Latest News: Hot off the press
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If your summer plans include the mini-Mussel sprint race, please double-check the participant list and make sure you're signed up. We have fewer than 10 spots remaining, and once they're gone, they're gone. If you'd like to do the Half, you still have some time to register, but make note: we won't be offering race weekend registration. All sign-ups must be in advance, so please get your entry squared away ASAP!

Last month we announced a contest brought to you by Nineteen Wetsuits, sponsor of Musselman and maker of the fastest wetsuits in the market. Today we announce our winner of a 2014 Nineteen Rogue, their top racing suit and a class leader in performance features. Place your bets on JULIANNE LAVALLEE (hailing from Grand Island, NY) to have a show-stopping swim at Musselman, as she is our winner!!! Congratulations, Julianne - your aquatic leg just got a whole lot briefer.

Our gift to fathers everywhere comes next Saturday as we hold the traditional group ride of the Musselman bike course. We'll start at the Geneva Bicycle Center (489 Exchange Street in downtown Geneva), and Jim Hogan (GBC's owner) will be our host for a tour of the 56-mile route. We'll depart the bike shop at 8:00 AM and break into different pace groups as we ride. Expect to go rain or shine, and please bring everything you need to be self-sufficient: spare tube, change kit, nutrition, and fluids. A cue sheet and map are available on the Musselman website, and we'll have a few extras to hand out.

In March we reported the whereabouts of Mike Locke's mussel, who had somehow managed to wander (drift?) all the way down to Ushuaia, Argentina, a remote town way, way down on the southern end of South America. Then we heard radio silence as Mike (and MusselMike) disappeared off the radar, and we contemplated that perhaps they had gone the way of Sir Ernest Shackleton's "Endurance" expedition, lost to subsist on penguin blubber and repose in ice tents. But happily, Mike & Co. reappeared on the world map this past week with confirmation of a Mussel first: Antarctica has been reached! Mike shared a photo from D'Hainaut Island, in which a whole lot of snow and a crowd of curious penguins (from a healthy distance) surround Mike's mussel. Congratulations to Mike and the entire Mussel Movement, though we now expect the southern ice caps to melt with increasing haste. Mussels do not tend to tread lightly on lands they conquer.

Many years ago we made the decision to take our waste stream at Musselman seriously. We start by reducing: you'll note that the goody bags are not cluttered with junk you'll just throw out, and the items we buy are the ones we need. Second, we reuse as much as we can: goody bags are made out of fabric or paper and can be usefully used again, and finish line water is never served in disposable plastic bottles. What's left is diverted in every possible way from the landfill, and Finger Lakes Zero Waste is our determined partner in this effort. On race weekend you'll see waste stations throughout the park, and each station will be accompanied by a volunteer (I stress this word) from Finger Lakes Zero Waste. Waste stations include composting bins (for all food and serviceware), recycling bins (for metal, glass, plastic, and paper), and trash bins (avoid if possible!). The volunteers will guide you, but we ask everyone to do their part to make sure this region lasts forever. Thank you in advance, signed Mother Earth.

Doug Bush (verified Dad) has a Bachelor's Degree in Exercise Science and holds USA Triathlon Level II and USA Cycling Level I certifications. He's also the Official Coach of Musselman since 2004 and owner of EnduranceFactor, which specializes in custom solutions for all types of endurance athletes. Doug has compiled some thoughts on pacing to make your Musselman experience the best it can be. Read about it in a deliberate, controlled manner here.

We've got a contest to announce! As we close in on capacity for Musselman 2014, at the very same time we're pleased to announce that Musselman has renewed its partnership with Nineteen Wetsuits. To celebrate the occasion, we're giving away (free!) a 2014 Nineteen Rogue, their top racing suit and a class leader in performance features. I wear this suit myself (and not just to the office).

Nineteen Wetsuits has over 10 years of experience making swim-specific racing suits, for everyone from beginners to speedy veterans. All who register for the Musselman Half or the mini-Mussel Sprint between now and Father's Day (June 15) will be eligible to win. I'll unveil the lucky registrant in the next newsletter. (Gift Tip: it's better than a tie!)

In the meantime, browse the Nineteen line at or follow them on Facebook. (If you win the wetsuit, that's the last following you'll do.)

