[NW CitySports Mag 12-04] [The Times 8-5-04] [The Tribune 5-21-04]

Northwest CitySports Magazine - Issue date: Dec 2004

Best of 2004 Winners

Triathlon Coach

Portland           Julie Browning
Seattle             Lisa Ballou

According to our readers, these are two women who can get you through the swim, bike, and run better than any other coach in the region. Both Ballou, from Kitsap County’s Seabeck, and Portland-based Browning earned so many votes that the category results were never in question.

The Beaverton Times - Issue date: Fri, Aug 5th, 2004

Browning Shares her Knowledge and her Country

Loud shirts and louder cell phone conversations.
Gun fights, drug deals and car races.
There are a lot of misconceptions about America around the world, many of them built on the export of our own movies and television shows, but in today’s post-9/11 era, repairing some of those misunderstandings is more important than ever, and Garden Home’s Julie Browning is doing her part one bicyclist at a time.
Browning, 35, a bicyclist, triathlete and coach who operates Breakaway Training, is currently teaching a group of five cyclists from New Zealand
as part of her involvement in a group called International Cycling for Understanding, a cycling exchange program.

The ICU program, according to an information sheet, has the purpose of “improving the image of Americans and American democratic values through cycling exchange programs with disadvantaged riders from Southern Hemisphere countries. Candidates for the ICU programs are 18-23-year-old Olympic level cyclists. Candidates have to complete an application process that includes essays, professional recommendations and letters of reference.
“They all have aspirations to be professional cyclists,” Browning said. “Professional cycling is on the same race schedule as

North America (with races) May through August. So if they want to become pros they need to switch over to that schedule. This helps them do that if that’s the direction they want to go in.”
Both Andy Small (19, of Auckland) and Scott Allen (19, of Blenheim) like what they’ve seen of the U.S. so far and have been impressed with Brown’s training. Both hope to turn eventually pro and return to the U.S. next year to attend school and train.
“I’ve learned a lot more structure to my training,” Small said. “I’ve learned a lot about stretching and how important it is. I’ve learned about off-season gym work, which helps the body and stops it from getting sports-related injuries.”
“It’s been a lot about diet and stretching programs,” Allen added. “We (go to) the gym every Monday morning and go through the stretching programs. We do specific training where we load up every three weeks and then have an easy week”
The riders learn a little about good old-fashioned American work ethic, too.
“They also have to do an internship for 15 hours a week for a bike-related local industry,” Browning said, and “they also have to do some volunteer work for OBRA, Oregon Bicycle Racing Association, so they’re kept pretty busy.”
The cyclists train and race six days a week. They have a weekly race at Portland International Raceway on Tuesdays and race on Portland’s Mt. Tabor on Wednesday. Thursday night is track racing at the Alpenrose Velodrome, and there is usually a road race somewhere in the area on the weekends.
“We put together a race calendar for what races they were going to do,” Browning said. “Around the race calendar we put together a day-to-day workout schedule. That involves going to the gym and various workouts on the bike. We have weekly team meetings where we go over training principles and some good habits to get into. I’m available if they have questions or get hurt.”
The cyclists have also get a lot of nutrition information from Browning.
“My approach is to create a functional athlete,” Browning said. “To be functional you need to not only ride your bike and have the physical fitness, but you need mental fitness. You need to have good eating habits. You also need to stretch and have good sleeping habits to create that functional athlete. That’s the message we try to get across to the team.”
That’s all part of Breakaway Training’s “integrated” and balanced training approach for triathletes and cyclists.
“I set up Breakaway Training a little over two years ago,” she said. “I coached informally before that.”
And Browning also finds the time to get on the bike herself.
“I ride five days a week,” she said. “I do a lot of races. My husband, John, and I both race.”
She can hold her own, too. She recently won the six-week Mt. Tabor Series and also did well in the Mt. Hood Stage Race.
She also can do a triathlon with the best of them.
“I’ve been running and swimming, competitively, since I was 8-years-old,” she said. “I was on Team U.S.A. last year. I went to the World’s Championship in New Zealand.”
After the New Zealanders leave, Browning will begin training a new group of cyclists and triathletes. She already has eight signed up for a regimen that begins in October.
“I take on 10 athletes a year,” she said. “I won’t take on any more. That allows me to focus and concentrate on their needs. I like to get a good mix of cyclists and triathletes of different ages, males and females.”
If, along the way, she can help reshape a few opinions about America too, even better.

THE TRIBUNE - Issue date: Fri, May 21, 2004

Cyclists dodge a Kiwi winter
Five New Zealand racers test a new exchange program

Adam Curry might call New Zealand home, but he’s a big fan of Oregon . The Beaver state, he says, is a great place to ride bikes.
“ Oregon is really laid-back and has a good cycling community,” says Curry, one of five New Zealand cyclists who have come to Portland for the summer to train. “Motorists here really respect cyclists. That’s very helpful.”
   Curry and his countrymen are part of a fledgling program designed to help cyclists around the world improve, says program Di rector David Nute . The idea is to send cyclists from the Southern Hemisphere to Portland when the nations there are experiencing winter, and send riders from the Northern Hemisphere south during winter here.
   “We have tons of grant applications out there, and we’re hoping this takes off,” says Nute, owner of Southeast Portland ’s Revolution Cycling. “We have five guys this year, but we’d love to get that number up to 20 in coming years, with half of the riders being women.”
   The New Zealanders plan to ride in weekly races at Portland International Raceway as well as those at the Alpenrose Velodrome. In July they’ll compete in the Cascade Classic in Bend .
   “We have a lot of racing set up for us,” Curry says. “It’s great.”
   The program is essentially the brainchild of Curry, 19. Last year, he e-mailed members of the Oregon Bike Racing Association hoping to find a host family that would take him in during New Zealand ’s winter. That led him to Nute.
   Curry spent the summer racing throughout the Northwest and was 75th in the Cascade Classic. The experience inspired Nute to dream up a larger program.
   Nute created a nonprofit organization, International Cycling for Understanding, to administer the program, which serves Olympic-level riders who are between 18 and 23. Riders account for their plane tickets and spending money. ICU handles the rest.
   The five New Zealanders: Curry, Richard Broker, Andrew Small , Mathew King and Scott Allen. All are 19 or 20. Broker arrives today; the others came last week and immediately spent three days training at the coast.
   All five hope to race in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, primarily in the shorter sprints, the kind run at Alpenrose.
   “There’s about 15 to 20 elite ( New Zealand ) riders who are on developmental teams now,” Curry says. “We’ll be racing against those guys when we get to the trials for the 2008 Games.”
   Local triathlete Julie Browning, who competed in the World Triathlon Championships in New Zealand in October, is providing additional training.
   Nute says scheduling training trips to New Zealand or another nation such as Australia , Argentina or South Africa is a challenge. Apparently cyclists in the Southern Hemisphere haven’t yet achieved the same level of organization as their Oregon counterparts.
   “It’s very hard to pin people down with anything,” he says. “We have all kinds of e-mail lists here, which is how Adam was able to get hold of me in the first place. But down there, things are very haphazard. They seem to make things up as they go.”