We often get recommendations for guests here on The Kona Edge and today’s has been recommended more than anyone one else (If you know someone who has raced on the big island we’d love you tell us about the. You can email brad at the kona edge dot com). Today on the podcast we get to share Marni Sumbal’s story.


BRAD BROWN:  It’s a great pleasure to head all the way to South Carolina to welcome our next guest onto the podcast, Marni Sumbal. Marni welcome, thank you so much for joining us today.

MARNI SUMBAL:  Thanks Brad for having me, I’m excited to be here today.

BRAD BROWN:  I have to tell you, I often on the podcast ask people to pop me an email and tell me if there is someone that they think I should chat to on the podcast and I haven’t told you this, but you are the most requested guest. I get emails literally all the time saying: You have to chat to Marni, she is incredible, she’s married to a phenomenal athlete as well, between the two of them they are fantastic. We finally got you on, thank you for taking the time to chat to us.

MARNI SUMBAL:  Well that’s such a nice compliment and I guess I can share all our secrets now.

BRAD BROWN:  I hope you’re going to. I’ve got my pen and paper and I’m going to be taking copious amounts of notes, but let’s delve into it. Marni, where did your love for triathlon come from and particularly Ironman?

A student but not an athlete

MARNI SUMBAL:  This is a great story. I grew up as a competitive swimmer and I never specialized in long distance. I did the butterfly distance, mid-distance and I moved to graduate school in Florida from Kentucky because where else would you go to graduate school than in Florida. I went to graduate school to earn my Master’s degree in exercise physiology because I wanted to be a strength and conditioning coach and I really missed the competitive swimming aspect of my life. I was a student but I wasn’t an athlete anymore and I was doing gym classes and aerobic classes but it wasn’t the same. It wasn’t giving me that feeling of being competitive that I missed so much.

The contagious effect of becoming addicted - Marni Sumbal's Ironman story

A friend that I had met at the gym, he said: Why don’t you sign up for a marathon and I was like sure, why not, I’ll do a marathon, I’ve only run six miles before, but why not. I ended up developing a little training plan for myself when I was in graduate school and it was a nice thing for me because I was able to check out of that stressful life and to do the running more specifically. And prior to that I had dabbled into one or two sprint, Olympic distance triathlons on a hybrid bicycle and just found it to be fun. But I really felt like my love was in this running and checking off these longer distances, every run. It was just very contagious and I guess you could say I was a little bit addicted to it.

I ended up running my first marathon, which was the Miami Marathon in 2005 and after the race, I ran a 3:38 and I finished the race, I was so happy and people were coming up to me and they said: Marni, you qualified for Boston and I was like: What’s Boston? I had no idea what this running event was cause I had just been so overwhelmed with swimming all my life and running is so popular in Florida. So that was the first dabble into endurance sports and then, as you know, for most athletes it goes pretty quickly. All right, I did a marathon, let’s do an Ironman.

BRAD BROWN:  It’s a natural progression isn’t it?

MARNI SUMBAL:  It’s very natural, I don’t recommend it!

BRAD BROWN:  No! Absolutely not! As far as ability-wise, you mentioned being a competitive swimmer, did the competitiveness switch over straight away or has that come with time?

MARNI SUMBAL:  You know, I never have really considered myself a very competitive person, trying to beat other people. I think one thing I learnt with endurance sports is that I was competitive with myself. I really love this idea of, I can be better than I was yesterday and because there’s always a new workout, there’s always a longer distance and I think that’s what really kept me into this endurance sports since 2006 when I did my first Ironman.

BRAD BROWN:  You’ve done a good few since then as well, you talk about being involved and trying to get better but it’s a fine line, it’s a very fine balance between doing enough and keeping yourself interested and burning yourself out isn’t it?

