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Two Bear Crew Triathletes to Compete in National Championships

By Nate | August 19, 2011

Jason Baer and Sarah Pribram get their game on at Vermont Teddy Bear


Sarah Pribram running


Jason Baer biking

To put it mildly, being a triathlete’s not for everyone. You have to be able to swim, bike, and run for miles. You have to commit to the training time, which is a part-time job in itself. And, if you want to compete in a National Championship triathlon, you have to travel to wherever it’s being held in the country.

But for two lucky Bear Crew members, the National Championship is coming to them! This weekend, the USA Triathlon Age Group and Sprint National Championships is coming to nearby Burlington, Vermont. While the vast majority of the roughly 2,500 competitors are coming from out of town, Vermont Teddy Bear is extremely lucky to have two experienced triathletes competing: Sarah Pribram, our Vice President of Marketing Services, and Jason Baer, our Director of Analysis and Forecasting.

You may remember that we posted about Jason’s experience as a professional cyclist a while back. Since then he’s traded in some of the bike racing in favor of triathlons and marathons. Meanwhile, Sarah’s been a triathlete for five years, and both of them have competed in about 30 triathlons to date. I caught up with them today to get some more information about this weekend and triathlons in general.

How did you qualify for this weekend’s triathlon?
JASON: “You have to be in the top 10-percent for your age range of a sanctioned race in the previous 12 months. We both qualified in the Pirate Triathlon in Sebago, Maine.”
SARAH: “All the officials were dressed as pirates! Everyone was saying ‘Arrrr!’ a lot.”

How much training do you do?
SARAH: “I’m a low-volume trainer, about 8-10 hours/week.”
JASON: “I do about 8-15/week.”
SARAH: “We swim together two mornings/week.”
JASON: “…in Shelburne Beach!”
SARAH: “And we do a track workout once/week.”
JASON: “And we also each do group rides.”

What’s Triathlon culture like? Is it different from, say, marathon culture?
SARAH: “Triathlons can be very technical compared to running.”
JASON: “There’s more equipment.”
SARAH: “There’s more logistical considerations, but I don’t think we’re as obsessed about the details as some people.”
JASON: “The ratios of what you’re using, the nutritional supplements…
SARAH: “Heart rate zone training.”

How do you fit triathlon training into your work schedules?
JASON: “Triathlons work out well with our work schedule, because we’re busier in the winter.”
SARAH: “And races are always on the weekend, and we only do local ones. I’ve gone to Maine to compete.”

Does all the training affect your social life?
SARAH: “It IS my social life! Those are my different groups of friends that I train with.”
JASON: “The training you do is all in groups. It’s one of the aspects of the sport that people enjoy.”

Any pre-race rituals?
SARAH: “I always have the same breakfast. Except for one time…”
JASON: {Points to self} “Myers Bagels!”

Any parting thoughts?
SARAH: “The most important thing: Jason is starting four minutes behind me, so we have bets about when he’s going to pass me on his bike.”
JASON: “My goal is to pass her just as we go by her house on the bike course.”
SARAH: “The most fun part is the trash talking!”

I don’t know about the trash talking, but I know there’s bound to be much cheering this weekend for our two amazing athletes. Here’s wishing Sarah and Jason the best of luck! (We don’t have any triathletes among our Teddy Bears at the moment, but if you’re looking for a sports gift for your favorite athlete, we have a gallery full of Teddy Bears ready to celebrate their accomplishments.)

And I can’t close without wishing Jason and wife Julie congratulations on the recent birth of their daughter, Sydney. No word on whether she’s in triathlon training yet, but can it be too far off?

Topics: Bear Crew, Being Bear, Life in Vermont, Special Occasions | Comments Off on Two Bear Crew Triathletes to Compete in National Championships

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