Racheal Wood Coaching 
South Florida's Triathlon, Youth And Junior Triathlon, XTERRA and Cycling Certified Coach
Welcome to Racheal Wood Coaching 
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Welcome to Max Dudak and Gus Cohn....my newest athletes and members of South Florida Lightning Team!  Both of these young men are awesome and will be so much fun to work with.  Welcome back to Mia Simon and Allison Beckerman after being away at summer camp.  We had some fun team practices this week working on fitness, running, bike skills and transitioning.  

Congrats to Sofia Firmino on a stellar race at IronKids Nationals winning the 15 year old age group!   Way to go Sofia, enjoy your accomplishment! 


Congrats to Jon Perkinson on his races this August.  

He has done really well both on road and off.   He placed 1st in the Fort Desoto Sprint Race on August 24th!  He also placed 2nd at the Down To Earth Mountain Bike race at Amelia Mountain Bike Trails on August 17th!   Nice job, especially for a training race.   In early August, he placed 2nd in his age group at the Huntington Disease Triathlon.  Way to go Jon!  It is awesome to see you work so hard and do so well:). 



Congrats to Hannah Fowler for her 7th place finish at USAT Youth Nationals in West Chester Ohio on August 4th.  We took a 2 day road trip up to Ohio that including some fun riding our bikes at Hanna Park in Jacksonville, running on the trails at Davidson River in Pisgah Forest NC and practicing on the race course in West Chester along with checking out the University of Cincinnati and other areas Coach Racheal grew up exploring.  She was a bit overwhelmed and nervous for this big event, but handled it well and is excited to go back next year to do even better.  Great job Hannah!  Coach Racheal is super proud of you:).

Link to pictures

Congrats to 3 of my athletes that raced Huntington Disease Triathlon! Jonathan Perkinson made it on the podium again with a 2nd place finish! Hans Sperling, a newbie to the sport finished 1st place in the Clydesdale division! And JF Desoyners continues to improve on his racing and enjoyment, including overcoming some swim anxieties with flying colors. Great job to all 3 of you!

Jon at the July 4th Tradewinds race on his way to another podium 3rd place finish in the 30 to 34 age division! 

Great race for my 15 year old athlete Sofia Nehring Firmino! She looked amazing from start to finish with a super strong swim, good bike even without her aerobars and race wheels and super strong run! She set a PR with a 1:00:47 Sprint race, came in 1st place in the 15-19 year old age group and 7th overall f
emale. Way to go Sofia, so very proud and excited for you!   She is moving to Wisconsin with her family and will be greatly missed.  She has been an amazing athlete to coach and great member of the South Florida Lightning Team.   Good luck Sofia!  Hope you have an amazing rest of the summer.  

Clermont Kid's Triathlon Series Race #3.  It is so awesome to watch one of your athletes do so well.  I had a great time hanging out with Hannah Fowler and her mom watching her race to a 1st place finish out if 31 girls in her age group! We even did a little mountain bike ride on the trails as a cool down afterwards. Fun, fun and more fun!! 

Welcome athlete Hans Sperling to my coaching family.  Hans is a dentist that lives in Weston.  His goals are to complete his first triathlon and get stronger on the bike so he can hang with the Weston cycling groups:).  He is training for the Huntington Disease Triathlon Sprint in August and then Escape to Miami Olympic Distance race in September.  I am looking forward to working with him and helping him not get dropped:). 

Congrats to JF Desnoyers who managed to finish a hilly Sprint race in Canada June 8th feeling good and tackling the hills even with just a month of coached training.  It was so cold that they turned it into a duathlon which made it tough.  Looking forward to seeing him improve and do well at more sprints this season.  Great job JF!

Michael Beckerman completed his first triathlon at the Trilogy in June with flying colors then went on to complete the Boca Mini Tri as well!  He has trained hard trying to improve his swim, really learning how to bike and improving his run as well.  He completes everything I throw at him and keeps getting stronger on all 3 disciplines.  He did a great job on his first race with a mid pack finish.  He plans on doing a few more sprints this season then a half marathon towards the end of the year.  Keep up the good work! 

Congrats to Joy Braun for her performance at FL 70.3 in Haines City.  She finished the day with a 5:35 half ironman finish with a solid bike and run despite the crazy heat.   Way to go Joy! 


Congrats to Hannah Fowler for her outstanding performance at IronKid's Florida in Haines City!  She took 1st place in the 10 year old age division with a super fast bike split.  She battled a super bad side stitch on the run but pushed through it.  Super proud of you Hannah!  

