Category: Uncategorized

Saturday Morning Swims


James Carlson reports on Saturday Morning Swims with Coach Jack Alexander:

“Wow, I can believe that it is less than two weeks until Ironman 70.3 Austin.  I have really enjoyed Finish Strong’s Saturday morning swim session from 7-8 am.  Saturday mornings provides a unique opportunity to add an addition swim on the weekend, with enough time to squeeze a long bike and run in the cool morning hours. One of the perks of the Saturday morning swim is the ability to get some individual swim techniques from Coach Jack.  I feel this session has been especially helpful in brining my best race performance.”

Athletes coached individually or with a current group program are invited to attend any time.  Non-coached athletes can purchase a Tri-Swim punch card online and enjoy 10 sessions for just $100.  Pools are heated for winter months!


10 for Texas

Sixty-one Finish Strong athletes (along with several of our SelecTRI parents) created a huge presence at the 10 for Texas 10 mile race in The Woodlands on October 8.  Finish Strong’s Ronnie Delzer led the charge taking 4th overall and winning his age group. Mike Menster captured the master’s. Amanda Cruise took 3rd overall female and 1st in her age group. Bill Glaser topped his AG and finished 19th overall. David Blackerby, Leo Morales, Sharon Morin, Phillip DePrang and Deb Lyons also had podium finishes. Among our 60 athletes, many had PRs with negative splits.

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See below for results:
Ronnie Delzer 4th overall  1st in AG 56:35 5:40/mi pace – PR
Samantha McClellan 1st female overall  58:41 5:52/mi pace  – FSC Youth Summer Run Coach
Michael Menster  9th overall  Master’s winner 1:01:50 6:11/mi pace – PR
Amanda Cruise 16th overall 1st in AG 3rd female 1:03:01 6:18/mi – PR
William Glaser 19th overall 1st in AG 1:04:34 6:27/mi – PR
David Blackerby 26th overall 2nd in AG 1:06:03 6:36/mi
Leandro Morales 32nd overall  3rd in AG 1:06:40 6:40/mi
Eduardo Garzon  44th overall  5th in AG 1:07:43 6:46/mi – PR
Mark Fanelli 45th overall 4th in AG  1:07:47 6:47/mi – PR
Carl Holt  4th in AG 1:08:09 6:49/mi – PR
Wouter Barendrecht 8th in AG 1:09:16 6:56/mi
Gabriel Belforti  8th in AG  1:09:20 6:56/mi
Jessica Menendez  4th in AG 12th female overall 1:12:53 7:17/mi – SelecTRI Mom!
Victor Martinez 16th in AG  1:13:46 7:23/mi
Allan Reitzer 19th in AG 1:15:46 7:35/mi – SelecTRI Dad!
Jim Harrington 15th in AG 1:16:52 7:41/mi
Yves Puisieux 4th in AG 1:17:09 7:43/mi – PR
Rebecca Tortorici 6th in AG 25th female overall 1:17:10 7:43/mi – PR
James Carlson 22nd in AG 1:17:47 7:47/mi – PR
Mike Loudis  14 in AG 1:18:39 7:52/mi
Jonathan French 27th in AG 1:19:39 7:58/mi – PR
Seth Robert  20th in AG 1:20:23 8:02/mi – PR
Sharon Morin 3rd in AG 1:21:47 8:11/mi
Kenneth Page  11th in AG 1:21:49 8:11/mi – PR
Clayton Hall 10th in AG 1:22:10 8:13/mi
John Tortorici  36th in AG 1:22:10 8:13/mi
Deb Lyons  1st in AG  1:22:22 8:14/mi
Amber Swan 22nd in AG 1:22:40 8:16/mi
Michelle Correal 17th in AG 1:22:56 8:18/mi
Bret Strong 29th in AG1:23:51 8:23/mi
Nancy Decker Lent 29th in AG  1:24:32 8:27/mi
Bradley Finger 32nd in AG 1:24:59 8:30/mi – PR
Adnan Afzal  34th in AG 1:25:55 8:36/mi
Roy Fisher 16th in AG 1:25:58 8:36/mi
Barry Carroll 36th in AG 1:26:14 8:37/mi
Katerina Savelieva 33rd in AG 1:26:54 8:41/mi
Phillip Deprang  3rd in AG 1:28:40 8:52/mi
Matt McKinley 51st in AG 1:29:13 8:55/mi – SelecTRI Dad!
Kim Smith 17th in AG 1:29:14 8:55/mi
Claudia McMeeken 21st in AG 1:31:16 9:08/mi – SelecTRI Mom!
Andi McKinley  37th in AG 1:31:21 9:08/mi – SelecTRI Mom!
Mills Bell  54th in AG 1:32:15 9:14/mi
Jennifer Reitzer 40th in AG 1:32:23 9:14/mi – SelecTRI Mom!
Michelle Howard  20th in AG 1:32:28 9:15/mi
Pamela Paling  25th in AG 1:32:47 9:17/mi
Greg Maynard 52nd in AG 1:33:07 9:19/mi
Laura Machala  28th in AG 1:33:34 9:21/mi – PR
Shirley Santangelo 6th in AG 1:34:06 9:25/mi
Senthil Govindarajulu 68th in AG 1:34:07 9:25/mi
Ileana Carroll 26th in AG 1:35:27 9:33/mi
Carmen Kelleher  7th in AG 1:35:28 9:33/mi
Sheri Bell 58th in AG 1:35:35 9:34/mi
Leela Duncan 28th 1:36:47 9:41/mi
Brian Duncan  59th in AG 1:36:47 9:41/mi
Robert Bailey 44th in AG 1:37:17 9:44/mi
Ellen Kurtz-Hammond 13th in AG 1:38:58 9:54/mi
Lynn Bennick 31st in AG 1:39:07 9:55/mi
Jason Cetovich 89th in AG 1:39:08 9:55/mi – PR
Jessica Callan  41st in AG 1:39:12 9:55/mi – PR
Sara Vanderford  32nd in AG 1:40:01 10:00/mi
Angel Ybanez  55th in AG 1:42:55 10:18/mi
Julia Belforti  82nd in AG 1:43:04 10:18/mi
Irina Shikounova 59th in AG 1:44:29 10:27/mi
Gabriela Coates 143rd in AG 1:54:10 11:25/mi
Sara Hartley 59th in AG 1:57:50 11:47/mi
Charmin Armstrong 93rd in AG 1:59:07 11:55/mi – PR
Becky Fletcher 18th in AG 2:07:49 12:47/mi – PR
S. Craig Daniell 14th in AG 2:12:03 13:12/mi


