A few weeks ago, I wrote about my tri Sherpa. He has mastered the art of getting around on the course to see me everywhere he can. He’ll station himself at the planned spots on the course so I’ll know to look forward to seeing him, but sometimes he’ll pop out of nowhere and surprise me somewhere on the bike or run. [He’s yet to do it on the swim but I wouldn’t put it past him.]

He’s also mastered my EIGHT TIPS for being the best IRON TRI SHERPA. [He’s the inspiration for almost all of them!]

He’s READY - prepped, planned and prepared - he brings everything he needs for a long race day. It’s almost like he preps his own special needs bag (which looks a lot like a collapsible cooler). It includes maps of the courses, my predicted times, sunscreen, magazines for the in-betweens, cameras, and lots of rechargeable batteries.

He’s FLEXIBLE - he knows the IRONMAN motto that Anything is Possible can also mean Anything Can Happen. So he’ll create alternate routes and knows to be patient when my predicted times are not lining up with my actual times.

He SHOWS UP, not only on race day, but in the lead-in days when I need to vent my taper craziness or when I cry in my goggles. He also always wears something noticeable. He’s won’t wear a costume like my friend Erica, but he normally wears a bright color so I can pick him out of a crowd.

Did you know that smiling at this Lizard could save you seconds on your Ironman time?

Did you know that smiling at this Lizard could save you seconds on your Ironman time?

My two favorite tips are ADD A SURPRISE and WRITE IT OUT. A few years ago, one of my athletes did her first 140.6 at IRONMAN LOUISVILLE. She went out to run an tri errand or attend the athlete briefing and when she returned, her husband had done this to the wall in their hotel room:


Over 100 Post-It notes with quotes and mantras and words to inspire. They were written by friends and family or were quotes she used (or said) in training. What a surprise! Two tips in one!

Along the same lines - chalk drawings or posters. Get crazy. My friends have created signs out of rafts and chalked up miles of sidewalk with silly sayings - not just for me but all the other participants, too!


TO FIND out my last three tips to be the best trifan, get your copy of my IMNC 70.3 SHERPA GUIDE. It’s printable and pretty. Fill in the form below and it’ll land in your mailbox shortly. It also contains great places to eat and stay when you come to town.