Congrats to Sofia Firmino for her awesome performance at Ironkids Florida.  She has improved so much and finished the day in 2nd place for the 15 year old division with a strong swim, solid bike and run.  She also raced so smart, following her coaches instructions to a T and was super excited after the race!  It was a great race and super fun to watch as her coach! 

Welcome to South Florida Lightning TEAM Sponsor Bicycle Generation!  Their generous sponsorship has helped pay for team suits, shirts and other items.   We are looking forward to working with them this season and hopefully co hosting some clinics for youth!  

Welcome to Youth Triathletes
Mia Simon and Allison Beckerman to the South Florida Lightning Team!  Mia is 9 and Allison 12 are both welcome additions to the team and coaching family.  They have been coming out to practices and following a training plan the past month.

Welcome to new athletes
Michael Beckerman, Patty Morgan and JF Desnoyners to my athlete family.  Michael and Patty are total newbies to the sport and JF has done a few races and is looking to improve and learn much more about the sport of triathlon:).   We have been working hard video taping and doing analysis, working on skills through clinics and practices and trying to balance a training schedule into their busy lives.   So far, they have done an outstanding job...sponges trying to absorb it all.  It is so rewarding to watch them learn and improve their skills and fitness every week:).

Congrats to Hannah Fowler who started the season off strong with 4 weeks in a row of racing.  She started with the Star Kid's Triathlon in Cocoa Beach, finishing 2nd place in her age group (10 to 11 year olds) and overall for the senior division on April 14th.  Then she came in 1st place finish at the Extreme Aquathon on April 20th at Deerfield Beach Aquatics Center.  The race consisted of a 1/2 mile run with obstacles (tires,  foam huge mats and crawling under ropes), a 50 meter swim and then a 1/2 mile run.  She was the top competitor (boys and girls for 9 and under division.  Then on April 27th, she finished 3rd overall in the intermediate division (girls 12 and under) at the Meek and Mighty  in Saint Petersburg.    Then she competed on May 5th at the Miami Kid's Tri and finished 1st overall in the 10 year old age group and tops in her division.  And that was after doing 2 full days of training hard up in Haines City and Sebring.  Way to go Hannah!  Keep up the good work:). 

Congrats to Joy Braun on her 2nd place finish in the 35 to 39 age group at the FAU Wellness Triathlon on April 15th!   It was awesome to cheer her on and watch her do so well with a nice strong finish!  Way to go Joy!

 What a great turnout for the FAU First Timer's Clinic on April 13th!  There were over 50 athletes in attendance with lots of great questions and feedback.  I went over everything you 
need to know to get ready for the race, some tips for how to race and so much more. After the race, so many of the athletes came up to me and told me how awesome their race experiences were and how all the tips really helped to make their day successful.   Loved talking to them and seeing them do so well.  Congrats to all athletes that participated. 

Good luck to Joy Braun on her 2013 triathlon season opener at the FAU Wellness Triathlon on April 14th!  It will be her first race of the season and a lead up to FL 70.3 in Haines City in May.   Have fun Joy!

Good luck to Hannah Fowler at the Star Kid's Triathlon on April 14th in Coco Beach!

Good luck to Sofia Firmino at the Fort De Soto Talent ID Series Race #1 on April 13th!

Congrats to Joy Braun for completing the 5K Swim Miami.  She was not really training a lot for this kind of volume, but really wanted to do the race.  So the plan was just to give her enough to finish feeling good and not injured or to disrupt her other goals for the season.  Mission accomplished!  She had a lot of fun and was able to cross this one off her bucket list:). 

Jonathan Perkinson had a stellar performance at XTERRA Miami on March 24th!  He raced solid all day, coming out of the water in good position, rode steady and strong on the bike and pushed through the run to end up with a 5th place overall finish and 2nd in his age group behind the overall winner!  Way to go on your first XTERRA race!  Looking forward to seeing how he does in the upcoming Key Biscayne XTERRA in May and Richmond East Championships in June!


Welcome to
 Michael Beckerman.  Michael is a newbie and training for his first triathlon.  We have been working hard on getting him set up on a new bike, teaching him efficiency and some bike skills, learning to find a balanced swim position so he can build his swim skills upon it and changing up his run routine as well.  He is also being introduced to some new ways to strength training, incorporating exercises to help him with stability as well as strength and flexibility.  So far, he has been doing great at staying with his workouts and challenging himself.  
On March 4th,  I presented On the Benefits of Cross Training with off road racing at the Miami Pace meeting in Coral Gables for a group of about 15-20 members.   I told the story about how I started in the sport of triathlon and the events in my life that lead me to off road racing and how it helped me improve my performance.  It was a fun evening and I might some super nice athletes:). 

