COACH MARK WILSON
“Working with Mark has been transformational. At age 66, I went from someone who enjoyed a couple of sprint tris per summer to someone who was so well prepared spiritually, mentally, and physically that I completed a half ironman and qualified for worlds. Mark is a gifted coach, teacher, and mentor. He opened doors that allowed me to grow and achieve beyond what I imagined. I discovered so much personal power from week to week. It takes a special coach to do this. If you are looking for a coach who will “meet you where you are” and who understands the power of heart, I recommend Mark. With deepest gratitude, thank you for a great season, Mark…I can’t wait for next year.”
“Mark is a gifted coach who connects with the athlete’s needs, strives for better technique balanced with overall fitness. His love for the sport carries through with each engagement. Great coach, great human being”
Chris J., CA
Mark is one of the most positive individuals I have met in triathlon. Mark has the ability to connect with athletes and inspire them to be a better person and athlete. He helps make the world a better place.
Mark is one of the nicest, most caring people and coaches I have ever met. He really listens to your needs as a person and as an athlete. I couldn’t speak higher of his knowledge and thoughtfulness. A true gem!
Mark Wilson was my first and only triathlon coach when I started the sport roughly 10 years ago. He is very enthusiastic, motivating and knowledgeable. He is an outstanding Coach and I highly recommend him for triathletes of every skill level from beginner to elite
Art B. – NY
After getting to know Mark through local area races over the past few years, I started working with Mark as my coach. Mark helped me prepare for a summer of racing sprints and a Half Iron-distance race while coming back from a terrible hamstring injury. Through workouts customized to my physical abilities and work life and through teaching me better running form, I was able to race this summer when it did not look possible to me at the beginning of the year. The workouts he gave me were challenging and I saw improvements in all three sports, but especially in biking. Mark’s positive and generous nature is outstanding. And I look forward to working with him for years to come.
“I have done two camps with Mark: a week-long 2016 Tri-Camp in Kona; and a mini-camp in Hague, New York (2015). There is a reason that I will be attending another week-long camp in Las Vegas later this year…simply put, it is Mark. His approach to coaching goes beyond the technical aspects of swimming, biking and running; although, he provides plenty of instruction on those disciplines. He wants you to enjoy the sport of triathlon. He spends time with every athlete at the camp, encouraging you to push yourself in some places and to back down in others. Mark allows you to progress at your pace. I had some apprehension about attending a week long camp because I thought the other athletes were all going to be elite level athletes and I would be left to fend for myself. I was wrong; Mark made the camp fun by coordinating swims, rides and runs so that each camper was able to have a partner(s). I recommend Mark’s camps to any level of triathlete. I also have taken a swim lesson with Mark and I was able to accomplish in one lesson the technique I was trying to teach myself for over a year! Mark is a caring coach whose approach to you as an athlete and as a person is rare to find.”
“Mark embodies the sport of Triathlon with his soul! He seriously ‘touched’ something deep inside of me that day, something that changed my life. He made me feel I could do anything and his pre race prayer before the swim wrapped me in a ‘spiritual safety blanket’.I allowed myself to take in every minute of that race, not simply as a competition but as a journey in my life.
What I discovered was my own LOVE for the sport and the desire to learn from Mark. My husband and I followed Mark to many more races. I asked him to coach me and learned to know him not only as a great RD but a remarkable person, athlete and coach. His weekly triathlon camp intrigued me and with great anticipation I signed up and touched down in Kona for his January 2016 camp. Paradise is a beautiful place to Tri! I had the chance to visit Kona just a few months before for the IM World Championship and couldn’t believe that I was swimming, riding and running at the Holy Grail! Mark evaluated and provided video analysis for us, the six Kona campers!
He was able to address our strengths and weaknesses individually but in a group session that was fun and non threatening nor intimidating. Every day we had the opportunity to swim in the ocean, once super close to a pod of spinner Dolphins. Mark eased those of us who had anxiety about the ‘critters’ beneath! Mind games are a deal breaker but all of us went further than we had imagined. Swimming is my favorite leg, though I had not done any ocean swims before this camp. We rode on the Queen K Highway out to Waikaloa twice and the ‘spiritual energy’ of the course charged my desire and will to do better and more. Running in paradise is challenging; the humidity is a game changer, especially since I’m a desert rat from Vegas. After three daily ‘physical sessions’ we met for ‘class room sessions’ and reviewed our progress. We talked and learned about body mechanics, nutrition, gear, mental strategies and race day tips.
What’s left to say?