For more results, go to:



Buffalo Springs 70.3

Finish Strong Racing’s W. Dale Claudel raced Buffalo Springs 70.3 on Sunday, June 26 and qualified for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Australia! Woo hoo! Here are Dale’s splits:

Dale Claudel's results at Buffalo Springs 70.3 2016

Dale reports, “It shows that I came in 7th in my AG but I actually placed 6th. I was able to secure a slot to the IM70.3 WC in Australia on Sept 4th which was my primary goal this year. We had great conditions for the race based upon what has typically been the case for this tri. However, it was still hot, very windy (tough cross winds with no terrain to block them), and the canyons made the bike very tough. I did better than targeted on the swim and bike but paid for it on the run. In any event, I was thrilled to qualify for the 70.3 WC!”

Gator Bait 15K Trail Run

Every Finish Strong athlete that raced the Gator Bait 15 K Trail Run in Huntsville State Park on Sunday, June 19 took home an award!  

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Enjoying the view from the podium were:

Sarah Moore 1st ag and 3rd overall female

Sara Vanderford 2nd in ag

Kathleen Crea 3rd in ag

Carl Holt 2nd in ag

Kenneth Page 2nd in ag

Congrats to all!!



Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon

Dale runsDale on podium

Dale with bike with Alcatraz backdrop

Congrats to Finish Strong Racing’s Dale Claudel!  He took on the challenge of the iconic Escape from Alcatraz on Sunday, June 12 in San Francisco. The Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon includes a 1.5 mile swim from Alcatraz Island in the San Francisco Bay. The race continues with an 18 mile bike ride out the Great Highway and through the Golden Gate Park. It concludes with an 8 mile run through the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The finish is at The Marina Green.

Dale jumped off the boat and swam through very choppy waters. Although knocked off course with strong current, he landed on shore in 1:08:41. Dale got in and out of the bike transition area in 7:42. He biked the hilly and scenic 18 mile course in 1:00:53. He then climbed up the famous sand ladder in 3:24 to begin the run. Dale’s finished the final 8 mile run portion in 1:08:06. His overall time was 3:28:22. Way to go!

Dale's results


For more results, go to:

Silverlake Sprint Tri

Joseph Tokarz at Silverlake Tri
Joseph Tokarz finished his inaugural triathlon at the Silverlake Sprint Triathlon on Sunday in 1:11:08.3.

