Ironman champ hopes to share triathlon experience in new book | SteamboatToday.com

Ironman champ hopes to share triathlon experience in new book

— Even in retirement, it hasn't stopped for Heather Gollnick, a world-class triathlete who moved earlier this year to Steamboat Springs with her family.

The five-time Ironman champion has scaled back her competing, but when she looks ahead to Sunday's Steamboat Springs Triathlon, set to begin at 8 a.m. at Lake Catamount, she sees a race where she wants to shine.

"I would love to do well," she said. "I just like to race. I like to race as hard as I can no matter how I finish."

Her new Routt County neighbors got the first taste of her triathlon prowess earlier this summer when she won the Steamboat Lake Sprint Triathlon, and she hopes to give them a bit more in the Catamount waters and on the running and cycling routes that surround the picturesque lake.

Athletes won't need to be at that event to get a peek into Gollnick's competitive mind, however. That's exactly what she hoped to share with readers in her new book, “Triathlete EQ: A Guide for Emotional Endurance.”

Gollnick said the idea for the book came from her co-author, Dr. Izzy Justice, whom she was training for triathlons. The inspiration, however, came from her years as one of the world's best endurance performers.

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"I was never the fastest swimmer, never the fastest on the bike and never the fastest runner, but I could win races, especially the long nine- or 10-hour endurance races," she said. "A lot of racing is between the ears, and that’s where I had success.

"I have so much experience racing and coaching other athletes. A lot of them train, but they don't train their brains, so this is all really about the mental and emotional side of racing."

Gollnick will attend a series of book signings this week leading up to Sunday's triathlon. Her book is available forĀ $27.95 for the hardcover, $17.95 for the paperback and $3.99 at Amazon for the e-book. It is available online and also at Off the Beaten Path Bookstore in Steamboat Springs, where she'll speak about her sport and sign copies of the book at 5 p.m. Friday.

She'll then sign again from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Sheraton Steamboat Resort while packet pickup is underway for the triathlon.

The triathlon begins at 8 a.m. Sunday with a 1.5-kilometer dash through the lake. That's followed by a 40K bike ride that darts into Steamboat Springs on River Road, then back to Catamount. Finally, there's a 10K run that wraps around the lake.

Race director Lance Panigutti said registration is on par with last year, meaning about 375 athletes should take to the course Sunday. About 30 percent will hail from Routt County and Northwest Colorado with most of the rest making the trip from the Front Range.

"Even though the sprint distance is shorter, this is the easier course," Panigutti said. "It's ironic, but even though it’s longer, the altitude is lower and the course is flatter, and it's just easier. They're both scenic in their own way."

Registration remains open at http://www.withoutlimits.co and will be open until packet pickup Saturday. The race costs $110.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com

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