It's 10 PM - do you know where your mussel is? Your stuffed mussel continues to roam the world in search of adventure (also algae), and you continue to send in your pictures. Thank you! The MusselMap is now striped with travel photos from near and far, including atop Gray's Peak in Colorado (elevation 14,278') with Michelle Glaser, on the ski slopes at Sugarloaf (Maine) with Russ Gold, and way out on the southernmost point in the United States (Key West, FL) with Jen Reschke. Roam (if you want to) right along with us here.

If you've been to the Seneca7, Fly by Night, or Musselman, you know that Pride of Place infuses these events. We love the local, and if there's a way to incorporate a local organization, business, or product, that's what we'll do. Musselman is proud to introduce gRUNola on the course at this year's race. gRUNola is an all-natural energy bar formulated with teff, chia, and quinoa (and 72% dark chocolate!). I've tried them, and they're delicious. But the truly exciting part is that they're made right here in the Finger Lakes - the founder, first cook, and certified Mom Karen Simmonds-Brady is a former Musselman (2009 and 2010) and Seneca7 (2012) participant! Find the bars on the bike and run courses of the Musselman Half and at

The Cayuga Performance Center, just down the road in leafy Ithaca, New York, wants you to have the race of your life at Musselman - or any triathlon you attempt this summer. In previous months Dr. Andy Getzin, patriarch of the Center's endurance performance center, longtime Musselman competitor, and certified Dad, has shared pearls of wisdom on such topics as strength training, test sets, and regaining motivation after a long winter (which, sadly, still seems relevant). This month the good doctor pontificates on brick workouts, training zones, and the ever-important bike/run balance. As Mark Twain once said, "It is noble to teach oneself, but still nobler to teach others - and less trouble." Avoid trouble here.

Due to expansive construction this summer in the vicinity of the Scandling Center on the campus of Hobart & William Smith Colleges, we're relocating a few Musselman activities to new locations. Packet pickup will still be on campus, but we'll move over to the Sport & Recreation Center (also known as Bristol Field House) for both Friday evening (5:30-7:30pm) and Saturday (6:30-8:30am for the sprint; 10am-4pm for the Half).

Italian mothers are famous for doting on their sons. With our venue change for the pre-race pasta dinner, they'll now dote on you! The traditional pre-race dinner ventures into Geneva this year for an authentic Italian dinner hosted by the Sons of Italy. This ties into our newsletter "Mom & Dad" theme nicely, as there couldn't be sons (of Italy or elsewhere) without them AND (trivia alert) my father went to elementary school in what's now the Sons of Italy headquarters (and pre-race dinner venue) on Prospect Avenue. Come enjoy real Italian cooking and discover what it's like to be part of a big Italian family (without all the cheek grabbing).

[March 11, 2014] WE ARE FAMILY
I consider Musselman a big, sprawling family. But did you know that's literal, as well? My mother directs packet pickup each year with a measured balance of sweetness and strict. Really, her 35 years as a 4th-grade teacher were the perfect training ground. My father takes charge of the aid stations, all 14 of them spread hither and yon across the countryside. My cousin, a nurse, has volunteered in the medical tent, and her husband annually volunteers for a variety of tasks over race weekend. My father's cousin once led up parking detail at the State Park, though he quickly determined that as a retiree a morning round of golf was more his cup of tea. My uncle and aunt have helped with registration and stringing finisher medals (and for that, will be going to heaven). And if you peer deep down into the depths of Seneca Lake on race morning, you might spot the steamship that my great-great-grandfather captained on its journeys between Geneva and Watkins Glen... before it caught fire and sunk to the bottom.

My brother, Chris (he now goes by CD), has been in charge of the PR and media - social and traditional - since our inception in 2004. He follows your twitterings and facebook thingies (though much more as my big brother than Big Brother, if you catch my drift) and annually produces the Media Guide in its colorful 30-page glory. Though the bylines may say otherwise, he writes the bulk of the articles you see in the Finger Lakes Times and other newspapers. Musselman has enjoyed its share of media attention over the years, but there's no magic in it - Chris's practiced combination of creativity and persistence produces an outsized amount of press for a little place like Geneva. And today, before the thousands of extended family members whose stories make Musselman so special, I would like to wish him a Happy Birthday. (Drop him a birthday wish at and you might find yourself in a future article!)

