Power couple present endurance clinic
Just in time for summer, one of the nation’s top pro mountain bikers is riding into town to offer a free clinic. Monique "Pua" Sawicki, last year’s female winner of the locally based E-100 has decided to return to Park City to offer a free seminar on being an endurance athlete presented at the Silver Mountain Sports Club.
"Pua,", which means flower in Hawaiian, first began as a triathlete at Chaminade University in her native Hawaii, and quickly moved up the rankings on the pro mountain bike race circuit, but she has always felt the need to give back to the communities she competes in.
Last year, while looking for a gym for training before the National Mountain Bikes Series races at Deer Valley, Sawicki and her husband Ron met Stanton Jones, owner of the Silver Mountain gym and she decided to start training there. When they returned to the area this summer, they offered locals a free clinic on mountain biking at the same place.
The Sawickis will also make the rounds in Salt Lake at Highland Cyclery on June 8-9 with a clinic and demonstration ride and June 12 at REI in Sandy.
The couple says that they have become Park City junkies. Last year, after Pua suffered a crash that required surgery on her face and ribs at a World Cup race in Quebec, the two returned to the area to recover and train before the 24 Solo World Championships. In that time, Pua, in a fair amount of pain, beat all other females by an hour in the E100 solo endurance race.
"We’re trying to figure out how to make it our home," Ron said.
The Sawickis currently base themselves out of California and drive an RV around the country for races. In addition offering free clinics, they also present inspirational talks to grade schoolers and Pua talks to them about achieving their dreams. Raised as "girly-girl," she eventually convinced her parents to let her compete in sports. college she was a scholarship cross-country runner and then started in triathlons.
Although, Pua is an elite mountain biker, she says the clinics are for everyone from the recreational rider to the cyclist looking to break into the big time.
"We give a basic knowledge needed to get to the next level," Pua said.
Topics such as nutrition, training, equipment, bike maintenance and racing are all topics of discussion.
"It’s about stepping up another level of what you’re doing," added Ron.
The duo is also happy that the Park City night will be at a gym. By holding the clinic at a gym, they have the freedom to advertise at all of the local bike shops and reach more of the cycling community.
"You reach a better base," Ron said.
It is also an opoortunity to meet other bikers and exchange tips and stories. As a multi-sport endurance athlete, Pua often attracts participants seeking tips on how to move between running, cycling and other disciplines.
The round of Utah clinics is also a way to thank sponsors.
"We were looking for a way to give back to our sponsors. We like to come in and get hands on with the public, Pua said.
As a part of the clinics, Pua will pass out free samples from those sponsors. One coveted piece of schwag is a Suunto watch, as well as plenty of T-shirts and hats. There will also be a poster and autograph session after the clinic.
The Sawickis will offer a free endurance clinic at The Silver Mountain Sports Clinic, located at 2080 Gold Dust Lane on Thursday, June 14 at 6 p.m. They will also offer two other clinics in Salt Lake at Highland Cyclery on June 8-9 with a clinic and demonstration ride at 6 p.m. and June 12 at REI in Sandy at 7 p.m.
Some of Pua Sawicki’s Highs
Intermountain Cup series – Soldier Hollow, Utah), 2nd place female 12 Hours of Dirt Sweat & Gears (USA Cycling series), 1st place female Mountain Man Off Road Triathlon, Hawaii, 1st Place (set record) Kona Global 24 Hour, Granby CO, 1st Female Endurance 100, Park City, UT, 1st Female (set record), 3rd overall
Finalist for Everest Award (Teva Mountain Games) 2005
NORBA National Marathon Championship, Mammoth, CA, 2nd 24 Hour Solo World Championships, Whistler, BC, 2nd NORBA Nationals Marathon, Series Champion UCI World Cup Marathon, Quebec, Canada, 4th, 1st American NORBA Nationals 24 Hour Solo Championships, 1st 2004
NORBA Nationals Marathon, Series Champion
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When it comes to the U.S. census, let’s just say Park City has… room for improvement.