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Announcing our 2014 Ambassador Program

Announcing our 2014 Ambassador Program

Headsweats’ Ambassadors are a part of our extended family. They have a passion for what they do and a love for Headsweats. We are proud to announce our new 2014 Ambassador Program. You’ll notice some familiar faces, along with some new ones. Some of them are runners, some are triathletes, cyclists, ultra-runners, adventure racing teams, but all have one thing in common – the desire to challenge themselves physically and mentally. We want to give all of our Ambassadors a big, warm welcome to the Headsweats family!

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Our Ambassadors are our inspiration – to get out and battle the elements, to challenge ourselves, and to push harder to meet our goals. We’re confident they will provide you with all that and more. In fact, each Ambassador has their own customized discount code that gets you 25% off any online order at headsweats.com.

Click here to check out our 2014 Ambassadors to learn more about who they are, what they do, and what makes them special. And feel free to give them a shout out on Facebook, a follow on Twitter, or connect with them on Instagram.

Are you interested in becoming a Headsweats Ambassador? Click here to find out how to apply and see if you’re a good match!

Which one of our Ambassadors inspires you the most? Tell us on our Facebook page!

Unicycle Across Alabama

Unicycle Across Alabama

Lauren Schifano is embarking on a unicycle trek across Alabama and it’s just 1 week away. Want to know more? Read her blog post on her exciting adventure!

Wow.

As of right now, I am exactly one week away from embarking on a unicycle trip across the state of Alabama to raise awareness for childhood obesity. It still does not seem real. Only four months ago the flicker of a dream ignited into this beautiful reality. I cannot attempt to separate my preparations for this trek from the amazing support I have received both near and far, from individuals and groups. Planning this has taught me so much about how truly wonderful people are.

Why?: Raise Awareness for Childhood Obesity, Raise Money for Louie’s Kids (Check them out at Louieskids.org), Raise Awareness for Sharing the Road with Bikes (and UNICYCLES ^^)

Formative Stage: The first month of preparations (after I convinced everyone that I was indeed serious and of a sound mind) involved reaching out for sponsorship and the beginning stages of a training regimen. Headsweats, Clif Bar & Co., Borden Dental, and Osa’s Garden (the wonderful health food store that I work in) were enthusiastic to get on board. Without you and the fantastic individuals who have donated their time, talents, money, and energy this would not be possible.

All of you gave me hope and the drive to keep pushing on.

Training: Considering that I started my training regimen only riding 5-8 miles per day… I can say that it has truly come a long way! Since these first weeks, training has involved back to back long rides of not less than 18 miles. I also included running and walking a few times per week to help with cardio conditioning. My goal on the trip is to ride approximately 40 miles per day, allowing me to reach my destination within 12 days after the start date, August 4.

The Trek and the TEAM: Thanks to the efforts of Dane Trelles, Unicycle Across Alabama has a set route that will take us from Florence, AL to Gulf Shores, AL (roughly 400 miles). Stops will be made in various cities to spread awareness for childhood obesity and the message of healthy and active living. We will be overnighting in Huntsville, Arab, Birmingham, Clanton, Montgomery, Greenville, Brewton, Bay Minette, and Gulf Shores. We will mostly be camping along the way, but a few wonderful people have already opened their homes to us. But who is this we?! I will have three drivers over the course of the trip to assist in hauling camping equipment in the sag wagon. The first leg of the journey is crewed by none other than my wonderful mother, Debbie Schifano, who will take me as far as Birmingham. The second leg will be crewed by my very close friend and ultra-marathoner, Steven Davis. My uncle, Tony Schifano, will be meeting us up in Montgomery to finish off the trip. Another very important member of the team is Wieland Claes. Wieland will arrive tomorrow from Belgium to ride a bicycle alongside me for the extent of the journey.

It is our unified goal to raise awareness to the issue of childhood obesity and how it can be mitigated. We hope to teach individuals the connection between body and mind, the importance of activity and nutrition, and the special balance that one needs in unicycling and in life. 🙂 We are very proud to be giving all proceeds from this trip to Louie’s Kids, who create individual programs for children and adolescents battling childhood obesity. Louie’s Kids, located in Charleston, South Carolina, serves the nation with great passion without expecting anything in return. I am very excited to have the opportunity to raise funds for this noble nonprofit.

Life of a New Pro: The Chris Wiatr Story

Life of a New Pro: The Chris Wiatr Story

This is the first installation in a several-part series that will attempt to answer the question: “What does it mean to be a young professional triathlete?” Over the course of the 2013 season, we will follow Chris Wiatr, a 21-year-old, second-year pro, as he deals with the ups and downs of training, competing, working, managing relationships with sponsors, and more. Chris is a Headsweats-sponsored athlete, and this article was originally published on TriTrackers.com.

Part I: First-Year Struggles

Ask the average American to name a professional athlete and you’ll hear “LeBron,” “A-Rod,” “Peyton,” maybe even “Danica.” Recognizable by first name alone, these icons of sport are synonymous with American culture. They, along with their teams, provide thousands of jobs nationwide, create countless secondary markets, and drive fashion trends (sometimes questionably).