For anyone looking for an ‘experience’ and a ‘body and mind changing’ week with and for
YOURSELF, give Mark a Tri! And if paradise sounds like a sweet idea, I hope to see you there next year, because I am definitely going back!”
Astrid Stroms, 51, AG
“I have worked with Mark for 12 seasons now, which should be testament enough to how valuable I have found his help. Through injuries and unpredictable schedules, he knows just what to do to keep me on track. Most importantly, he has helped me to figure out what works best for me, so that I can plan my own schedule to meet my needs. Under Mark’s guidance I have been able to continue to adjust my focus and find ways to continue improving throughout my 40s, so that I had my best season yet at age 49. I look forward to working with Mark for many years to come.”
Bruce Cadenhead, NY
(USAT All-American & ITU Sprint World Championship Finisher)
“When I met Mark nearly 5 years ago to discuss coaching I was impressed with his caring and focused approach. We discussed my goals and he immediately started me on a long term plan that turned me into a competitive athlete. Mark has committed himself to his own development as a coach and I have truly benefited from his learning. He guided me from my first IM finish 2 years ago in 13:14 to an IM PR of 11:59 this year.
Mark’s training program is extremely efficient, maximizing time by emphasizing skill development along with strength and endurance. I’ve become consistently stronger and faster while avoiding injury, and have done so while maintaining a training load that allows me to live a full life. During Ironman buildup this year he balanced distance training and speed development without my once experiencing symptoms of overtraining. At the same time I placed well in several sprint triathlons.
One of the most important factors in being coached is trusting the person coaching you. Mark impressed me enough the first time I met him to commit myself to follow his program 100%. In the next 5 years I developed as an athlete and achieved far more success than I ever imagined for myself. Most important to me however is that I am stronger and faster than I have ever been, yet know that I will continue to improve. My love of the sport persists and, despite finishing an Ironman 10 days ago, I feel recovered and ready to take on the second half of my season. None of this would have been possible without good coaching. Thanks Mark.”
Kathryn Loyer, CT
“I have been working with Mark Wilson for 3 years and continue to be inspired, challenged, surprised, and learn more about myself every week. There are many coaches that can offer athletic advice and provide organized workouts. In my opinion there is only one that can provide the perfect balance of body and mind. From the moment you first meet Mark you can feel a different energy. I first met Mark at a 10k run and wasn’t sure I was up for the challenge of triathlon since my first try years ago. A few months later, I asked Mark if he would coach me. Little did I know, but my life would change from that moment. In one year, I learned to swim, set a 10k PR by 6 minutes, finished an Ironman 12 weeks after breaking my foot, and placed 2nd in my age group at a half-ironman. All of these athletic pursuits would not have been possible if Mark hadn’t been able to truly understand who I was as a person and what motivated me. Mark has helped shape my life with my visions athletically, professionally and personally. He has a gift that is generously shared with everyone he meets.”
Tom G., NY
“My name is Trudy A. from Inverness, FL. and I’ve been telling everyone about my experience so far with my new Life Coach, Mark Wilson. With his expertise and knowledge of health and wellness I’ve lost 10lbs. in 3 1/2 weeks and I feel better and more energetic than I have in a long time. I’m 67 years old and I’ve always had trouble losing weight. I love my Skype conference with him every week, he’s so encouraging and always has great ideas for any questions I may have. I know with Coach Mark on my side I can’t fail this time.”
I have attended 3 of Mark’s Tri Camps. Two weekend ones and a full week camp. Both were EXCELLENT…. Like training w/ an Olympian.
He is kind, patient, knowledgable yet pushes you beyond what you think you’re capable of. Mark H. Wilson was a game changer for me, I went on to compete in 14 Tri’s”
Kelley W., FL
In 2009, I received the birthday gift that keeps on giving! A Tri-cation to Florida to attend one of Coach Mark Wilson’s Tri-Camps. I went into Mark’s camp admittedly, a little skeptical. After all, I have been participating in the sport since 1995 and at that point already had completed over 80 multi-sport events including several full distance races. An the story begins…
I will never forget sitting down with Mark one evening for dinner to discuss his coaching philosophy. I was impressed with his questions and focused approach. We discussed my training and race history as well as my previous athletic endeavors all the way back to high school; this included discussion on my goals for the sport triathlon.
