthday just so happened to be the same day as the Wineglass Half Marathon. Originally, she was signed up for the Wineglass Marathon, but unfortunately, Natalie broke her wrist right before her Peak Weeks of training. This injury was significant enough that it required surgery, which, in turn, required a modification of Natalie’s training. She made the very wise (although simultaneously very difficult) choice to run the Half Marathon instead.

Natalie took “Play the hand you were dealt like it was the one you wanted” into practice during the race.  She recast her goals, and I’m so pleased to say that she achieved them!  She achieved the time-based result that she had in mind, she was able to be comfortable and in control for all 13.1 miles, and had fun!  As the candles on top of the birthday cake, she actually achieved all of this on fatigued legs.  Recovery from major surgery is a very real process and it’s taken Natalie some time to build back up.  She’s only going up from here!

Congratulations, Deborah and Natalie!  And Natalie: Happy Birthday!


Coach Laura Henry

Laura Henry is a Syracuse, NY-based coach who is a USA Triathlon Level II Long Course and Level II Paratriathlon Certified Coach, USA Cycling Level 2 Certified Coach, VFS Certified Bike Fitter, and has successfully completed NASM's Certified Personal Trainer course. Coach Laura is passionate about helping athletes of all ability levels reach their goals and has coached many athletes to success.

She can be reached at

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