Athlete Race Recap: Mighty Matapeake Triathlon, Keuka Outlet Trail Half Marathon, Morgan Hill Meat Grinder Half Marathon, Strathmore Parks Run, Bear Chase Half Marathon, Cazenovia Triathlon (Unofficial Virtual Race)

Posted On:
Monday, September 27, 2021
Updated On:
Tuesday, July 18, 2023
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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. :)

Mighty Matapeake Triathlon - Stevensville, Maryland

Jen stands ON TOP of the podium after winning her age group!

On Saturday, September 25, 2021, Jan Zanni raced at the sprint distance of the Mighty Matapeake Triathlon in Stevensville, Maryland. Jen loves to race and has done so frequently this season. After a busy year working as a healthcare worker in a COVID-19 field hospital serving others for all of 2020, the 2021 season has provided Jen with an opportunity to get back to doing something for HER and taking care of herself.

Jen has made steady progress all season, which culminated in a great day for her at the Mighty Matapeake Triathlon this past weekend.  After a strong swim, Jen had her strongest bike and run to-date this year.  Not only did she feel great during the race, but her efforts resulted in her winning her age group and finishing as the 16th overall female in the race!

I am often asked how long it will take to see results or be prepared for a particular event.  My answer isn’t usually exciting or desirable; it takes a long time - months or even years - to see big results and to be well-prepared for most events.  Having patience with this process is generally the hardest thing for athletes to do.  Jen has had this patience this year, and it’s been rewarded.  It took her all this time - close to ten full months - to really see the fruits of her labor.

So, if you’re wondering why you’re not seeing results from something you started last month or even three months ago, do not despair.  Do what Jen did - trust the process and stay consistent.  It will reap dividends for you like it did for her!

Congratulations, Jen!

Keuka Outlet Trail Half Marathon - Penn Yan, New York

Leslie runs with JOY!

On Saturday, September 25, 2021, Leslie Smith ran the Keuka Outlet Trail Half Marathon in Penn Yan, New York!

My only instructions to Leslie for this race were: “Have FUN!”

Leslie is a strong and committed athlete who has BIG goals that she wants to achieve. However, I could sense that Leslie needed something more than a time-based result. Time-based results are lovely, but using only time-based results as a measure of value can be detrimental. As such, I aim to have each athlete I work with find the JOY in what they are doing, including in racing. :)

So, that was my only instruction to Leslie (despite her continued asks for a race plan (meaning a pace plan)).  I continued to emphasize that doing this for FUN was the most significant way we could use this event.

Well, I’m so pleased to say that Leslie took me seriously, listened to me, and had SO MUCH FUN during this race!  After it was over, she commented to me, “I didn't know how much I needed that!  Thank you for recognizing that and pointing it out to me.”

Yes, it’s true. Many of the athletes I work with think that some of the advice I’m giving them seems counterproductive, or maybe even a little crazy. However, I am always giving the advice that I think can serve them best. I think we can all learn from Leslie’s experience here: Stop and smell the roses. Have FUN. And yes, even if it IS a race, you don’t need to have your self-worth defined by the time result that the finish line clock records. There are so many other elements to racing (and training) that make these experiences valuable.

Congratulations on a JOYFUL race, Leslie!

Morgan Hill Meat Grinder Half Marathon - Fabius, New York

On Saturday, September 25, 2021, Tiffany Barrett tackled the half marathon course at the Morgan Hill Meat Grinder in Fabius, New York!

This is a very challenging trail half marathon; there is over 1,700 feet of elevation gain in just 13.1 miles! The course includes lots of rocks and single track, so it’s not for the faint of heart! Tiffany is coming off of doing the ADKrazy just two weeks ago, so she was well-prepared to take on this challenge.

We managed her recovery carefully over those two weeks so she would have the best chance at feeling good throughout the entire race, and I’m pleased to say that this worked!  Even though Tiffany got a smidge lost and went off course a couple of times, she still finished this race four minutes faster than she did last year!

This is truly a remarkable result, especially considering that her body is not yet fully recovered from the ADKrazy (recovery from an event like that takes at least four weeks).  Tiffany’s endurance and fitness has climbed A LOT this year, and we’re seeing those results in her racing this fall.

Well done, Tiffany!

Strathmore Parks Run - Syracuse, New York

On Sunday, September 26, 2021, Jean Carnese tackled a great run-with-a-view in Syracuse, New York - the Strathmore Parks Run! This is a fun, four-mile course in the Strathmore neighborhood of Syracuse that takes runners to one of the highest points in the city, thereby giving them a great view of the Syracuse skyline and the surrounding area. On a beautiful fall day like we had in Syracuse on this particular Sunday, the views are particularly gorgeous.

But, that view doesn’t come without a cost - in the form of hill climbs to get there and hill descents to get back to the finish.  I’ve been including a lot of hill work, and specifically hill descent work, into Jean’s training schedule this year to help build up her strength and durability on the run.  Jean’s post-race report stated, “All those downhill focused workouts have definitely helped me with courses like these - thank you Coach!”

So, while hill work (and hill descent work ;) ) may not seem very fun when it’s being done in training, it really, really does pay off, especially in a race that is hilly like this one!

Around these parts, we call Jean and her husband Joe “The Carni.”  It’s important to note that Jean did beat Joe by one second in this race, thereby securing her position as “Carni #1.”

Congratulations on such a strong race, Jean!

Bear Chase Half Marathon - Lakewood, Colorado

On Sunday, September 26, 2021, Jennifer Pearce took on the Bear Chase Half Marathon in Lakewood, Colorado!

Jennifer has done this race NINE times now, and we’re sorry to say that she has yet to find the race’s namesake bear anywhere on the course. ;)

That being said, this is one of Jennifer’s favorite races and is the way that she typically chooses to culminate her racing season.  This run was a celebration of everything she’s accomplished (and overcome) and the things that she has learned during this year’s training cycle.

Congratulations on a fabulous season, Jennifer!

Cazenovia Triathlon (Unofficial Virtual Race) - Cazenovia, New York

Julie Matyasik was signed up for the sprint distance of the Cazenovia Triathlon (which took place on Saturday, August 28, 2021). Unfortunately, Julie had to withdraw from the race at the last-minute. However, she still wanted to put her training “to use” and complete a virtual edition of the race, which she did this past weekend!!

Julie tackled the bike and run courses of this challenging race all by herself, and she rocked it!

Julie’s persistence and experience are inspiring and noteworthy.  Even though things didn’t turn out the way she planned them to, she deliberately chose to have them turn out in a positive way for her.  You could say that she made lemonade out of the lemons she was dealt. :)

Well done, Julie!


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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