After about 40 minutes of good discussion, Mark asked me “What would you say if I told you, you could be racing at Worlds in three years?” At first I laughed and explained that I had done Age Group Nationals once and felt like I was way out of my league. Mark’s demeanor changed as he got all serious and explained how he would help me go find the speed from my youth that I had tucked away and hidden. He immediately started me on a long-term plan that turned me
into a more competitive triathlete. We stopped playing around with the long races and focused on the Sprint/Olympic distances and suddenly I was no longer 4th, 5th or 6th in my age group but reaching the podium. The training program he designed for me was efficient and challenging. He maximized my time by emphasizing my stronger skills in the swim and bike, all the while developing my weaker run. Oh, and did I mention that with Mark’s guidance I can now claim I am an ITU Sprint World Championship Finisher (Beijing, China 2011)?!
Time for the next step in my personal evolution in the sport of triathlon and a new coaching challenge for Mark; nine tri-camps later…yes, I have attended 9 of Mark’s camps since that first one…and celebrated 4 birthdays at the tri-camp in Lake Placid learning something new every time. Moving forward, I will attend tri-camps as a coach in training; to beg, borrow and steal from him. A step I would never have taken without his encouragement, advice and willingness to share his expertise with me. With Mark’s guidance, I have moved from triathlete to Triathlete Coach.
I consider myself an accomplished triathlete and Mark Wilson’s fingerprints are all over that
career. Mark is my coach, friend and trusted mentor! I am so looking forward to our continued
work together as coaches.
Coach Troy Weaver
“To those who might have any questions about Mark as a coach let me give you a few things to consider. I took a tri camp from Mark 2 years ago. I didn’t know anything about him or his coaching methods. I was not a swimmer, had only biked about 15-20 miles but could run a half marathon previous to the camp. Mark is a triathlete, but more importantly he has he ability to teach you how to perform those sports. As I said I was not a swimmer; my swimming ability was I knew how not to drown. Mark was patient and able to get me to “feel” the water under my hands so that now I’m a swimmer. Last year I was able to swim 1000 yds. in an hour, for most that is really slow for me it was “great “. I went to Mark’s tri camp this year and I can now swim 1000 yds. in 20 minutes. Following his coaching plan I completed a 70.3 triathlon in one year and I podiumed. This year I returned to his camp and again got so much information and help in all three sports that I’m going to complete a full ironman this year. Mark knows how to translate what to do into how to do. If you want to meet your goals, Mark will get you there! Thanks, Mark, for getting me to my goals!!”
Toni C. – Palm Desert, CA
WILSON ENDURANCE SPORTS
AMISH COUNTRY RUNNING FESTIVAL
Thank you for putting on a race that was as beautiful as it was difficult as it was well-planned as it was well-organized. As I mentioned to you post-race, this was my 428th marathon (253rd different race), and the Amish Country Running Festival would place in the top 10 across all those categories, likely top five.
Thank you for your perseverance in getting the race off the ground. You could have cancelled like 14 other races on my schedule have done this year, and no one would have second guessed it (I work in healthcare, so I understand the cancellations). But to execute something so well despite the pandemic deserves a whole other category beyond a simple, “Good job.”
The thumbprint of excellence was all over this race before anyone crossed the start line. The athlete guide was the ideal for its type, the kind of document that allows a participant to concentrate on the race and not be distracted by the anxiety of what s/he will find at the start. Or if s/he will even find the start – the little things like noting that there is a Church Street in Randolph as well as East Randolph are so incredibly helpful.
When I arrived at the start, the staff/volunteers on site were all cheery. Usually you find half of them groveling at having to get up early. During this pandemic, when virtually no one seems happy, especially while masked in public, it was such a highlight to step out of the car and into an atmosphere where the frustration bug didn’t seem to arrive.
Thank you for having the courage to say the pledge in these challenging times, and for having the courage to say a prayer, while acknowledging the reality that some people may not be interested in the effort. In an era where so much is stuffed down the throat and a take-it-or-leave-it mantra often reigns, it was delightful to see your recognition that no audience – especially an audience of paying customers – is homogenous. Our elected officials at every level could learn constituent service from you.
The honesty regarding the course was greatly appreciated. I’m not sure any words could describe the challenge that was the marathon – or the absolute beauty of those 26 miles – but you put it all out there with no sugarcoating.
As for what was on the course – sheer perfection. Every turn was marked. Every turn, intersection, and turnaround point was staffed by enthusiastic people who were paying attention to the safety of the runners, not cell phones. Every mile was marked, and I’m pretty sure it was accurate to the inch. You went above and beyond with the aid stations – ice cold water, provisions *well beyond* any runner’s expectations, pure honesty (thank you for specifying “Heed,” and not saying “sports drink” or “Gatorade” so that non-Heed drinkers could plan), and plentiful. You are one of the few race directors of a multi-length race to recognize that the aid stations at the end need to have enough supply to meet the requirements of 4-hour marathoners. Every aid station after 20 – ones that had been visited multiple times by runners of 2, 3, even 4 races – was still ready to take on any more comers. An hour after finishing, while on County Route 40, I noted that the aid stations were *still* ready and waiting for the final crop of finishers.