[March 11, 2014] FLIE BIGH NITE (WHOOPS!)
It doesn't happen very often (3 times in 2013; 4 in 2012), but sometimes we make mistakes. When we do, we fess up and take responsibility. Due to a birthdate snafu down in the accounting department, we failed to identify one of the THREE participants who are on track to participate in every single Fly by Night Duathlon held since 2005, our first year. Richard Metzger, a multisport afficianado from Webster, NY, joins Tom Dutton and Doake Brown on the top step of the Loyalty Ladder this year. We invite all, regardless of past participation, to join us on May 10 for our 10th edition and an evening unlike any other. With the possible exception of your wedding night.

We would be remiss to speak of the Musselman family without mentioning Red Jacket Orchards, our oldest sponsor (since 2004). Red Jacket surrounds Geneva with its orchards and berries; for over 50 years the Nicholson family has tended this earth with dedication and love. Each spring, summer, and fall, that devotion finds its way to the juice press, and when you cross the Musselman finish line that juice is waiting for you in celebration. We've grown up with Red Jacket and the family farm; it's this love of the local that makes Musselman unusual among races. With gratitude and appreciation we watch the buds appear on the trees each spring, knowing that Red Jacket will once again nourish our bodies with the sweet fruits of the Finger Lakes.

It's been an exciting month for the little guy. Sometime in late February, Bryan Frank's musselbaby, firmly attached to his friend Mike Locke (as mussels will do), found itself in Ushuaia, Argentina, 2,000 miles from Buenos Aires and one of the last southern stops you can make in South America before there just isn't any South America left. Mike and his tagalong mollusk are headed for Antarctica, where he (the musselbaby) will become the first zebra mussel ever to set foot (byssal thread?) on that continent. It will be an historic day, a day that will forever reverberate throughout the crustacean kingdom. Follow along here.

Dr. Getzin is back, ladies and gentlemen, to provide more guidance as you embark upon your 2014 triathlon journey. The good doctor is director of the Cayuga Medical Center's endurance performance center, which offers a vast range of services to the endurance athlete (you!) looking to avoid injury and churn out lifetime-best races. Last month he willed you back into enthusiastic training mode with some serious Jedi mind tricks (and some solid science); this month he continues with suggestions on running, strength training, and test sets. Read all about it here.

This year we continue to honor Heather Frazer Boyum, the athlete, mother, and loving wife who was taken from us during a bike ride near her home in Fairport, NY in 2012. In a previous newsletter we requested nominations for athletes moving from the sprint distance to the Half distance in July, as Heather did, and we received some lovely responses. We can think of no better way to honor Heather's limitless spirit than to award a complimentary Musselman 2014 entry to Lauren Calabrese of Brooklyn, NY. We congratulate Lauren on behalf of the entire Musselman organizing committee. (You can find her full nomination here.)

It's a big year for Fly by Night, the run-bike-run-bike-run duathlon extravaganza held annually on the race track at Watkins Glen International. It's our 10th edition! And to celebrate, we're not going to change a thing. Why? Because we think you'll like it just the way it is. Last year our biggest field ever (nearly 400 people - in a duathlon!) biked, ran, and smiled their way around the track on a simply gorgeous spring evening. Come join us Saturday, May 10 for Porsche racing during the day, people racing during the evening, and a tasty BBQ beneath the stars afterwards.
*[Trivia: How many people are on track (pun! intended!) to attend all 10 editions?]

[January 26, 2014] WHO WILL BE THE 11,000TH?
Did you know that in the history of Musselman, over 10,000 individuals have experienced the Mussel? According to the automatons down in the number-crunching department (using MusselMath), as of today there have been exactly 10,256 people who have either competed in the past or registered for this year. Since Musselman 2014 is our 11th edition, and because this newsletter is brought to you by the number "1," we thought it appropriate to celebrate the 11,000th person to join the Mussel family ("MusselKin," not to be confused with "munchkin"). Do you know someone who hasn't participated before? Have you been reading this newsletter for years but have yet to set foot in Geneva in July? We'll be watching registration for our 11,000th unique participant, who will have their entry fee waived amidst great pomp and fanfare. We'll keep you updated on progress as we move toward July - good luck!
*[Trivia: Who was the very first person to sign up for Musselman?]

