As the 2018 season gets underway, the 17 women of Smash-Dimond team are getting ready to tackle a wide range of smashfests: from Ultraman to sprint national championships. And they’ll be doing it on the fastest bikes and in the most comfortable kits. (And they’ll look cool doing it.)
Get to know the elite age-groupers and pro triathletes who will be representing these two passionate brands this year. Plus, these women share their favorite gear and tips—so you can be just as ready to smash it as they are!
Best race result: My age-group win at Ironman Canada in 2014.
2018 races: Oceanside 70.3, some local events
Favorite Smashfest Queen item: I can’t pick one! My pompom beanie has been keeping me warm all winter, the new SFQ swimsuit is super comfy, and all my cycling bibs have kept my tush comfy during all the winter indoor rides.
If you could go back and do one thing differently your first year of triathlon, what would it be? I’d try to not be so weight conscious. For years I weighed and counted everything I ate and it led to a pretty serious crash and burn.
Beverly Hills, California
Best race result: I finished Ironman Florida in 2013 in 10:20, at age 51, for my first Kona qualification.
2018 races: Victoria 70.3, Santa Rosa 70.3, not sure what else yet
Favorite Smashfest Queen item: The muscle tanks, especially the gray one. And Hustle Sold Separately is my new favorite kit.
If you could go back and do one thing differently your first year of triathlon, what would it be? I would have joined a tri club/training group right away instead of waiting almost two years. I joined L.A. Tri club early on and made some of my best friends, with awesome group workouts and social events.
Best race result: My first Ironman podium, 5th place in my age-group, at Ironman Coeur d’Alene in 2017.
2018 races: Oceanside 70.3, Hawaii 70.3, New Hampshire Sea to Summit Triathlon, Ironman Taiwan
Favorite Smashfest Queen item: Energy Lab kit! It's bright and beautiful, light and comfortable, and named in honor of the Big Island, my favorite place.
If you could go back and do one thing differently your first year of triathlon, what would it be? In training and racing, there are good days and bad days, and the lows are never as low as you think.
Best race results: The Tri AC sprint last August. I had raced this particular sprint race for the last few years and was always so close to top 10. And I had just come off of Ironman Lake Placid and training for endurance, so I went into it with the "have fun” attitude. I shocked myself and pulled a third-place age-group podium. And that is when I knew sprints were my spirit distance. I love the adrenaline rush and speed, so a month later I joined Team HPB to begin getting faster for this upcoming season.
2018 races: New Jersey Devilman Tri, Independence Tri Lake Nockamixon, Women’s Philly Tri, New Jersey State Triathlon, USAT Age Group Nationals, Atlantic City 70.3
Favorite Smashfest Queen Item: If I had to pick one: I love the aero tops, because I am so pale and it gives me an extra layer of protection so I don't fry.
If you could go back and do one thing differently your first year of triathlon, what would it be? READ the athlete guide and know the course prior to the race! Not knowing the course or the rules puts you at a disadvantage and makes you look bad, plus it can hurt those around you as well when you don't follow the rules. When in doubt, ask! We all had to start somewhere and certainly didn't wake up one morning knowing how to do everything correctly.
Cottage Grove, Minnesota
Best race result: Ironman Wisconsin 2017 — I PR’d the course in 11:11, finally broke four hours in an Ironman marathon, and qualified for Kona.
2018 races: Ironman Boulder, Ironman Wisconsin, Kona World Championships, Ironman Arizona
Favorite Smashfest Queen item: The team kit, because I totally channel the strength of my teammates. Being from Minnesota, where it is winter for five-plus months, I also love all the hats and the converter gloves. I could also pretty much live in the All-Day leggings, if only I could get away with wearing them to work.
If you could go back and do one thing differently your first year of triathlon, what would it be? Take swim lessons when you were a kid! If stuck with being an Adult Onset Swimmer — start learning to swim more than a few months before your first triathlon. Perhaps that would have made my first year less traumatic.
Mary Knott, aka ‘Finding Kona’
Best race result: Ultraman Australia Day 2: 9:01:53. I never would have imagined that I would be racing 171 miles. The competition was steep and I had to give my very best effort on the day to finish in first.