What happens when you get addicted

MARNI SUMBAL:  Yeah and I have to say that over the past 11 Ironman’s in 10 years that I’ve been doing this sport, I’ve never had any serious issues with burnout and I’m not sure if it’s something I need to delve into and to discuss and maybe even figure it out for myself how it’s been possible. But I think this idea of just wanting to improve, but not getting too overwhelmed with all the many ways to improve, so just focusing on my development has just kept me excited. I did get into a little bit of trouble when I did my first Ironman because I got good really fast and I qualified for Kona after my first Ironman and I don’t think that was really a great thing. It’s great on the resume but for myself, to win my age group, the 18-24 age group at Ironman Florida and just to miss breaking 11 hours at my first Ironman, although it was very exciting, I got into a lot of trouble with myself because like many athletes, I just assumed that what I’m doing now is great, let’s just keep doing more.

BRAD BROWN:  It’s interesting you say that and I wanted to delve into that, particularly from a scientific background because you do come from a very scientific background. You’re a certified sport dietician, you mentioned the Master’s degree in sports science as well, have you been very analytical about what you’ve done throughout your Ironman career?

MARNI SUMBAL:  Boy, that’s a good question. I think the answer may surprise people and the answer is no. I’m not a very techie type person, I don’t keep spreadsheets, I don’t calculate my calories, I don’t weigh my food, I don’t get obsessed with the numbers, but at the same time I love the idea of applying research to real world settings. I think of myself as my own case study and rather than trying to apply every little piece of information and track everything meticulously, I try to really think about how I’m perceiving an effort, how I’m adapting to the training. How nutrition is working for me and so I’m able to take these principles that we apply or we learn from in the lab and then take them and apply them to the real world.

BRAD BROWN:  Do you think there’s a risk in that you push yourself beyond where you possibly should push or you would push maybe an athlete of yours, that you were coaching, are you almost like a guinea pig, that you’re testing things out that maybe you wouldn’t possibly test out on someone else?

Maximise performance without risking health

MARNI SUMBAL:  I definitely try to keep within my philosophy where we try to maximize our athletes performance and fitness, but without compromising their health. I certainly have my boundaries as to what I will apply and the methods I’ll use. At the same time, this may be a little surprising but I think that it really does help in some ways to be challenged, to be pushed and I think it’s good for us to fail at times. I think we apply different principles and scientific methods, I think part of that is learning what works best for you and when you do that, you have to be open to either the consequences or the risks, knowing that it didn’t work for you. I’m very careful to make sure that the consequences and the risks do not keep me from being healthy and consistently improving with my endurance performance.

The contagious effect of becoming addicted - Marni Sumbal's Ironman story

BRAD BROWN:  I’m very interested in that and it fascinates me and I’m glad you touched on the possibly, in your first one almost doing too well and going too fast in it because I think a lot of people do that, they get involved in the sport and they almost enter an Ironman before they’ve even done a sprint and I’m putting my hand up here because I’m guilty of that, my first sprint was en route to my first Ironman and you also mentioned about maximizing performance, but not affecting your health. That’s a real issue within our sport, isn’t it?

MARNI SUMBAL:  Yeah, I do think it is, I think sometimes we forget how much of a toll an Ironman or even a half Ironman places on the human body. It’s a big stressor for the body and there’s two parts to this. I think the first one is that sometimes athletes forget to nail the basics and that’s something that I didn’t do and that I continue to fail to do for many years and it wasn’t until the last few years when I really saw almost this significant improvement in my athletic performance and how I could perform in these endurance events, is that I needed to go back to nailing the basics again and may be something I never learnt before. Then the other side of it, don’t change the winning formula and I think sometimes athletes do well or they have a good race and then they look for, okay, what’s the next best thing I can do, when we have to remember in endurance sports, when your physiology changes in a season, it’s just one season, so you can keep getting better and you don’t really have to change a lot.

BRAD BROWN:  That’s fantastic. Let’s talk about those basics and a lot of people come into the sport and don’t look for help and try and wing it on their own, what are those basics that you should master before going on and maybe achieving what you can achieve?