Congrats to Finish Strong Coaching athletes who competed at the Silverlake Sprint Triathlon (400 meter open water swim, 9 mile bike, 3 mile run) held on Sunday, May 29 in Pearland. First time triathlete Joseph Tokarz finished in 1:11:08.3 – placing 8th in his AG.  Kenton Erickson also a newbie to the sport competed and finished in 1:11:37. Veteran Finish Strong Coach Jack Alexander won his AG and came in 6th overall in 54:57. Also racing from our SelecTRI Youth team was Chase Cieslar who won his 14 and under AG and finished 9th overall in 56:01.  Congrats to all!

For more results, go to:

Ironman Texas

What an intense day for Finish Strong’s 44 athletes who took on Ironman Texas in our hometown – The Woodlands – on Saturday, May 14!  These endurance athletes adapted to a last minute changed swim course, changed and more technical bike course with 85 turns, a run that featured intense heat and humidity for hours followed by downpour, lightening, thunder and even hail for the run.  Congratulations to all of you who trusted your training and overcame everything that was thrown at you!  So proud that 43 of the 44 (next time, Heather) got to hear Mike Reilly announce, “You are an Ironman!”  Twenty of you became Ironman for the first time!  I updated your results to reflect revised results from Ironman taking into account  race being suspended during storm.

Check out our Facebook page for more race photos!


groupmedalsMartawaterway runSara and Allen Jones at finish lineCarl at finish


Manuel Abascal – 1:20:24 swim; 5:43:23 bike; 5:11:29 run = overall12:44:36

Adnan Afzal – 1:45:29 swim; 5:44:08 bike; 5:53:17 run = overall 13:43:04 – first time Ironman!

Ric Alvarado – 1:46:24 swim; 6:07:17 bike; 6:06:25 run = overall 14:25:02

Robert Bailey – 1:29:53 swim; 5:18:42 bike; 6:04:58 run = overall 13:18:31

David Barnes – 1:15:45 swim; 6:07:39 bike; 5:31:45 run = overall 13:36:47 – first time Ironman!

Gabriel Belforti – 1:50:42 swim; 5:03:37 bike; 4:16:31 run = overall 11:30:10 – first time Ironman!

Greg Champion – 1:22:54 swim; 5:23:32 bike; 5:40:43 run = overall 12:50:36 – first time Ironman!

Stephen Clouthier – 1:15:35 swim; 4:47:07 bike; 5:29:02 run = overall 11:43:01

Sheila Cook – 1:17:59 swim; 5:53:11 bike; 4:52:26 run = overall 12:28:16 – first time Ironman!

W. Dale Claudel – 1:33:40 swim; 4:14:14 bike; 4:50:12 run = overall10:50:43

Bradley Finger – 1:10:08 swim; 5:05:21 bike; 5:07:33 run = overall 11:50:59 – first time Ironman!

Eduardo Garzon – 1:37:55 swim; 4:55:09 bike; 4:42:47 run = overall 11:29:38 – first time Ironman!

Kristen Gohlke – 1:13:20 swim; 5:11:13 bike; 4:25:31 run = overall 11:01:17

Kerry Gordon – 1:26:58 swim; 5:35:42 bike; 5:04:46 run = overall 12:31:55

Chris Hirsekorn – 1:23:56 swim; 5:49:13 bike; 4:56:31 run = overall 12:24:12 – first time Ironman!

Carl Holt – 1:36:31 swim; 5:09:53 bike; 4:34:53 run = overall 11:38:06

Michelle Howard – 1:24:44 swim; 5:29:42 bike;  5:21:28 run = overall 12:28:44

Sara Jones – 1:36:13 swim; 4:52:53 bike; 4:03:12 run = overall 10:43:45

Jason Langridge – 1:16:27 swim, 4:47:03 bike; 4:20:33 run = overall 10:47:23

Steven Lopez – 1:45:04 swim; 5:38:26 bike; 5:02:36 run = overall 12:55:02 – first time Ironman!

Janet Luna – 1:50:40 swim; 6:24:59 bike; 6:42:38 run = overall 15:32:19 – first time Ironman!

Greg Maynard – 1:34:03 swim; 5:42:49 bike; 5:19:11 run = overall 13:02:40 – first time Ironman!