2018 races: Oceanside 70.3, Ironman Texas, Ironman Santa Rosa, Ironman Boulder, Ultraman World Championships
Favorite Smashfest Queen item: For racing, the Ready for Action aerosuit. Can you say hot?! For training, the Finding Kona cycling bibs and jersey. Knowing that my journey inspired it's creation, I love wearing this kit for tough workouts. It reminds me of where I've been and helps me dig deep. And for lounging, the All-Day leggings. Really, they should be called the All-Week leggings, because I have a hard time taking them off once I put them on.
If you could go back and do one thing differently your first year of triathlon, what would it be? Do what you love, not what everyone else is doing. If you follow your passion in triathlon, it will never let you down. It will get you out of bed to train. It'll get you through every tough workout. And it'll get you across the line on race day.
Best race result: My PR at North Carolina 70.3 this past October in 4:50:14 and a 4th-place age-group finish/10th overall female, and a slot to 70.3 world championships in South Africa.
2018 races: Eagleman 70.3, Ironman Mont Tremblant, North Carolina 70.3
Favorite Smashfest Queen item: Definitely my dark grey SFQ muscle tank.
If you could go back and do one thing differently your first year of triathlon, what would it be? Don’t try a Peanut Butter gel during a race when it’s 100 degrees. You *will* throw up. :(
Best race result: I’m most proud of the last lap of Washington Island Ultra last year, where I just raced like I trained and had an unexpected result, snagging a few more laps on the swim and run in the last 30 minutes to be the top woman.
2018 races: Washington Island Ultra
Favorite Smashfest Queen item: Tough, real tough, but Skyline and Fast n’ Loud are my jam, and anytime I can wear my beanie and not melt (which is hard in Tucson).
If you could go back and do one thing differently your first year of triathlon, what would it be? I would have handled nutrition better and been more intuitive, instead of listening to what I thought I was supposed to be doing or taking unsolicited advice that didn’t fit the needs of my body.
Best race result: Oceanside 70.3 in 2017—the race as a whole was good, but I am most proud of running my first sub-2:00 half-marathon off the bike.
2018 races: Oceanside 70.3, Ironman Santa Rosa
Favorite Smashfest Queen item: My go-to right now is my Smash Endurance vest. It's perfect for riding this time of year in Phoenix, because it’s cooler in the mornings and then, as it warms up, I can shed the vest and it fits perfectly in my jersey pocket.
If you could go back and do one thing differently your first year of triathlon, what would it be? Take time to seriously learn and practice nutrition and hydration. My first year or so I was not very knowledgeable. I got lucky in races and was able fake it, but it caught up with me and led to some frustrating races last year. After some research and a little trial and error, I now have a plan that I can execute on race day.
2018 races: Wildflower Long Course, Muncie 70.3, 70.3 World Championships, Ironman Cozumel
Favorite Smashfest Queen item: My favorite race kit is Ready for Action, favorite cycling kit is Chisel, and I’m currently in love with my Aloha trucker.
If you could go back and do one thing differently your first year of triathlon, what would it be? Surround yourself with encouraging, motivating training partners, but also don't be afraid to train some with others who will absolutely kick your ass, it’ll make you stronger in the long run.
San Rafael, California
Best race result: My first race after starting training with Hillary—Ironman Wisconsin in 2015. I smashed all my ‘stretch’ goals, took second overall, had the most fun every high-fiving everyone in the last two miles, and finally realized I could be pretty good. The key was repeating “do not stop running for any reason” over and over in my head for 26.2 miles.
2018 races: Wildflower Long Course, Finland 70.3, Sweden 70.3, Ironman Lake Placid, Swimrun USA
Favorite Smashfest Queen item: I live in the muscle tanks in the summer and have been living in the Puff Puff jacket this winter. I also managed to wear the Ultra long-sleeve for a ski race, a 50K, and to warm-up for a Spartan. It’s got range. My current favorite kit, though, is the Energy Lab premium bibs and jersey.
If you could go back and do one thing differently your first year of triathlon, what would it be? I would seriously train more. I can handle more than I (or other people) think. And I would realize sooner that I can do it my way, which means have fun, only train with people I like, and don’t be too uptight about too many things.