I think the post-race was most telling. It is rare after one of these where a finisher is able to walk through the finishing area without hearing people complaining – regarding the fairness of the course, misplaced miles, unrealized expectations, or one of the many possible shortcomings. Today, every finisher who spoke with me or whose conversations I overheard spoke of the challenge of the course, of the depths they had to dig, or just being happy to be done. Not a single sour thought was expressed. Also, for what it’s worth, I’m not a big donut eater – it might be overstatement to say I’ve eaten five this century before today – but those coconut donuts in the food tent might have been the post-race hit-the-spot food I never knew I needed.
It will take my legs a few days to forget the race today, but it will take my mind far, far longer to forget the exquisite experience you offered today’s runners. I’ll be looking for the 2021 date to be posted, when we will hopefully get to see the amazing performance you put on when social distancing and masks are a nightmare of the past.
Thank you again for an incredible effort, and for defining what race should be. I hope you enjoy some much deserved relaxation time to bask in your success.
-Rob T. ~ Elmira, NY September 26, 2020
NEW YORK DUATHLON SERIES
As a first timer in a dual sport race, I couldn’t be happier with my experience. The atmosphere was informal, staff was super friendly, race was well organized, course was challenging yet way fun. I’m hooked on this sport and cant wait to train harder to be back at an event put on by these people!!
Gregory B.~ Blooming Grove, New York
“I had a wonderful experience at the Randolph Duathlon despite the rain and the fact that I finished 30 minutes after everyone else! This event was extremely well-organized, and I felt both the running section (almost flat) and the bike section (just one really tough hill) were just right for me. I loved the support everyone gave to me including the rousing cheer as I finally crossed the finish line.
I just wish more of you would try this. It’s great fun!”
Marcia K. de la Cerda ~ Busti, New York
STTC SUMMER TRI SERIES
This is a fantastic summer sprint race series (4 total) held on Wednesday evenings at 5:45 p.m. in a scenic small town. This sprint triathlon is sanctioned, inexpensive and a gem for those looking to be more engaged and learn from other participants. The race director and his crew are very personable and feel like friends from the moment you meet them, and who truly care about your race experience. The course is well marked with support crews on hand to make sure the race goes smoothly and everyone is safe. There is even a cookout/picnic at the end after the awards ceremony. If you’re looking for a more personable race experience, this is a can’t miss sprint race. Looking forward to the next race in July!
Wade C. ~ Blooming Valley, Pennsylvania
“This was a great mid-week small triathlon. It was a perfect speed workout for me and also gave me an opportunity to work on my transition skills in a low pressure race setting.
I have been participating in triathlon for over 25 years and the race director and support staff at this race are some of the best I have even encountered. they were encouraging, professional, safety-focused and kind. It was a wonderfully inclusive event.
Pay attention to the work “hilly” as used to describe the bike course…it is hilly and challenging.”
Elizabeth K. ~ Erie, Pennsylvania
“This series is an incredible grass-roots triathlon event in a beautiful setting. The organizers, the volunteers, the course are all top-notch. The race itself is a sprint, and perfect for all levels of competitor. Swim – smooth and clean Cassadaga Lake. Bike – country roads or wide shoulders, and some rolling terrain. Run – flat and fast, on the lake drive. Transition/Logistics – spacious and easy to follow. Post-race pot luck is fun and social. I give 5/5’s because I honestly have not had any more enjoyable triathlon experience than at these events.
Rob L. ~ Arkwright, New York
TICONDEROGA TRIATHLON FESTIVAL
“BUCKET LIST SPRINT TRI.”
Having completely not prepared for the event I went in very nervous. I’ve competed in other race events, so I was familiar with how they go. I was super pleasantly surprised by how well it was organized, marked out and run. They had the course very well marked and support along the way. They had great food beer and ICE CREAM at the finish. But to be honest, my most favorite part of the entire event, was the prayer blessing at the start. That set my mind in a grateful way to relax and enjoy the day, setting and fun.
Jennifer R. ~ Jamaica, Vermont
HVTC SUMMER TRI SERIES
This is a great race for all levels. The Bike course is a little challenging but who doesn’t love a challenge ? And a nice short swim and run . The people involved are super friendly and made you feel right at home – the dinner after feels like a family picnic. I was glad the bike course was well marked as I was unfamiliar with the area.
Pattee O. ~ Amenia, New York