Mix with people from the same philosophy as yours

MARNI SUMBAL:  You know, before I go into this, I do have to say that if there are any coaches that are listening, of course I assume a lot of athletes are listening, but I think for us, for me and my husband who are athletes and top level athletes in our age group, but also coaches, I think it’s good to have a few mentors to give guidance because our sport is changing very quickly, and there’s coaches that have a lot of great experience working with a lot of athletes. And so I think it’s really good that when it comes to this idea of nailing the basics, that you really surround yourself with people who have a similar philosophy as yours and that way it helps you guide what are these basics, what are these fundamentals that you’re working on and understanding why you’re doing it.

BRAD BROWN:  You mentioned the philosophies, that’s key too, that there’s not just one that works, I mean there’s various philosophies, there’s slight changes and you’ve got to find something you’re comfortable with and that works for you. We’re all an experiment of one. Two people won’t necessarily respond the same way to the same stimulus.

MARNI SUMBAL:  Yeah, very true and I’m sure even for yourself, with your progression of races, you’ll probably notice that one season was very different from the next season, maybe just because of your stresses in life, not necessarily the training.

BRAD BROWN:  One thing I’ve learnt this season Marni is that training actually helps!

MARNI SUMBAL:  So when you stick to a schedule it actually works?

BRAD BROWN:  Or if you don’t, it doesn’t work, more that way. It’s been one of those years, unfortunately.

MARNI SUMBAL:  You’ll get back in there, no one took away your athlete status, you’ll be back.

BRAD BROWN:  Absolutely and once you’ve got the medal, you’ve got the medal and no one is taking that away from me either, so that’s what it boils down to. Let’s talk about your performances and as far as you’ve raced. Like you said, you’ve raced a number of these things, what are you most proud of as an athlete?

MARNI SUMBAL:  That’s a good question. There’s a few but if I had to pick one thing that I was most proud of, is just really enjoying every journey that I’ve been on. I’ve never gotten myself to the point in training for an Ironman, which as you know, training for an Ironman, you make a lot of sacrifices, you invest a lot, but I never let myself get too obsessed with what I’m doing. I try not to forget that I need to enjoy this, I need to have a lot of fun and I need to have some clear goals so I know why I’m putting in this hard work.

BRAD BROWN:  As far as disappointments, what’s been your biggest disappointment as an athlete?

Be consistent but don’t obsess

MARNI SUMBAL:  Well, I think that my biggest disappointment is making some mistakes early on and I was impatient. Rather than focusing on taking a few steps backwards and really figuring out, with some long, chronic back and hip issues, what’s the root of these issues. Instead of just signing up for another race and hoping I would be better. I think I was very disappointed with my approach to racing because I was just training for one race at a time and I’ve learnt that that doesn’t really help develop you as an athlete and it doesn’t give you consistency in training.

BRAD BROWN:  You mentioned consistency and I was thinking of the word before you actually said it, that’s half the battle won right there isn’t it?

MARNI SUMBAL:  Yeah, it is. And if anybody knows me and I’ve been very public with this through my social media and my blog, is that I had 6 years of chronic hip and back issues. It was all muscle and tendon and everything besides bone related and it was frustrating. And all of a sudden I started to fine tune my movements and get more into the basics and the fundamentals again. And now I’ve been able to, in this May will be four years of being injury-free, and I think that’s probably one of my best accolades as to our training philosophy is just trying to keep the body in good health. And if you’re healthy, you can perform really well.

BRAD BROWN:  It’s interesting and I think a lot of triathletes fall into that trap. Where they do pick up a niggle and they almost try and train through it and think that it’s going to get better, without addressing the issues. And that’s also another big thing that needs to be addressed in the sport and athletes really need to take a good, hard look at themselves and figure out what the problem is and get it sorted.