Congrats to Sofia Firmino for her awesome performance at the Club Med 2725 Sandpiper Triathlon on February 24th.  She swam 1/2 mile, Bike 12.4 miles and ran 3.1 miles in 1 hour and 15 minutes, setting a new PR and winning the 15-19 age division.  Great way to start the season!

Congrats to Joy Braun for completing 3 Half Marathons this winter, Weston 13.1, Miami Beach 13.1 and Miami ING 13.1!  Each one had it's own challenges, but were all great training races to lead up to her triathlon season!   Way to go Joy! 

 Jonathan Perkinson raced several of the Gone Riding Series Coconut Cup races over the winter to help improve his racing and skills for the upcoming XTERRA season.  He did really well moving his way up the ranks with each race.   Amelia Race

14 year old Sofia Firmino has been busy working on her running and competing in several races this winter. She did well at the Boca Mile, won her age group at the Strides for Education Run at FAU and the Boca Raton 5K Fun Run. Today she finished 1st place for the 10-19 age group in the Boca Raton 5K at Spanish River Park!  Congrats Sofia!   

Congrats to Jonathan Perkinson on his 3rd place finish in the Base Category at the 6 hour Solo Race @ the 12 hours of Markham race on December 16th.  He managed to complete 8 laps or 65 miles finishing strong!  Looking forward to working with him to help him train for XTERRA and USAT Nationals for the 2013 Season.

Congrats to Joy Braun on her PR and 3rd place 35-39 age group finish at the Weston Rotary Half marathon.   She did this as a training race to prepare for ING Miami Half next month. Her time was 1:44:43. Congrats to Lauren Brunswick for her 3rd overall finish with a time of 1:37:41! Great job to both of you:).

Congrats to Jonathan Perkinson on his 3rd place OA Finish at The Down2Earth Off Road Triathlon@ Amelia Park! He has improved so much this season. He had a 9th place finish out of 11 in his age group a year ago at this same race so is stoked to come in 3rd Overall today. He also excuted the race strategy perfectly having lots of FUN and a GREAT race experience! Way to go Jonathan!

Congrats to Katie Pinnell, Sofia Firmino and Hannah Fowler from South Florida Lightning that each won their age groups at the I' Tri'ed Kid's Race in Pompano Beach! These 3 girls have worked hard and finished the season with outstanding performances.   Katie was 1st Overall finisher and Sofia was 2nd female and 3rd Overall! Best of all is the way the team supports each other at all the races....I feel blessed to be able to work with such a great group during practices, races and exploring the world.

Congrats to Jonathan Perkinson who finished his first Olympic Distance race at Escape to Miami in a stellar time of 2:36:36! All his hard work over the past 4 months really paid off, finishing just outside of the top 25% in his age group (32/144)...amazing for his first year in the sport:). Way to go Jon! Next up is the Amelia Off Road Triathlon on October 7th!

Congrats to Sofia Firmino for her awesome performance at the USAT Talent ID Series race in Clermont.  She came in 3rd in a tough 14 year old age group and finished 19th overall among all women.  It was her first race of the season!  Way to go Sofie! 

Congrats to Joy Braun on hanging tough and completing IM Louisville even though she was not feeling well or quite herself going into race day.  Finishing a race when you are not feeling well is really hard and takes a huge amount of courage and determination to finish it out.   Really proud of you Joy!

Welcome to New Athlete Sofie Firmino!  Sofie is a 14 year old from Brazil here for the year.  She is doing a great job juggling high school in a different country with all her training.  Looking forward to working with her this year:).

Congrats to Joy Braun for her 2nd place age group finish at the Trilogy International Distance Race!  We decided to mix up her training for IM Louisville with this race.  It was a great test how much her speed endurance has improved this year.  She continues to get faster and stronger...can't wait to see how she does at IM next month. Way to go Joy!  Keep up the great training.

