Coolibar Athletes

Coolibar Athlete Chad Hannon: Adventure Racer

Nine years ago while sitting on the couch having a cigarette, I made the decision to change my life. I decided it was time to live life to the fullest. I threw out the cigarettes, and got on my bike. Today, at 41, I am 55 pounds lighter and nine years without a cigarette.  I run endurance events of all kinds. My favorites are Adventure Races.

I am the father of two daughters (Madeline and Lanie), and have been married to my wife Courtney for nearly 13 years now.  We consider ourselves, all of us, to be a very active family.  Madeline in particular has shown a passion to follow me into Adventure Racing, and has begun running and training on a regular basis.  At age 10, she already has more running medals then I ever will have.

We are excited to be sponsored by Coolibar this season. We’re of Irish descent and if there is one thing we Irish are known for – other than drinking prowess – it is sunburns.  We cannot step in the sun without burning.  So, imagine spending an entire 24 hour race in it, or trying to remember to reapply sunscreen on a five hour bike race section.  With all we know today about overexposure and all the tragic stories that I need not repeat here, sun protection is just as obvious as throwing out those cigarettes. 

Chad Hannon

Chad and daughter Madeline Chad and daughter Madeline
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Coolibar Athletes

Coolibar Athlete Sarah Gay: Triathlete

I’m your typical working wife and mother of two young children ages 16 months and 3 years.  The outdoors has always been a major part of my life, as have many different sports. 

Throughout childhood, I was a competitive synchronized swimmer and as a teenager competed at the national level.  In high school I played field hockey, as a college student at the University of Arizona, I played lacrosse, and as a young adult I worked as a ski patroller in Lake Tahoe.  My current favorite, though, is triathlon.  I did my first sprint distance tri in 1998 and was hooked from the get-go. 

Even from the start, I had a dream of completing an Ironman at some point which has turned into a goal of completing an IM the summer I turn 40. Today I am training for my first half Ironman distance tri in June 2013. I love triathlon because it combines three of my favorite sports (if you threw skiing in there, too, I’d definitely sign up for that race!) and the feeling I get when I cross the finish line is like no other!  I feel on top of the world, like I can conquer anything. 

Training for this race is motivating me to get back into shape after having kids. I also hope to set a positive example for them by showing them that staying physically fit and having fun outdoors while remaining sun smart is essential and easy. Sun protection is important me because, with one exception (a weakened immune system), I have every single risk factor for melanoma. I am fair skinned, have had more blistering sunburns than I care to admit, am outside any chance I get, have lived in Arizona and at elevation, my mother is a melanoma survivor (yay!!) and greater than 50 moles?  Try greater than 500, or 5000?  I have no idea, there are too many to count!  In an effort to beat the odds that aren’t in my favor, I have no choice but to stay protected from the sun.

Professionally, I work as a pediatric nurse practitioner where education and awareness is part of my every day life.  Granted, in pediatric cardiology sun awareness isn’t always the first thing to be discussed, but when parents ask, and they often do, about how to care for their child’s new surgical scar, sun protection is on the to-do list!  If I can continue to fit in little tidbits of sun protection education at work, at home and in the local triathlon community, then I will have done my part in bringing awareness to an often overlooked, but very common, health problem.

Sarah Gay

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Coolibar Athletes

Coolibar Athlete Holly Finley: Disc Golfer

My name is Holly Finley. I’m an international fashion model who has turned professional disc golfer. I started playing disc golf in June of 2011. I played for four short months before moving to Africa for a modeling contract. Unable to play in Africa because of no readily available courses, I planned out my year for the 2012 season. 

Upon returning from Africa, I promptly entered into my first tournament in February and won 1st place.  I then went on a winning spree, playing in 30 events during the 2012 season, taking home 16 first places and touring around the United States as an amateur player.  I turned down cash on multiple occasions to maintain my amateur status in order to compete in the Disc Golf World Championships.  I placed 4th in Advanced Women, besting out 40 of my competitors.  I was also invited to compete in a prestigious event known as the United States Disc Golf Championship.  I was one of four females and placed 27th out of 72 competitors. 

I am outdoors 10 hours a day, seven days a week training and competing. In between disc golfing, I’m running 10+ miles a week, road cycling, swimming, hiking and snowboarding in the winter months.