The names Craig Alexander (“Doesn’t he work down on the second floor?”) and Julie Dibens (“Is she that pro golfer?”) aren’t likely to inspire recognition, even among well-rounded sports fans.

How about Chris Wiatr? Nothing?

He is a 21-year old senior at Lake Forest College, a small private institution located outside Chicago from which he will graduate in May. He was born in California but speaks with a slight accent that hints at his Polish ancestry.

Wiatr is also a professional athlete, one of the growing number of young pro triathletes across the country.

In a sport that has, until recently, been dominated by converted runners and “swimmers who can run,” Wiatr found triathlon at the relatively young age of 14. By the time most triathletes his age signed up for their first local sprint, Wiatr had been training and competing for five years. He enjoyed a successful junior elite career, finishing sixth in the USAT standings in 2009, but soon aged out of the division and began looking for a level of competition that local events couldn’t provide.

Wiatr's 2013 Tri Suit

Three years, pro card in hand, Wiatr found himself sitting in the pre-race meeting at the 2012 Lifetime Tri Minneapolis with a who’s-who of U.S. triathlon: Hunter Kemper, Andy Potts, Bevan Docherty, Cam Dye, Sarah Haskins, Gwen Jorgensen, among others. An underdog story if there ever was one, the narrative of Wiatr’s pro debut did not feature a storybook ending. In a 20-man pro field, he exited the water 15th but overreached in the early miles of the bike and was spent before the run ever started. Wiatr finished in 2:05:51, last among the pro men and over 18 minutes behind the winner, Kemper.

For Wiatr, the result was less important than the experience. With the rest of his professional career ahead of him, Wiatr was already counting down the days until Lifetime Tri Chicago, full of optimism.

The field in Chicago was again stacked, but Wiatr was markedly less star-struck. Wedged in between Cam Dye and Greg Bennett at the start of the swim, Wiatr wasn’t fazed and managed to stay in contact with the second pack. Despite heavy rain and cross winds, Wiatr rode well and finished the bike in 1:00:30, improving on his Minneapolis split by five minutes. Wiatr struggled uncharacteristically over the final 5K of the run, but his performance was good enough for 14th among the pro men – a positive note on which to end his first season as a professional triathlete.

What makes Chris Wiatr’s story interesting, however, is what we’ve yet to see. In 2013, for the first time, Wiatr will have a coach. He also began his training in earnest several months earlier than he did last year. And no longer competing for Lake Forest College’s cross-country team, Wiatr can devote his entire year to triathlon.

Last year, “uncharted territory” was a phrase that signified Wiatr’s inexperience at the professional level. This year, that same phrase describes his untapped potential.

To read more about Chris, visit his website, www.chriswiatr.com.

UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team Captures First Podium Sweep of the Season

UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team Captures First Podium Sweep of the Season

UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team Captures First Podium Sweep of the Season at the 2013 Roswell Criterium, as Luke Keough, Hilton Clarke and Carlos Alzate Take 1st, 2nd and 3rd Place, Respectively

Roswell, GA – Amidst horrible weather conditions on Sunday, April 28th, the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team outpaced the field from start to finish on a cold and rainy afternoon in Roswell, Georgia, en route to its first podium sweep of the season. Teammates Luke Keough, Hilton Clarke and Carlos Alzate, took first, second and third place, respectively, making it a clean sweep of the podium in Roswell for the Blue Train.

Now this is quite a Podium – the UnitedHealthcare boys went 1-2-3 in the pouring rain at the Roswell Criterium, the second stop of Speedweek. The Blue Train literally rode on the front from the gun, then rolled up their trademark lead out and delivered Luke first, Hilton second and Carlos third across the finish line!!! Congrats all around.

In his post-race interview with race announcer, Chad Andrews, Luke Keough remarked, “We’ve had a pretty good season so far and after last night (2nd place finish at the Terrapin Twilight Criterium in Athens), we wanted to come back strong. I think we showed that today. We knew it was going to be really wet and slick and we wanted to try and control it today. Everyone on the team rode a great race and I’m glad I was able to do my part and deliver a win for us.”

General Manager and Team Director, Mike Tamayo, added, “The boys were focused and motivated today. The weather was horrible and it was raining hard. It was impressive to watch them ride the front from the first lap to the finish. They worked hard for it, kept it safe, and delivered.”

The win in Roswell marks the sixth win of the season for the Pro Continental squad. The team will continue racing this week in the Southeastern United States for the balance of Speedweek A. The Blue Train will also head to the desert Southwest for the May 1-5 Tour of the Gila in New Mexico.

TEAM UNITEDHEALTHCARE ROSTER FOR 2013 ROSWELL CRITERIUM:

Hilton Clarke (AUS)
Carlos Alzate (COL)
Adrian Hegyvary (USA)
Karl Menzies (AUS)
Luke Keough (USA)
Brad White (USA)
Team Director, Mike Tamayo (USA)