Congrats to Hannah Fowler and Katie Pinnell on becoming Florida Regional Champions by winning their age divisions at the USAT Youth Regional Championships at Heartland Triathlon on June 16th!  Hannah came out of the swim in first place, had a strong bike and held off some strong runners to win the 9 year old division with a solid 30 second cushion in the 100 yard swim, 4 mile bike and half mile run.  Katie won the 12 year old division with a solid swim, great transition, super strong bike and then overcame a bad side cramp on the run to win her division by a 30 second margin as well. The 12 year old race was a 200 yard swim, 8 mile bike and 1 mile run.  Way to go girls!  So proud of you and all your hard work:).

Katie Pinnell 12 year old Florida Regional Champion

Hannah Fowler 9 year old Florida Regional Champion

to new personal athlete Jonathan Perkinson!  Jon started training just a few weeks ago and has been awesome to work with so far.  He has already seen improvement in his swimming and mountain biking and had a 3 place overall finish in the Oleta 5K race recently.  He is training for several off road triathlons, regular tri's and some mountain bike races with his goal race being Escape to Miami in September and the Miami Man Half Ironman in November. 

Congrats to Lisa Galloway for a rock solid performance today at FL 70.3 in Haines City.
  She finished the race with a 10 minute PR (over Miami Man which is a much easier course)  in 5:32:08 with a strong 1:48 half marathon run finish!   Great way to pace the race and finish strong. So proud of you Lisa and all your hard work.   Congrats to Tina Marie Periera who also PR'ed today breaking 7 hours for the first time after not really being into training too much after she completed IM FL back in November.  Too much work and living life:).  To be honest, I was a little bit worried about her knowing the course was tough, especially the run course in the heat.  But she came through with flying colors...hanging tough and getting the job done. 

Congrats to CJ Nickoson for a second place finish in the 225 plus 40 plus Clydesdale Division in his 1st Olympic Distance Race.  CJ has been working hard trying to get his swimming and endurance up to speed so he could complete the much longer 1.5K swim.  His swimming has come a long way from just being able to do the 1/4 mile distance a few months ago.  He finished the race in 3:15 on a very hot day, just running out of real estate to catch 1st place by 10 seconds.  He said he had a fun day and learned alot about the distance. 

Congrats to Hannah Fowler, Shea Whitacre and Katie Pinnell for their outstanding performances at IronKids FL in Haines City!  The girls had great races, executing all the skills they learned to prepare for the race really well.   They all qualified for IronKid Nationals in Des Moines.  Way to go TEAM South Florida Lightning!

Lisa Galloway and I had a great weekend training in Haines City, Lake Louisa and Clermont.  We were able to check out the ride the FL 70.3 and IronKids race course. The lake is small and water level kind of low, should make for an interesting swim.   The bike course is a mix of flats, false flats, some hills, smooth, rough, country  and busy roads.  The run course has some good hills in it at the start of the loop and then flattens out a bit for the second half.  Venue site is beautiful at Lake Eva with awesome play ground and water park for the kids (very family oriented), beautiful green lawns, amphitheater and banquet hall.  Should make for 2 great events.  Good luck to all competitors on May 19th and 20th!

Lisa riding for the first time in Clermont at the top of Sugarloaf!  Looking forward to going back with her to train again.

Congrats to Joy Braun for a strong finish of 5:50:45 on a tough course at the Clermont Challenge half iron distance race!  That is an improvement of 1.5 hours since she did her first half ironman on that course 1.5 years ago.   She placed 3rd in the 35-39 age group.  Joy has worked on her biking skills and improved tremendously.  Nice job Joy!

Congrats to Rich Hoffman, and CK Nickoson for completing the FAU Wellness Triathlon! 
Due to rough conditions, the swim was cancelled and replaced with a 1 mile run out and back on the sand. It definitely changed the dynamics of the race for all my athletes that were so prepared for a rough water swim, making it much harder in many respects.  They all did a great job in over coming the change.    Rich Hoffman finished stong with a 1:02 in the 40 to 44 male division missing his mark of breaking an hour, but still having a good day.  CJ also did well in the Clydesdale division with a 1:07 finish.  Congrats to all that raced.


I had a great crowd of about 60 athletes for the First Timer's Clinic for the FAU Wellness Triathlon on Saturday before the race.  The clinic included a powerpoint presentation on how to prepare for their first race and what to expect for the FAU race.  I also went over many tips I have learned through the years from coaching and racing.  Many of the athletes were concerned with the windy conditions, mainly for the swim.  Good luck to all the athletes!

I attended the Road Runners Club of America  (RRCA) Certification course in Atlanta March 24 and 25th.  It was a great course with a lot of good information and presented very well.  I learned a few new things, but mainly was a great reminder of tools we can use as coaches.  Plus it was unique in that it centered around just running and not also training for a tri.  Looking forward to using some of the info while coaching my athletes:).