I am currently working in South Africa at this time and establishing Disc Golf where it is non-existent, in the Cape Town area. I am giving clinics to local schools and existing organizations interested in Flying Disc sports. I’ll be back soon to share more with you.

Holly Finley

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Coolibar Athletes

Coolibar Athlete John Chase: Kayaker

As a kayaker and part time instructor, I spend a lot of time on and in the water teaching entry level kayak skills courses and leading tours as well as paddling for fun.  I am also an avid mountain and road biker, adventure racer, and occasional alpine mountaineer and rock climber.  I’ve summited Mt. Rainier, Longs Peak in winter conditions and summer conditions (with my two daughters), self-organized and led a trip to Mexico’s volcanoes, and competed in over 100 adventure races ranging in length from 4 hours to 8 days.

I am a full-time fitness manager, personal trainer, father of two daughters, and husband. I work hard to set a good example for my girls and to guide them to pursue a life worth telling a story about. I work hard, sometimes too much, but I try to balance time behind a desk with time outdoors. 

Being active has given me many amazing life experiences. I‘ve stood 6 feet from a herd of deer while riding my mountain bike, neither of us wanting to give up the trail. I’ve watched the sunrise alongside my daughters from 11,000 feet above sea level and witnessed the absolute silence of the winter woods after a big snowfall. I’ve watched coyotes, eagles, and hawks when they didn’t realize anyone was watching.  I’ve listened to the laughter of children and the look of amazement as they accomplished goals they never imagined and felt the pride of accomplishment in reaching my own goals.  

Each one of these experiences has helped me be a better person, a better father, added years to my life, put a smile on my face and the faces of others around me.  None of these required any special skills that anyone else couldn’t obtain. They just required a level of commitment and creativity that many aren’t willing to pursue. I’m just an ordinary guy who doesn’t want to live an ordinary life.

My favorite activities place me in the hot sun and protecting myself from the rays is important.  My mother has had several scares with Melanoma, and being an outdoor-loving person, I don’t want to see myself or others have to give up the things they enjoy because they’ve failed to protect themselves properly.  Coolibar’s products provide sun protection while maintaining style and eliminating the “wash off” factor with lotions.

I maintain a blog as a Personal Trainer ( where I post articles on topics to encourage people to lead a healthy life. I have produced over 150 brief You Tube videos demonstrating different exercises. I also maintain a website at devoted to teaching others exercises to improve their paddling abilities. I am a frequent fitness lecturer and am honored to be a speaker at this year’s Canoecopia event on fitness for paddlers.

John Chase

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Coolibar Athletes

Coolibar Athlete Ashleigh Baird: Freediver

Born and raised in central Florida, I grew up spending weekends playing on beaches, exploring fresh water springs and sailing around the Florida Keys – all the while spending countless hours studying the natural world.  The underwater realm was my first love and these early experiences helped form a passion for exploration and desire to make a positive impact on the environment. This ultimately lead to my choice to become both a Freediver and an Architect.  Freediving is a form of underwater diving that does not involve the use of scuba gear or other external breathing devices, but rather relies on a diver’s ability to hold his or her breath until resurfacing.

While attending the University of South Florida’s School of Architecture and Community Design, I registered for my first freediving course and have since competed in both local and international competitions.  In addition to recreational freediving, I recently finished the Freediver Instructor certification through Performance Freediving International.

Freediving has opened many doors, providing opportunities to work with major companies like GoPro and SeaDoo, as well as making appearances in Red Bulletin Magazine and ABC’s Nightline.  Encouraged by these opportunities, I am currently exploring the potential impact that freediving in the media can have on environmental conservation and protection.  Believing that by adding the freediver as an element to underwater photography/cinematography, a very positive human presence can be introduced, forming a much deeper and more dynamic relationship between the viewer and media content. 

I am currently training for this year’s upcoming international competition in May. My goals are to reach a depth of 60 meters on one breath, and break the U.S women’s national static apnea record of 6:35.

After going through bottle after bottle of sunscreen during the competition in Grand Cayman, I realized very few products worked as well as my fair skin needed them to. I want to help spread safe sun practices to my fellow athletes as well as improve my own health and safety while training and competing in these events. More to come soon.

