San Diego, CA (October 23, 2012) – The ElliptiGO Project, a group of elite athletes focused on using innovative training tools and techniques to improve performance, today announced that two-time adventure racing world champion, Robyn Benincasa, has joined the Project. A lifelong competitive athlete, 10-time Ironman finisher, and professional firefighter, Benincasa has undergone four hip replacements since 2007 and continues to take on inspiring and challenging athletic events. Last month she was crowned the Women’s Champion at the 2012 World Championships of Elliptical Cycling. Leveraging the expertise of the Project’s integration advisor, Bob Augello, Benincasa will join the other athletes of the Project in incorporating the ElliptiGO and other innovative techniques and tools into their training in order to improve their athletic performance and achieve their goals.
In 2007, after 15 years of professional adventure racing, Benincasa’s career ground to a halt when she was diagnosed with stage 4 Osteoarthritis in her hips. “Years and years of endurance racing had worn away all my cartilage,” stated Benincasa. “They told me I would never run again.” Yet despite needing multiple hip replacements, she never lost her passion for accomplishing incredible athletic feats. Just this Summer, she set a new Guinness World Record for paddling 231 miles in 24 hours. It was through exploring new options and new sports she could participate in that Benincasa found the ElliptiGO and a new way to train.
“When I heard about the ElliptiGO I got goosebumps,” recalls Benincasa. “I thought to myself, ‘that’s what I need to do. That’s what’s going to give me that feeling again.’ I got excited because I really missed running.” She started training on the ElliptiGO in late 2011, before her fourth hip replacement and then used it for recovery afterwards.
“Earlier this year, only two months after my hip replacement, I was back outside riding and it felt great. Not only could I get a really satisfying, heart-pumping workout in, but it actually made my hips feel better.Now, after training on it for more than a year, I feel like I’m able to get a real workout again but without the pounding and the pain in my body.I love it.”
Besides being a low-impact training option, the ElliptiGO also provides a new sport for her to compete in. In September she gathered with 50 other competitors at the base of Palomar Mountain to take part in the World Championships of Elliptical Cycling. This annual timed ride is a grueling 11.7-mile ascent at an average of a 7% grade. Benincasa dominated the women’s field to secure her first elliptical cycling win and earn the title of 2012 World Champion.
“Robyn is an incredibly tough and determined athlete who is already seeing the benefits of integrating the ElliptiGO into her training,” stated Bob Augello, Integration Advisor for The ElliptiGO Project. “She’s the kind of person who needs to be outside and training hard in order to be happy with her workout and the ElliptiGO gives her the ability to do just that, in spite of her injuries.”
Augello has been working with endurance athletes at all levels for more than 20 years with a particular emphasis on using innovation to improve performance.His role is to advise Project members on how they can best use all the different tools and techniques identified by the Project. “Robyn’s performance at the race up Palomar Mountain was inspiring and I’m looking forward to seeing what new challenge she will take on next,” remarked Augello. “Using innovative tools like the ElliptiGO to minimize the impact on her body will allow her to continue her successful athletic career in whatever sport she chooses.”
The 18 members of The ElliptiGO Project are:
·Robyn Benincasa, 2-Time Adventure Racing World Champion
·Magdalena Lewy Boulet, 2008 US Olympic Marathoner
·Josh Cox, 50K US Record Holder
·Julie Culley, 2012 US Olympic 5,000-meter runner
·Lauren Fleshman, 15-time All-American and two-time US National 5K Champion
·Ricky Flynn, 2009 Division III Cross Country National Champion
·Michael Gostigian, 3-time Olympian
·Ben Greenfield, 2011 ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Champion, M30-34
·Simon Gutierrez, 3-time World Masters Mountain Running Champion
·Dean Karnazes, Badwater Ultramarathon Winner
·Christine Kennedy, 2011 USATF Masters Athlete of the Year
·Matt Llano, All-American in the 10,000m
·Craig Leon, 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials competitor
·Catha Mullen, All-American in the 5,000m
·Brian Pilcher, 2011 USATF Runner of the Year, M55-59
·Bruce Raymer, Canadian National Marathon Champion
·Neely Spence, 8-time NCAA Div. II National Champion
·Jorge Torres, 2008 US Olympic 10,000-meter runner
To join the Project, elite athletes are required to have an inspiring running-related goal that they want to accomplish in the next two years and want to authentically integrate new training tools and techniques in order to help them achieve their goal. In addition, athletes must be willing to share their training and results with other members of the Project. Each athlete will use tools like the ElliptiGO in a slightly different way, so a major benefit to the team members is being able to communicate with each other and learn new ways to incorporate these devices into their own workout regimens.
The Project is currently recruiting elite athletes with ambitious goals who are interested in exploring innovative new ways of getting faster and staying healthy.For more information about The ElliptiGO Project, visit the website at www.theelliptigoproject.com.
About The ElliptiGO Project
The ElliptiGO Project exists to make runners faster through innovation. It is currently growing membership, adding new innovative running tools, and affiliating with other organizations that share the same goal of improving athletes’ performance through innovation.The Project tests new training techniques through competition, both on the track and on the road, and reports its findings with candor. www.theelliptigoproject.com
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