I have been holding Open water swims and transition practices for some of my coached athletes.  They have learned so much about how to deal with rough conditions and how to be fast in transitions!

I volunteered to help out with a FLIPPANY Adventure Camp for kids over spring break.  Rode with some of the kids on the trails at Markham park.  They all did great and were so much fun to work with and give a few tips!


Congrats to Joy Braun for her top 5% female finish at the Sparten Race in Oleta River State Park on Saturday.  She did the race for fun after a long season of Ironman training straight into Miami Marathon race.....and had a blast smiling the whole time:).  Great job Joy!


Congrats to Joy Braun on her 3:48 Miami Marathon finish which put her in the top 30 of the 35-39 age division.   She did an amazing job recovering from Ironman Florida back in November, to training for the event and building back up some speed.  She is ready to rock in 2012, signing up for the Clermont Challenge Half Ironman in April, then Ironman Louisville in August and Florida in November. 

    Joy Braun with a strong finish to the line.
Congrats to my athletes that completed Ironman Florida November 5th! 

I had 4 athletes compete...all career women that juggled all the training with their full time jobs to become Ironman.   Photos 

Congrats to Joy Braun who less than two years ago did not even own a bike nor have much skill in riding one.  She was also not very skilled with her swim.  She trained with such dedication,listening and doing just what I told her to do.   The result was a phenonmenal first Ironman Race in a time of 11:49, pacing it just right so she could finish strong with a 4:10 marathon.  It was more than a joy to watch her running strong at the end negative splitting the run.  Joy is a perfect example of what you can do with tons of determination.  Amazing race.....she is also hooked, signed up for next year.  Can't wait to see what she can do!

Joy on her way out for her second loop of the run!  Looking STRONG!

Congrats to Lauren Braunswick who did an amazing job of balancing her job as a lawyer, tons of travel with more than a few of her friends having showers, spendng time with her fiance and the training.  Her goal was to break 13 hours and she did it in 12:15!  It was awesome to see how pumped up she was going down the finishers chute!  Woo Hoo Lauren!

Congrats to Monica Smiciklas who decided to toe the line and complete the race even though she didn't have the time she had hoped to train for it.  She starting a new position within her company with Microsoft back in April, traveling half the month and dealing with some stressful events as well.  Given all that she still PR'ed from her first Ironman and pushed the run at the end to break the 15 hour mark with a 14:48 finish.  Way to hang tough Monica!

Congrats to Tina Marie Pereira!   Tina is the queen of balance in her life.  She lives LIFE to the fullest and then some and still manages to train...but not making it so huge that she doesn't have time for other things.  She has a demanding job that requires long hours as a Engineering Project Manager for Community Asphalt.  To train for Ironman meant that she would have to step up the volume by quite a bit and give up some of her balanced life.  As the months went by, I was amazed how well she did this.   Her goal was to just finish...and she did it well.  She ended the day in 15:01.  Had a solid steady swim, bike and run....and would have been faster if she didn't spend 30 plus minutes in transition:). OK, having to change your contacts takes time:).   Best of all, she is still the most balanced and awesome triathlete I know!   Awesome job Tina, so PROUD of you.

Congrats to my athletes that competed at Augusta 70.3 on September 25th!  All of them posted Personal Bests for the half ironman distance.  Leading the team was Joy Braun with an awesome 5:26:08 race finishing with a strong half marathon and 45 minute PR over last years Miami 70.3 race.  Lauren Brunswick was close behind with a 5:38 finish, also a PR by about 40 minutes.  Monica Smickilas and Kerry Whitacre improved their time by 30 minutes over their time from last year at Vineman.   Way to go girls:)!

  Joy with a solid bike, Lauren running strong, Monica and Kerry riding strong!

Congrats to Tina Marie Pereira for PR'ing in The Escape to Miami race on Sunday September 25th! She has been training hard for IM FL, and it all seems to be paying off. You know you are training well when the run gets easier as you go on!

Congrats to Joy Braun and Alfredo Forero for their performances at the Bonus Round for the Trilogy Race! Alfredo finished the race series with a PR of 1:00:52
and a 5th place finish in the seres. Joy had a good race with a 2nd place fiinish in her age group even after a long week of Ironman training. She had an amazing series winning the 35-39 age group for the series! Woo hoo....doing great!