Ashleigh Baird

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What's Hot

Coolibar Shopping Spree

Bloggers, are you ready to start Getting Gorgeous? We are and we’re thrilled to be a part of Getting Gorgeous 2013!

Because you’re in the know, the Tanning is Out concept is probably not new to you, but here’s why we incessantly talk about it. Sun protection is important for healthy & radiant skin because excessive UV light exposure, natural or artificial, not only increases skin cancer risk, but also prematurely ages skin. Need a visual? Check out this pin. Your best defense is to cover-up and #PracticeSafeSun.

Your Coolibar Gift UPF 50+ Beach Sun Hat

Our Getting Gorgeous UPF 50+ gift to you is the Beach Sun Hat, yours free and included in your goodie bag. This best selling sun hat has a reinforced 7” brim for superior face and neck coverage and is crushable for travel.

You say you want more UPF 50+ coverage from Coolibar? You got it!

WIN a $500 Coolibar Shopping Spree! Here’s how:

1. Like us on Facebook,

2. Follow us on Twitter, @Coolibar.

3. Snap a photo of yourself being SunAWARE with Coolibar – in your hat, at our Getting Gorgeous Booth, perhaps pose with Elvis…

4. Share your photo, tag @Coolibar and use hashtag #GettingGorgeous. Tell your friends and followers about Getting Gorgous and Coolibar Sun Protection You Wear.

That’s it. Our winner will be drawn at random on Tuesday, April 30th.

Can’t wait to Get Gorgeous with you!










*Winner will be drawn at random on April 30, 2013. Entries accepted until 4/30/13 noon CST. No purchase necessary. To enter you must be an attendee of the Getting Gorgeous 2013 blogger event. Prize is non-transferable and not redeemable for cash. Cannot be used toward third-party merchandise such as sun shelters and sunglasses. One entry per person. Rules subject to change at the discretion of Coolibar, Inc.


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Athlete Profiles Coolibar Athletes

Meet our 2013 Sponsored Athletes

Last year, Coolibar athletes inspired us get outside! Staying active and following their passions, they ran marathons, competed in international windsurfing meets, mastered adventure race courses and more. They also showed us how easy it is to keep your skin healthy while staying active outdoors. Now, we’re excited to introduce our 2013 Coolibar Sponsored Athletes, a group of incredible motivators!

Ashleigh Baird

Ashleigh Baird

Born and raised in central Florida, Ashleigh grew up spending weekends playing on beaches, exploring fresh water springs and sailing around the Florida Keys – all the while spending countless hours studying the natural world.  The underwater realm was her first love and these early experiences helped form a passion for exploration, and a desire to make a positive impact on the environment, ultimately leading to the choice to become both a freediver and an architect.  Ashleigh continues to develop her skills as a freediver with hopes of breaking a national record in the fall of 2013. Read Ashleigh’s story >

John Chase

John Chase

As a kayaker and part time instructor, John spends a lot of time on and in the water teaching entry level kayak skills courses, leading tours, as well as paddling for fun. John is also a full-time fitness manager, personal trainer, father of two daughters, and husband. Being active, he’s had many amazing life experiences: standing six feet from a herd of deer while riding a mountain bike, watching the sunrise alongside his daughters from 11,000 feet above sea level, and witnessed the absolute silence of the winter woods after a big snowfall. John also maintains a blog as a Personal Trainer along with other sites where he posts content on topics that encourage others to lead a healthy life. Read John’s story >

Holly Finley

Holly Finley

Holly started playing disc golf June 2011 and played for four short months before moving to Africa for a modeling contract. Unable to play in Africa because of no readily available courses, Holly planned out her year for the 2012 season. Upon returning from Africa, she promptly entered into her first tournament in February and won first place. She then went on a winning spree, playing in 30 events during the 2012 season, taking home 16 first places and touring around the United States as an amateur player. Read Holly’s story >

Sarah Gay

Sarah Gay

Sarah is a working wife and mother of two young children ages 16 months and 3 years.  The outdoors has always been a major part of her life, as have many different sports.  After her first sprint distance tri in 1998, she was hooked on triathlons. Even from the start, she dreamed of completing an Ironman at some point. Today, she is training for her first half Ironman distance tri in June 2013. Read Sarah’s story >

