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2013 Paratriathlon Webinar Series

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Webinars Offered

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Series: $35, USAT members, $45, non-USAT members 

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Women in Sport Webinar Series Contributor Bios

Contributors: Constanza Sol, Dara Wittenberg, Ellen Pena Hart, Gale Bernhardt, Gwen Jorgensen, Lindsay Hyman


      Connie Sol

Bio: An exercise physiologist, Constanza (Connie) Sol has been acquiring coaching experience since 1995 in the field of triathlon, Paratriathlon and running.  She is currently involved in the establishment of a new model of rehabilitation of chronically fatigued physiological conditions and developing high performance training for USAT Paratriathlon.

Connie began her professional career at Posetech Corporation in Miami, Florida, where she worked with Dr. Nicholas Romanov, developing coaching education programs for POSE METHOD® of Running, in addition to teaching Pose clinics, worldwide as well as to individual runners to present day. In 2010, she joined the Veteran Affairs Medical Center as a staff clinical exercise physiologist where she developed and implemented cardiopulmonary exercise testing protocols for research in Gulf War Illness, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome  (CFS) and interstitial lung disease. Connie also serves as a clinical exercise physiologist at the Nova Southeastern University Institute for Neuro-Immune Medicine where she is currently developing exercise testing protocols for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Atlanta, multi-site joint project with NSU and other leading national CFS treatment facilities to study effects of exercise on CFS. During her time at the university, she has also conducted VO2max testing for establishment of performance outcomes in triathlon training programs using Metabolic Efficiency protocol.

Connie is a USAT Level III Certified Triathlon and Paratriathlon Coach, conducting high performance training camps for USA Paratriathlon, specializing in adaptive physiological training models, strength and conditioning, and biomechanical skill development. Having served as Team USA’s Paratriathlon National Team Co-Head Coach since 2012, Connie also works to develop a classification system for identifying emerging Paratriathlon talent.

Connie holds a BS in Operations Management (University of Delaware); BMA in Industrial Management (Widener University); MS in Exercise Science (Florida Atlantic University); and is currently working to earn a PhD in exercise Physiology from the University of Miami (expected 2014).



Dara Wittenberg

Bio: Dara Wittenberg, M.S. Multi-Sport Coach has been a multi-sport coach for 12 years and during that time has trained hundreds of athletes for whom endurance training and racing must fit into very busy lives. Her clientele includes lawyers, doctors, full time mothers, office workers, school teachers, nurses, and entrepreneurs – and every one of them has a jam packed schedule. Her goal is to help each individual strike a balance between training to their maximum potential and balancing the various other aspects of their lives, as well as to provide all the information they need to perform at their best and stay healthy and injury free. Over the years, Dara’s clients have done everything from complete their first sprint triathlon to winning age group awards in Ironman triathlons and shorter distances, road races (cycling and running), and competing in the Triathlon World Championships in Kona.

Dara is an adjunct instructor in the Exercise Science Department at Florida Atlantic University, teaches for USA Triathlon at their certifying clinics for new coaches, and presents locally to triathlon, cycling and running clubs.

Dara continues to look for opportunities to learn more about her various fields of interest and expertise so that she can share this knowledge with her clients and train them to be the best they can be and have fun while doing it. She is truly passionate about coaching and living a healthy and athletic lifestyle.

Certifications: M.S. in Exercise Physiology, CISSN- Certified Sports Nutritionist, USA Triathlon Level II certified coach, USA Cycling Expert Level Coach, USATF Level I, RRCA certified Endurance Running coach, USA Swim Coach, Adjunct Instructor at Florida Atlantic University.

        Ellen Pena Hart

Recently named as USAT Masters Athlete of the Year (2012), Ellen Hart is a public speaker, nutrition educator, masters athlete in running, triathlon and duathlon, and the proud mother of 3 children. Hart attended Harvard University where, before graduating in 1980, she won 8 varsity letters in soccer, basketball and track and field. Hart’s achievements continued after her college career and included being an accomplished long-distance runner from 1980-84, setting a World’s best at 20K, holding the American record at 30K, and competing in the 1980 and 1984 Olympic Trials. She went on to graduate from University of Colorado Law School in 1988.

In 1996, Hart’s lengthy battle with an eating disorder became the subject of the made-for-TV movie, Dying to Be Perfect, the Ellen Hart Peña Story. She now works for two non-profits—Share Our Strength, a national anti-hunger organization, and the Eating Disorder Foundation in Denver, CO, which she co-founded. At age 54, Hart has won 7 world and 3 national championships over the past 5 years, including the Ironman World Championship in Kona in 2010. She has been ranked the #1 triathlete for Women 50-54 by USAT for 2010, 2011, and 2012.