MARNI SUMBAL:  Yeah, I think it’s really true. You can’t overlook the little niggles but at the same time you can’t obsess about every niggle. It’s trying to understand your body and I will jump in on this because I think you bring up a really good point with these niggles and understanding your body. And to help be consistent is, a lot of athletes these days are getting very hyper obsessed with metrics and they don’t have the capacity to listen to their body, to be very intuitive, to be an active participant with workouts and races, and so I think that’s one thing that may help athletes. Be more consistent is monitor your metrics, but don’t obsess over them.

BRAD BROWN:  What gets measured does improve, but like you say, we do get obsessed and there’s always new gadgets being brought in and new Power meters and new heart rate monitors and new this and that. And it’s so easy to get caught up thinking that’s what’s going to give us the edge but we forget the vital signs that our body is telling us.

MARNI SUMBAL:  For example, on the bike. The bike has been my greatest improvement over the past two years and there’s a few reasons for that. Moving to our bike friendly playground here in Greenville has helped, but I didn’t even know how to ride a bike. I didn’t know how to sit on a bike. My husband is from Europe, he grew up as a cyclist, he raced a bike all his life. He didn’t race by Power and heart rate and all these metrics, he just grew up riding a bike and I never learnt to do that. And then I got the Power meter and the race wheels and the aero helmet, but I had no idea how to be one with my bike and so once I figured that out, my performance improved.

The contagious effect of becoming addicted - Marni Sumbal's Ironman story

BRAD BROWN:  It’s interesting you say that because it’s almost a case of you want to say to someone: Throw away all those gadgets and just go and ride your bike and learn to love it, cause that’s what you’re going to need to do when times get tough and it’s hard. You need to love what you’re doing.

MARNI SUMBAL:  Yeah, we do a lot of one-on-one work, private camps with athletes, mostly because of where we live. But my husband is such a specialist on the bike and we just help people learn how to ride and I’m pretty lucky to be married to my bike mechanic and someone who said: You’re going to learn how to ride your bike. And he put me into what I would say are some very scary and uncomfortable situations. But it isn’t until you learn how to do these turns and descend and climb properly that you really can take your fitness to the next level.

BRAD BROWN:  You talk about your hubby Karel, you say he’s your bike mechanic, but by all accounts he’s pretty good when it comes to bike fitting as well. He knows the ins and outs of that, so it definitely helps having that in your camp too.

MARNI SUMBAL:  Yes, proper bike fit had really helped me out. A lot of my hip issues were just coming from my posture on the bike, I never knew how to sit on the bike, so that’s been a great help as well, I’m pretty lucky when it comes to that area. He can do all the bike work and I can make the food!

BRAD BROWN:  You mentioned he’s a great cyclist but he’s a very good triathlete in his own right as well. He raced in Kona this year too, that must prove for interesting dynamics at home?

MARNI SUMBAL:  Yeah, it’s been pretty incredible to see his progress because he started triathlons in 2012, after many years of Cat 1 bike racing. He was a great sprinter and [inaudible 0.17.47] racer, enjoyed the long distance as well. But he had a lot of punchy power and he just got burnt out and he wanted to do something different, so why not do a triathlon? I had nothing to do with this, I enjoyed the cycling races, we each had our own sport but it was fun to see his progress. He learnt to swim in 2012, I guess you could call it swimming, but he was moving through the pool and he did his first half at the end of 2012. We did the Branson 70.3 simply because it’s not around anymore, but we did it because it was rated as one of the hardest bike courses. And then we did our first Ironman in 2013 and he qualified for Kona in 2014.

BRAD BROWN:  What an incredible story, fantastic indeed. Marni, tell me a little about, from a coaching perspective. I mentioned athletes, there are quite a few who just wing it and do their own thing, but there are some that look for help. What would you say someone should look for in a coach and someone to help them on this journey?

MARNI SUMBAL:  That’s a great question. When athletes sign up for the half or full distance, I really encourage them to have a training plan or a coach and they need guidance because it’s really easy to under-perform and it’s really easy to have that fear-based training where you do too much.

How important is your relationship with your coach?