Chad Hannon

Chad Hannon

Nine years ago, while sitting on the couch having a cigarette, Chad made the decision to change his life. He threw out the cigarettes, and got on his bike. Today, at 41, he’s 55 pounds lighter and nine years without a cigarette. He runs endurance events of all kinds, his favorite being adventure races. Chad’s daughter Madeline, age 10, even runs with him on a regular basis. Read Chad’s story >

Krista Kennedy

Krista Kennedy

Krista is a rare fifth generation native of Las Vegas, Nevada. A single mom, Krista loves the outdoors and playing in the sun. From an early age she has enjoyed many sports and activities including gymnastics, dance, swimming and hiking the trails at beautiful Red Rock National Park and the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area. Most recently she has found a passion that combines her love of the sun, water and exercise–stand up paddle boarding or SUP. Read Krista’s story >

Gene Meade

Gene Meade

Gene is an ultra runner, fitness instructor and Vice President of the North Carolina Road Runners Club. As a testament to his passion for running, in 2012, he competed in a Marathon, five 50K races, one 100K race, a 212 mile relay race and two 24 hour running events. Now, his goal is to run two one hundred mile races, his first in April. Read Gene’s story >

Ally Murray

Ally Murray

On April 22, 2013 Ally will run from Galveston, Texas until she reaches her hometown in Minnesota. Besides being a marathoner, she’s a wife and mother to two amazing sled dogs. Just before her qualifying race for the Boston’s Marathon in 2008, she suffered two strokes and three traumatic brain injuries after a car accident. Just recently, Ally learned there is now a relationship between brain injury and brain cancer. Her mission is prevention, and taking all the necessary steps to live a healthy life and help others do so as well.  Read Ally’s story >

Carol Philips

Carol Philips

Carol is a pioneer of big wave bodyboarding for women. She was the first woman to compete against the men at the Banzai Pipeline on the North Shore (Oʻahu). She founded the World Championship of Women’s Bodyboarding in Memory of Don and Josie Over in 1990. She was the first woman in the world to hold a permit to run a contest at the Banzai Pipeline. Carol was also featured in the book “North Shore Chronicles” and was in the movie Blue Crush.  She is the owner of the North Shore Surf Girls – Surf School on the North Shore of Oahu and spends four to six hours a day in the sun teaching surfing. Read Carol’s story >

Sevve Stember

Sevve Stember

Sevve started climbing shortly after he could walk, although he doesn’t remember much of it. One of the first climbs he did outdoors he recalls as life changing. As he climbed Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies at Shovel Point above the Great Lake Superior, he didn’t know it, but a whole new world had opened up to him: the vertical one. From that day onward, he would surround himself with climbing. Read Sevve’s story >

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Study finds aspirin may help prevent melanoma

Reducing your risk for melanoma by 20 percent could be as easy as popping aspirin, at least if you’re a woman over age 50. A new study in the journal Cancer looked at melanoma in 60,000 post-menopausal Caucasian women. Over a 12-year period, women who took aspirin twice a week or more had a 20 percent lower risk of developing melanoma, the most progressive form of skin cancer.

The results applied to aspirin use only and not other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen.

Before aspirin can be prescribed to patients at risk for melanoma, clinical trial testing must be performed. Additionally, pain relievers increase a user’s risk of bleeding and pose other potentially serious side effects. The only proven method of skin cancer prevention is avoiding UV exposure and using sun protection (a wide brim hat, sunscreen and sun protective clothing).

Currently, researchers plan to do follow-up studies in younger women and men.

As always, talk with your doctor regarding your health concerns.

Disclaimer: The information provided by Coolibar and its contributors is general skin care information and should not be a substitute for obtaining medical advice from your physician and is not intended to diagnose or treat any specific medical problem.

Resources: CBS News; FOX News; NPR

Photo credit: Wikipedia

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Avoid UV & Seek Shade Expert Rx

Are gel manicures Safe?

Going to the nail salon seems like a harmless act; however, dermatologists are concerned that the newest nail trend, gel manicures, and the UV machines used during the process may contribute to skin cancer and hand aging.

The process of a gel manicure includes placing your hands in a machine that emits UVA for approximately 8 to 10 minutes. UVA rays are proven to contribute to skin aging and skin cancer. According to a segment that aired this morning on the Today Show, most customers receive a gel manicure twice a month on average. In the short-term gel manicures prevent nails from splitting and look great. In the long run, dermatologists say regular customers may be looking at aged hands and possible skin cancers down the road unless customers take skin protection measures.