Gale Bernhardt

Bio: Gale Bernhardt traveled to Athens, Greece as the 2004 USA Triathlon Olympic Coach for both the men's and women's triathlon teams. This honor was in addition to the selection by USA Triathlon as the 2003 Pan American Games Coach for both the men's and women's teams. Her first Olympic experience was as a personal cycling coach at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. 

Gale has instructed or coached athletes since 1974. She has a BS degree from Colorado State University, is certified as an Elite Coach by USA Cycling and a Level III Coach by USA Triathlon. She was among the first, small, group of Level III coaches certified. She has served as the Chairperson for the National Coaching Committee for USA Triathlon for five consecutive years and is one of only a few, select USA Triathlon World Cup coaches. Gale uses her education and experience to help endurance athletes meet their race-related goals. Athletes utilizing her personal guidance include Olympic and professional cyclists; top national-level masters road racers, ultra-endurance cyclists, runners and multisport racers. Her athletes have placed at Olympic Trials and National Championships. 

Gale has coached multisport athletes to podium finishes at world championship events and others have traveled to the Hawaii Ironman competition, and is a regular columnist for several print and online magazines. For example, she has articles in, but not limited to, Triathlete, the newsletters ( Triathlete, Cyclist, Insider, Runner and Women) Inside Triathlon, Rocky Mountain Sports and Fitness and the VeloNews Gear Guide. She is recognized as an endurance exercise authority, with interviews in Outside, Runner's World, Bicycling, Her Sports, USA Today, Muscle and Fitness, HERS for Women, Newsday and Cooking Light to name a few. Her books, The Female Cyclist: Gearing Up a Level and Training Plans for Multisport Athletes are best sellers. Her third book, Triathlon Training Basics released in 2004 is the most recent hot-selling book nationally and internationally, going to foreign book rights very quickly. She is also responsible for the Workouts in a Binder® product and co-authored the first edition of swim workouts for triathletes.


Gwen Jorgensen

Bio: Gwen Jorgensen made triathlon debut in 2010 and has quickly risen to the top, finishing the 2013 season as the top-ranked American with a No. 4 world ranking. Jorgensen made history in 2013 as the first-ever U.S. woman to win an ITU World Triathlon Series (WTS) event when she sprinted to victory at Omegawave World Triathlon San Diego in April. Jorgensen also won WTS events in Yokohama and Stockholm, and was a member of the bronze-medal winning Mixed Relay World Championships team, earning the first medal for the U.S. since the relay format was introduced in 2009. A former collegiate runner at the University of Wisconsin, Jorgensen posted the fastest run split at most of her 2013 events. Jorgensen also won the Super Sprint Grand Prix in Las Vegas, part of the 2013 USA Triathlon Super Sprint Series.

In addition to Jorgensen’s three 2013 ITU WTS titles, she also finished on the podium two other times: at the 2012 series Grand Final in Auckland, New Zealand, and at the 2011 London test event where she qualified for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team. Other notable finishes include wins at the 2012 Banyoles (Spain) ITU World Cup and the 2011 Tiszaujvaros (Hungary) ITU World Cup. Jorgensen also won the 2011 USA Triathlon Elite Race Series and was named 2010 USA Triathlon Rookie of the Year.

Prior to becoming a triathlete, Jorgensen was a six-time Academic All-Big Ten as a member of the track and field, cross country and swim teams at the University of Wisconsin. She was the 2009 Big Ten champion in the 5,000m and 3,000m and earned All-American honors in track and cross country. Jorgensen completed her master’s in accounting and worked for Ernst & Young in Milwaukee before shifting her focus to triathlon full-time.


Lindsay Hyman

Bio: Lindsay Hyman is a Pro Level coach with Carmichael Training Systems and a USA Triathlon Level 2 certified coach.  Lindsay's education background is within exercise science holding a Bachelors degree and a Maters of Science in Exercise Physiology. She has been coaching for 11 years and works with athletes who are looking to complete their first Ironman race to athletes who have won at the World Championships in Kona. Lindsay's passion for triathlon began at a young age of 7 at the local Ironkids race in Denver Colorado and she is still competing in ultra endurance events from marathons, 100-mile mountain bike races to Ironman events today.  Her coaching philosophy is to provide the indispensable tools, education and experience, in the development of each athletes potential within sport and in life.  Most importantly, to create a training program specific to each athletes needs and goals, to emphasize a healthy and well-balanced life and to establish a positive training environment in pursue for the highest athletic achievement.