Having someone to guide you, preferably someone with a lot of experience, which means successes, but also making mistakes so that the athlete doesn’t make them as well, I think it’s important to have a coach. Number one, I think they should have a similar philosophy to you. So what are the things that they incorporate into their training methodologies or how they train their athletes, that are important to you. Some athletes will pick coaches that favour high volume training because the athlete likes high volume training. We don’t know if the athlete is going to do well with high volume training, but at least it’s a start so you know what you’ll get from your coach. I think the philosophy is very important.

Then learning about the coach and learning from the athletes that they have coached. Discussing with other people who have worked with that coach, preferably more than 6 months because I think it takes many months to adapt to a new training system, if not years. Having an athlete who has been under a coaches supervision for maybe 2 years and asking them: What did you like? What did you not like? Let me know a little bit more about your training and that way there’s no guessing.

Then the last thing I would say with having a coach is you have to be careful not to bring your mentality of how you think you should be doing things because if it is a fulltime coach that really dedicates their whole focus to the athlete, that this coach is really going to look out for you and sometimes athletes will say: I should be doing this, why am I not doing this or: I did this last time, why am I not doing it again? I think that creates a tough relationship between the coach and the athlete.

BRAD BROWN:  Trust is important in that relationship isn’t it?

MARNI SUMBAL:  Yeah, very much so.

BRAD BROWN:  You talk about questioning, as an athlete sometimes you do need to question, but it’s once you’ve got the reasoning, if you agree, then do it. But if you find where you’re disagreeing on the reasoning, maybe it’s then time to move on and that’s also an important point in an athlete’s career. You might not necessarily find a coach for life. A coach might outgrow you or you might outgrow a coach.

MARNI SUMBAL:  Yeah and that’s a really good point. And I think that you say it with the tone of, that’s just part of being an athlete is that you can go from coach to coach, but give that coach an opportunity. A chance to really develop you and to work with you.

BRAD BROWN:  Would you suggest if someone is starting out in this sport, should they go the coaching route straight up or should they try and figure things out themselves for a while before going down that road?

MARNI SUMBAL:  There’s two parts to this. Number one, if you have a half or a full Ironman on your schedule, I would say get a coach right away because there are a lot of mistakes that a newer athlete that maybe is training for this event for the first time, many mistakes that they can make and many costly mistakes with their health. And so I would say having someone to guide you is probably the best investment you can make. The second part of this is, don’t assume that a coach can get you to where you want to be if you haven’t nailed the basics or built a good background for yourself. I’m very careful with our athletes when someone comes to me and says: I’m training for my first Ironman, will you coach me. I have to look at this and say: Maybe in a few years you’ll be a great Ironman athlete, but first we really need to develop your skills, make you a more resilient athlete, whatever they need to improve on. I wouldn’t have an athlete just assume that okay, this coach will make you great in a season.

BRAD BROWN:  Do you think there’s an ideal buildup time to an Ironman, from maybe starting out and doing your first sprint up to your full Ironman race or is again, horses for courses and it depends on the individual?

MARNI SUMBAL:  I think it really depends on the individual and certainly me and my husband are not the prime examples of this because we progressed very quickly but I also think it’s because we had the endurance background. We were able, I consider us very robust athletes, very strength focused athletes, so we’re not very fragile in that sense, so we don’t break down as easily. I think it worked for us in our favour but for a lot of our athletes, we really hold them back for a year or two, when they’re progressing. Just to make sure that we get them more comfortable with adapting to training stress but also as you know, when you do an Ironman, you don’t race a lot and we really want our athletes to get more comfortable being in that three sport environment on race day. And so if we can hold them back from doing an Ironman distance and get them racing more often, race the Olympic distance, race a few half Ironman’s. Get them out there to get more comfortable with putting swim/bike/run together, then they have better confidence for their training and when they jump to that Ironman distance.