Here are a few precautions you can take before heading to the salon to protect your hands and skin as much as possible:

Coolibar UPF 50+ Fingerless Gloves block 98% of UVA and UVB rays

1. Wear UV protective gloves:  Wearing UPF 50+ fingerless gloves can protect your hands from over-exposure to UV light.  Regular cotton gloves may still allow UV to reach the skin. If you opt to make your own fingerless gloves without UV protective material, use sunscreen underneath.

2. Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen to exposed fingertips: Broad-spectrum sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Have the nail artist apply sunscreen to your hands instead of lotion. Bring along a tube of sunscreen that contains either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Both ingredients provide physical UV protection that blocks UV instantly, unlike chemical sunscreens that are absorbed by the skin and can take up to 30 minutes to protect.

3. Routinely check skin for changes around and under your nail beds: Skin cancer is preventable in many cases, and when caught early, it is highly treatable. If you spot something unusual, seek advice from a dermatologist.

Watch “Nail safety: Do’s and don’ts of gel manicures”.

Shop for Coolibar Fingerless Gloves

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What our customers say

Hawaii the SunAWARE way

Coolibar customers are very passionate about sun protection and leading healthy, sunny lives.  Customer Scott and his wife Kara fit this description perfectly. After winning the 2012 Coolibar Hawaii Sweepstakes, Scott and Kara shared with us that they were already avid promoters of protecting skin, especially during vacations. We asked the couple to share their story of why sun protection is important to them and how it can make vacationing even better!

From Scott:

Growing up with red hair and a fair complexion was not easy in the 70’s.  Sunscreen was not a priority and the medical community did not fully understand the dangers of the sun.  Unfortunately I had some significant sunburns as a kid and have paid the price as an adult with two melanoma diagnosis in the past few years.  Fortunately, both of my incidences were caught early, but I am still amazed at how many people (fair skinned or not) still underestimate the dangers of sun exposure. 

My wife started buying Coolibar swim shirts a couple years ago for vacations and time at the pool.  With young kids we spend a lot of time in the water.  I remember the first time I tried on Coolibar clothing thinking, “yes I will definitely wear this!”  The quality of the material, the styling, the cut and fit were perfect, very similar to high quality fitness wear.  In the water, the shirts tighten to the body so you barely even notice that you have them on.

Scott and Kara overlooking Hawaiian waters in their Coolibar

This year Kara was ordering some more clothing from Coolibar for the family trip to the Carolina coast and entered to win the trip to Hawaii.  We were blown away when we won and we so grateful for Coolibar (and our parents) for letting us take a second honeymoon without the kids!  Part of the award was free clothing so we ordered various items and put them to full use.  I was wearing Coolibar the entire trip. 

A few benefits of the Coolibar clothing we noticed were:  1) I only had to apply minimal amounts of sunscreen (face, hands, etc.), which is a nice for someone used to full sunscreen everywhere, not to mention a money saver; 2) The clothing breathes very well, so even in warmer temps I was very comfortable; 3) I am an avid diver and my wife and I both like to snorkel, which we did a ton of in Hawaii.  We used the long sleeve swim shirts and swim tights as lightweight wetsuits.  Even with the cooler temps of the Pacific, I was able to stay in the water for over an hour without getting cold.

Our trip to Hawaii was so memorable not only because of all the exciting excursions we went on, but it also gave Kara and I a chance to reconnect as a married couple without our three wonderful children. I know Kara’s favorite part of the trip was snorkeling with dolphins at the Puuhonua O Honaun reef just south of Kona.  We swam out into 150 feet deep crystal blue water to catch up with a mother and baby dolphin that was performing acrobatics just for us.  My favorite part was diving and snorkeling with the Manta rays off the Big Island. Other unforgettable moments include: paddle-boarding at Waikiki, riding scooters around Oahu to the North Shore to watch surfers tackle 20 foot plus waves, hiking to numerous waterfalls, diving with sharks, playing with a Pacific Octopus in 50 feet of water, and watching humpbacks breach almost the entire time we were there.  Of all of our travels this vacation has to be at the top of the list! And we did it all in Coolibar!

Scott and Kara on beach in Coolibar
Scott and Kara riding in style!
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