Mario Menendez- 1:28:49 swim; 4:340 bike; 4:38:05 run = overall 10:58:22  (SelecTRI dad)

Sharon Morin – 1:35:07 swim; 5:54:56 bike; 4:33:34 run = overall 12:19:51

Jerry Palmer – 1:31:10 swim; 5:32:27 bike; 6:33:42 run = overall 14:00:02

Javier Perez Alferez Y Vega – 1:26:49 swim; 4:51:46 bike; 4:11:29 run = overall 10:50:53 (SelecTRI dad)

Kimberly Pilcher – 2:14:45 swim; 6:09:24 bike; 5:30:40 run = overall 14:15:32

Yves Puisieux – 1:36:54 swim; 5:28:48 bike; 4:48:41 run = overall 12:17:11 – first time Ironman!

Amie Quinn – 1:19:05 swim; 5:04:39 bike; 5:34:23 run = overall 12:10:27 – first time Ironman!

Jones Rusty Ramsey – 1:32:00 swim; 5:17:49 bike; 5:17:37 run = overall 12:35:58

Marcus Ratcliff – 1:26:53 swim; 5:09:19 bike; 5:57:08 run = overall 13:04:07

Keith Sacchieri – 1:35:59 swim; 5:52:13 bike; 6:26:58 run = overall 14:17:54

Scott Sacchieri – 1:25:26 swim; 6:12:47 bike; 6:06:59 run = overall 14:13:15 – first time Ironman!

Scott Schweinsberg – 1:41:10 swim; 6:21:40 bike; 5:47:36 run = overall 14:15:01- first time Ironman!

Brent Scott – 1:43:27 swim; 5:05:26 bike; 4:49:01 run = overall 11:57:48

Gloria Shrewsbury – 1:26:36 swim; 5:48:14 bike; 5:38:03 run = overall 13:18:54

Allison Stephan – 1:46:44 swim; 5:19:49 bike; 6:07:48 run = overall 13:34:24 – first time Ironman!

Aaron Stryk – 1:32:47 swim; 5:48:14 bike; 5:40:50 run = overall 13:28:58 – first time Ironman!

John Tortorici – 1:22:28 swim; 4:50:23 bike; 5:11:13 run = overall 11:35:31

Marta Valenzuela – 1:36:32 swim; 6:14:58 bike; 5:40:33 run = overall 13:46:47 – first time Ironman!

Sara Vanderford – 1:51:56 swim; 5:57:14 bike; 6:51:05 run = overall 15:00:43

Shannon Vultaggio – 1:54:22 swim; 6:10:34 bike; 6:47:39 run = overall 15:19:09 – first time Ironman!

Heather Wolfe – 1:47:11 swim; 7:13:18 bike – DNF

Angel Ybanez – 1:27:23 swim; 6:01:23 bike; 5:43:04 run = overall 13:37:48

April Zimmerman – 1:38:27 swim; 6:11:07 bike; 5:27:35 run = overall 13:48:43 – first time Ironman!


For more on results and result disclaimers, go to









Gorge Waterfalls 100K Trail Race

Finish Strong Coach Ronnie Delzer placed 9th overall at the Gorge Waterfalls 100k trail race in Columbia River Gorge, OR on April 2, 2016.  That’s 62 miles with 12,000’ elevation gain!  Some of the top ultra runners in the country and world came to compete for an automatic entry into the 2016 Western States 100 mile event.  Ronnie reports, “I’m happy with my results and how I held together until the end.  I started out in the top 20 and worked my way up towards the front.  Most of these guys were from the west coast and were obviously very strong climbers.  I had to make up time on the flatter sections and some of the descents but the course was technical so it wasn’t a fast race.  Took me 4:50 to get to the turn around but 5:35 to make it back.   I’ve never run anywhere quite like this before!Ronnie




Hall of Famer – Coach Jack Alexander

Congratulations to Finish Strong Coach Jack Alexander who received the Hall of Fame award from the USAT SMW Region for his successful career as a triathlete and coach.

Finish Strong athletes know Jack as our amazing swim coach who has coached national champions in sprint triathlon.  And some even know that Jack was a member of the Olympic team representing Canada in the modern pentathlon in 1976.  Jack has racked up a number of awards over his long career, including winning the Canadian National Championship many times between 1972 and 1984. And he continues to compete at the international level.  This year Jack captured 4th in his age group at the world championship.

So, it comes as no surprise that Jack was awarded this prestigious Hall of Fame award. Congratulations, Jack!!

Jack awarded Hall of Fame by Orb Greenwald of USAT SMW Region.