BRAD BROWN:  Let’s talk about nutrition and not necessarily during the race but just general and the role of it in the sport. A lot of people, and again I’m putting my hand up because I’ve been guilty of this at times, that you think you’re training for 15-20 hours a week, you can literally eat anything you want, you’re a walking, sleeping, eating machine when you’re training for an Ironman. But you’ve got to be really careful how you fuel and if you’re not putting the right stuff in, you’re not going to get the results you’re chasing.

Develop a good relationship with food

MARNI SUMBAL:  Yeah, that’s very true. I love the topic of nutrition, but I divide it into two categories. The first is just the daily nutrition and prioritizing a real food diet to keep your body healthy, the immune system healthy, to give you the nutrients that you need to just keep you functioning well in life. Controlling your appetite, helping you develop a good relationship with food. These are all things that when I work with athletes and for myself, I clump into that category of daily nutrition. Then the fun part comes when an athlete starts training for an event and we get to use that word ‘sports nutrition’ and I don’t keep that exclusive to just what an athlete is consuming during a workout, but sports nutrition to me is helping you prime your body for the workout and to recover for the next workout. I love this idea of a real food diet throughout the day, to nourish you and then your sports nutrition strategies to help set you up for good workouts, to help you perform well during the workout and then to help you recover well after the workout.

The contagious effect of becoming addicted - Marni Sumbal's Ironman story

BRAD BROWN:  You mentioned having a healthy relationship with food and it’s funny, we’ve spoken about it here on the podcast before with regards to, not necessarily eating disorders but there are a lot of people in the sport who are obsessed with their weight and getting to racing weight. Talk to me about your thoughts on that and being so wrapped up that again, counting calories and calories in and calories out, it becomes quite difficult to deal with as an athlete that you’re just obsessing over something that you probably shouldn’t be that concerned over.

MARNI SUMBAL:  Yeah, unfortunately this is a part of the field of athletics, is the relationship that athletes have with food, but more so with their body because the body is the machine. It’s what you carry with you through every workout on race day and there’s also the athletic side and the pressures that people feel with how their body looks. A lot of athletes feel that they don’t even look like an athlete and so they have a hard time validating their training. And to share something interesting that me and my husband Karel, we never weigh ourselves, we never focus on a race weight, we’ve never done this. We actually had to buy a scale a few years ago because we started travelling a lot and we needed to weigh our suitcases, so we have a scale but it’s covered in dust in our garage and we have to change the batteries a lot cause it just dies. It never gets used, only for weighing suitcases. The only time I would say the scale has a great purpose is for hydration purposes but that’s another talk.

Using food to enhance your performance

As far as this idea of athletes and their relationship with food, we understand that there are many practices of methodologies to using food for fuel and so using food or perhaps not using food to change the physiology of the body. Perhaps changing the chemistry of the body to change how the metabolic processes work so we can get more out of our performance. Most of the time we surround this with endurance performance because we know that fatigue and running out of our glycogen and dehydration are issues, are big limiters to performance. Having said all that, knowing that there are ways to use food to enhance performance, it’s very important that we, and I clump nutrition professionals, I’m really speaking to the sports dieticians out there, but we as nutrition experts, that we have to be very careful with our approaches and how we deliver messages to athletes because the road we don’t want athletes to go down is developing a disordered pattern of eating and to become too obsessed with food.

It’s really important that athletes understand that when it comes to body weight, when it comes to being healthy, when it comes to improving our performance, there are strategies. But some athletes are more susceptible for developing the eating disorders and some athletes in general just have a very unhealthy relationship with food and the body. And by working on that, they actually can improve their performance.

BRAD BROWN:  Marni, then just talking Kona in itself and the race that it is and what it is, if I say the word ‘Kona’ what do you think?

MARNI SUMBAL:  Warm, especially in the fall right now. Kona, on our Trimarni kits we actually have the islands and it’s hard to see them, we did that purposely. But every athlete dreams of Kona, it kind of what gets athletes started. I don’t know, did you see Kona before you did your first Ironman or triathlon?

