Friday, July 13, 2012

SOAS Ambassador and Paratriathlon World Champion, Danielle McLaughlin steps it up for 2012!

Meet Danielle McLaughlin our SOAS team member and Paratriathlon World Champion. A paratriathlete is a physically challenged triathlete. Some are amputees, have paralysis, MS or any other type of disability. They are classified by USAT and ITU and then placed in different divisions. Danielle races as a TRI-5 which means she has a moderate leg impairment.
Paratriathlon will make its debut at the 2016 Paralympics. Right now the focus is on building the sport and trying to recruit more paratriathletes. From Nationals in 2011 to Nationals this past May, the numbers have doubled! It is a growing sport and each race gets more competitive.
A bit about Danielle: She’s 25 and originally from San Diego, CA. She attended UC Davis for college and currently lives in Santa Monica, CA and works at the University of Southern California. She’s a below-knee amputee and cancer survivor (and darn proud of it!). She is the 2011 National and World Champion for her division. And that was her first year racing! When not training, she is advocating for Young Adult Cancer Survivors, hiking, traveling, or hanging out with friends. She loves traveling, though and that has come in handy since traveling so frequently for triathlon!
Danielle lost her leg to synovial sarcoma in August of 2004. “I was originally diagnosed in June 2003 and put into remission but the cancer returned much more aggressively in late July and we were forced to amputate. I was almost 18 and this was a week prior to the beginning of my senior year of high school. I went from living an active lifestyle to learning how to walk again. I missed sports a lot after the amputation but did not know what was out there for amputees.”
She decided on racing her first triathlon as a New Year's resolution. She had been spinning 5 -7 times a week and was completely addicted/obsessed with it. She started running a bit because it had always been a love of hers before the amputation. It was tough to run because she was running on a walking prosthetic. “It only seemed natural to me to do a triathlon if I was working at 2 out of the 3 sports! I did my first triathlon in April 2011.” At that triathlon, she was approached by the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) to attend a paratriathlon camp in Pensacola, FL put on by MultiSport Performance Institute. There, she was mentored by Amy Dodson, another below-knee amputee who races triathlons. “I learned a lot about racing and the abilities I had (learning to focus on what I COULD do rather than what I couldn't do). And I was hooked!” Challenged Athletes Foundation gave her a grant for a running prosthetic (some cost upwards of 20,000 dollars and insurance does not cover them). She started working with a coach (Bernard Baski, owner of TriFit Club & Studios) and bought a bike! “I haven't stopped since!”
Danielle recently took first in the TRI-5 division in Edmonton at the Inaugural PATCO Paratriathlon Championships! Up next, hopefully a local race in Southern California and then off to ITU Paratriathlon Worlds in Auckland, New Zealand in October to defend her title. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Team SOAS Readies for Vineman 70.3

This Sunday will see some of the best in triathlon line up for the annual Vineman 70.3, to be held in beautiful Sonoma wine country.  Vineman traditionally hosts one of the most competitive fields outside of the world championships.  Five of the SOAS crew will be out there flying the team flag so be sure to cheer for us as we pass by, and we'll return the smile.

Racing in the 30-34 category will be Steph Tobin, co-founder of SOAS racing.  Steph has aged up this year and will be looking to show her strength out on the course! Steph recently raced Ironman CDA and had a top 10 showing in the super tough AG. 

Co-captain Hailey Manning will also be out on course at the sme time as Steph and will be using this race as she prepares to tackle the "double" this fall in Vegas and then Kona world Championships.  This is Hailey's favorite race fo the season, so look for a big smile from her all day long!

Heading up the 35-39 category will be Alana Kennedy-Nasser, all the way from the big state of TX!  Alana will be well prepped for Vineman as the temps have been SCORCHING in TX as of late, and the Cali weather will seem refreshing to her.  Alana is also prepping for Kona in October. 

Joining Alana will be Andrea Wright Astudillo.  You may have seen our athlete profile on Andrea, she is making a comeback after a serious bike crash.  We are SO looking forward to seeing this gal rock the course!

Racing the 40-44AG is our other super co-founder Kebby Holden- Kebby aged up this year and recently won her first race of the season in Silicon Valley.  Kebby is known for her biking powers, so look for her to be smiling out in the vineyards.

After the race, I am sure that a few of the team will be getting to know each other a bit better over glasses of world famous wine and burgers in Healdsburg!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Gluten Free Banana-Quinoa Bread

I've played around with this recipe quite a bit and finally mastered this delicious, healthy, and low sugar breakfast bread.  For a quick bite before swim practice or your post Ironman training day gorge treat, it's sure to satisfy your taste buds.  Hope you enjoy!
This recipe has been adapted from Whole Foods Market and mastered by Chef Karleen Dirmantas

Gluten Free Banana, Quinoa and Almond Bread

3/4 cup quinoa flakes
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons Pamela’s Gluten Free Flour Baking Mix
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 1/4 cups ripe mashed banana pulp (about 3 bananas)
2 large eggs
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-by-2 1/2-inch loaf pan with pan spray.
Combine quinoa flakes, flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and xanthan gum in a large bowl. Mix together with a whisk and set aside. 
In mixer with paddle attachment, mix together mashed bananas, lemon juice and oil.  Add eggs and mix until just combined. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined.  Do not over mix. Fold in the almonds by hand.
Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake until lightly browned, about 40 minutes. Allow the bread to cool completely in the pan, about 1 hour.  
Can also be made into muffins.  Prepare muffin tin with spray or cup liners.  Pour about ¼ c into each cup and bake for 25-28 minutes.  Toothpick should come out clean. Cool on rack. Makes 12 muffins.