[January 26, 2014] WHERE'S YOUR MUSSEL?
It's been a busy off-season for your little mussels (no offense). They continue to swarm the earth in an adorable yet concerted effort to take over the world, venturing to places near and far in their smart pin-striped suits. They're TSA-security-friendly, well-mannered and housebroken, and able to perform all the functions of the Emergency Exit Row, making them the perfect travel companion. Since our last newsletter, worldly mussels have accompanied Anna Hertlein to the eastern-most point on the South American continent (Joao Pessoa, Brazil); assisted Jon Stull with halibut, salmon, and cod (but really just for the halibut) on a fishing trip to Alaska; and dawdled on the beach while Scott Costley conquered Ironman Cozumel. (There's a really good joke to be made about Scott's surname and his choice of races, but I'll take the high road.) And since it's been so cold outside, I've had time to complete a movie of my mussel's (Mr. Fluffy) bike trip around the Baltic Sea.

Where has your mussel been? Send me a picture and help expand the MusselMap.

I'd like to introduce you to Dr. Andrew Getzin, clinical director of Sports Medicine and Athletic Performance at Cayuga Medical Center (CMC) in Ithaca, NY. Dr. Getzin could also be a great "Bachelor" candidate, provided he wasn't married. Anyways, in addition to providing medical care for endurance athletes for the last 15 years, he is a team physician for USA Triathlon, the USA Olympic Committee, and a USAT level 1 coach. More importantly, he's a multi-year Musselman participant along with his entire family, and in 2007-2008 volunteered in the Musselman medical tent for the ITU Pan American Cup.

Dr. Getzin is the director of CMC's endurance performance center, which offers a broad range of services to endurance athletes, including physiologic exercise testing, run gait and swim analysis, nutritional services, sports psychology, and coaching. He's put together some off-season tips and planning strategies for your season, which I invite you to read about here.

This year we continue our remembrance of Heather Frazer Boyum, a Musselman participant who lost her life when a vehicle struck her during a bike ride near her home in Fairport, NY in 2012. Heather first completed the mini-Mussel in 2010, then in 2012 reached her goal of completing the half-iron. To honor her memory, Musselman will again award a complimentary entry to an athlete moving from the mini-Mussel sprint to the half-iron race in July, as Heather did. If you would like to nominate an athlete for this entry, please send me a short description of what makes them honorary-worthy by February 14. Musselman misses you, Heather.

Each new edition of Musselman traditionally starts on November 15, as we dust off the ol' registration engine and welcome aspiring triathletes to sign up for the following July races. This week we'll do the same, opening the doors to a race weekend spanning four triathlons in three days: MusselKids and the microMussel super-sprint on Friday, the mini-Mussel sprint on Saturday, and the signature Musselman half-iron on Sunday. You can't do all four (unless you're an overdeveloped 14-year-old with a forged birth certificate), but you can do three: sign up for the DoubleMussel (sprint and half-iron) and add the micro! There's something for everyone, masochists included.

[November 11, 2013] LIKE A 7-11 AT MIDNIGHT: SENECA7 NOW CLOSED
The fourth edition of the Seneca7 running relay will take place in 2014 (April 27 to be precise), and let's hope you've already registered. Last Tuesday, a full five days after registration opened, the race reached capacity. Two hundred teams (including the "Abominable Slowmen" and "Liar Liar Feet on Fire") are now signed up and ready to run (and ride, and laugh, and...) around Seneca Lake. But take heart, procrastinating triathletes! Because the Seneca7's capacity is limited by the number of vehicles (of all things) that can park at the exchange points, we've opened up additional entries to those teams intending to bike (instead of drive) around the lake during their non-running legs. So if you'd like to compete, and if you'd like to run and bike during a beautiful spring day, stay tuned to for your chance to enter, eco-friendly-like.

He came, he saw, he conquered... and sometimes he flew first-class. Your little mussel has now been to every continent except Antarctica (to my knowledge) upon finally venturing to South America this fall with the help of Tristan and Alexis Jones. Additionally, our learned head ref from USA Triathlon, Daria Vander Veer, has enrolled her little prodigy at Yale (taking care to keep the bulldog at bay), and over on the facebook page Mr. Mussel has been spotted on the House floor (hard at work during the shutdown), occupying various Ironmans (with acceptance and love), and Sweatin' to the Oldies with Richard Simmons (birthday: July 12. Coincidence? I think not.). Got a picture from your travels? Send it to me and I'll add it to the MusselMap.

In 2013 Musselman lost two members of its family, Michael Coyle of Rochester, New York and Lanlin Zhang of Columbus, Ohio. We extend our gratitude to those who have contributed to their memorial funds, we keep their families in our thoughts, and we will continue to honor their memory in future editions of the event. In July we dedicate Musselman 2014 to their memory. May they always be present in our hearts.