BRAD BROWN:  No, I know where you’re going on this, I didn’t, I obviously got involved in the sport and only from there was exposed to the Big Island.

MARNI SUMBAL:  Right and so it’s either way, some athletes see Kona and they’re like: Oh my gosh, I want to do that, or athletes are in the sport and they’re like: Wow, is that really even a goal, I would love to be there. When I think of Kona, I just think of a really big dream. Some athletes, they’ll even say to me and my husband, they’ll say: I know it’s never something I’m able to achieve, but I would love to be able to race on the Big Island.

BRAD BROWN:  I feel exactly the same way and it’s so funny, I’m not going to mention any names, but there’s a coach here in South Africa who has got quite a few athletes that go over every year and a couple of years ago at Ironman South Africa one of her athletes had just qualified and I was chatting to him and she was there and I said to her: The only way I’m going to get to Kona is if I outlive everyone in my age group! She looked at me and she said: I could get you to Kona, but you have to listen!

Hard work being a spectator

MARNI SUMBAL:  Yeah, what’s interesting, we were in Kona this year because my husband did the race, he qualified at Mont Tremblant and this was his second time in Kona, we both did Kona last year. This was my 5th time to Kona, I’ve race it four times and this was my first time going as a spectator and I have to say, I learnt a lot. I learnt, just from looking at the athletes, I could see the dedication and the sacrifices that people had made. But I also saw the strong support systems around them. Obviously I’m making a lot of generalizations of who I saw but it’s definitely a different part of the Ironman and perhaps a very small percentage when you think about all these races. It being the best of the best athletes, but they definitely have some characteristics that help them excel, beyond just good genetics and a good coach and a good training plan. The other thing is that boy, did I have a lot of fun there! I want to keep going back to Kona because I can train on the same courses with all the pros. I’m not stressed, I can do every event that’s going on on race week and then I get my endorphin rush by watching the race. I just want to keep going back and watching.

The contagious effect of becoming addicted - Marni Sumbal's Ironman story

BRAD BROWN:  I’ve only ever watched one Ironman Marni, I don’t know if I can keep going back to watch. I watched that one, I was like, I’m never doing that again, I have to race these things, I cannot watch them!

MARNI SUMBAL:  Which race was that?

BRAD BROWN:  It was Ironman South Africa and I was announcing, so I was on the carpet and I just said, nope, sorry, I’m doing this race, I cannot watch another one, I have to be part of it. It’s interesting, I guess there’s less pain watching it, but it’s still a long day on the side of the road as a spectator, it’s hard work being a spectator.

MARNI SUMBAL:  Yeah, we have a lot of key events for our athletes and we try to pick one Ironman each year to try and encourage a lot of our athletes to do and either Karel and I are on the sidelines, maybe racing, but we were at Mont Tremblant, I was on the sidelines cheering for our athletes and I was so exhausted by the end of the night. They were all up and watching the final finishers and I couldn’t even take another step.

BRAD BROWN:  It felt like you’d raced it, I’m sure.

MARNI SUMBAL:  Where’s my medal?

BRAD BROWN:  If people want to find out more about you and your coaching, I know you’ve got a pretty impressive website as well, where can they go to find out more?

MARNI SUMBAL:  trimarnicoach.com is our website. I’m also on social media, an easy way to find us is to Google Trimarni and it should come up with our various social media outlets, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

BRAD BROWN:  Marni, what I’ll do is I’ll pop the link in the show notes to this episode as well, so people can click straight through if they want to learn more about you and what you guys do and I know you’ve got some training camps coming up as well and all the details are on the website, so it’s trimarnicoach.com, is where you can get those.

Marni, thank you so much for your time here today. I look forward to getting you back to talk about the individual disciplines and some of the things that you’ve done to get better over the years, but we’ll save that for another time, thanks for your time today.

MARNI SUMBAL:  I look forward to it, thank you for having me.

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