Best race result: Ironman Chattanooga in 2017 was my first time racing a full Ironman under a coach (Alyssa Godesky) and the first time I really felt prepared. It was also my first time qualifying for Kona, which is an indescribable feeling.
2018 races: Oceanside 70.3, St. George 70.3, Ironman Boulder, Kona World Championships
Favorite Smashfest Queen item: Any aerosuit ftw.
If you could go back and do one thing differently your first year of triathlon, what would it be? In my first triathlon I wore a huge windbreaker on the bike and basically became a parachute. It probably would of been easier to set myself up for success with the right type of clothing. Sometimes looser clothing “feels” better, but when racing: tighter, as long as it’s comfortable, is ideal. So you don’t become a parachute too.
Best race result: I just completed The Speed Project, a 340-mile running relay from L.A. to Las Vegas, on an all-women team of ten. I'm crazy proud of how the women met for the first time the day before the race and were able to quickly bond as a team. It's a super tough race, and I hung in there alongside some incredibly talented runners. We were all so fired up in the last 20 miles, cranking out 5:15-6:30/mile segments downhill into Las Vegas! We finished as the first all-women's team, 10th-place overall, in 41 hours 31 minutes.
2018 races: Oceanside 70.3, Pike's Peak Ascent, Kona World Championships
Favorite Smashfest Queen item: The vest. It's the perfect piece of gear for Colorado.
If you could go back and do one thing differently your first year of triathlon, what would it be? On race day keep everything a simple as possible: less gear, fewer things to remember to use. Let your mind focus on the effort and not having to remember to grab 25 items in transition.
San Ramon, California
2018 races: Post-baby recovery: a few running races, Waco 70.3, Indian Wells 70.3
Favorite Smashfest Queen item: The 7-inch tri shorts in any design. They’re miracle shorts and the only thing I wear on my tri bike (and sometimes on my road bike too). Never had a saddle issue since I found Smashfest Queen!
If you could go back and do one thing differently your first year of triathlon, what would it be? Before you start any intense long distance training, take the time for some medical tests to establish a good healthy baseline—i.e., a routine annual check-up, baseline blood tests, a CBC, thyroid screening. This gives you something to compare to if you should come across a time when you aren’t seeing results from your training or you are continually fatigued and fighting of colds.
Best race result: The Richmond Marathon, where I BQ’d with a 3:35:45. My best half-Ironman was Florida 70.3 last year, with a 5:59, but with Hillary kicking my butt this year I think I’ll improve on that immensely!
2018 races: Oceanside 70.3, Bay Bridge 4.4-mile swim, New York City Triathlon, Musselman Half-Ironman, Ironman Mont-Tremblant, and Chicago Marathon
Favorite Smashfest Queen item: The crop top has revolutionized my life, not to be melodramatic or anything.
If you could go back and do one thing differently your first year of triathlon, what would it be? Spend more time in the pool. It’s taken me 14 years to embrace the swim and I have finally learned to love it!
Granada Hills, California
Best race results: Ironman Arizona 2017 in 10:18 and qualify for Kona
2018 races: Boston Marathon, Ironman Boulder, Kona World Championships, New York City Marathon
Favorite Smashfest Queen item: SFQ socks. I love all of them, and use them as both socks and wrist/sweat bands. I feel complete and ready to take on anything once I have the SFQ hummingbird on my feet and around my wrist.
If you could go back and do one thing differently your first year of triathlon, what would it be? I would practice swimming in my wetsuit before my first race. The first time I swam in my wetsuit I didn't pull it up high enough and choked my way through an already daunting first open water swim. Good times.
Best race result: Always Ironman Mont-Tremblant. I finished before dark and in time for the Game of Thrones finales. And I PR’d.
2018 races: Ironman Boulder, Ironman Lake Placid, Ironman Mont-Tremblant
Favorite Smashfest Queen item: Aerosuits, all of them. And all of the muscle tanks as well.
If you could go back and do one thing differently your first year of triathlon, what would it be? My advice to a beginner would be: Don’t Be Scared.