Boulder’s Ryan Smith won the Leadville 100 trail run on Saturday night thanks to consistent second-half pacing that left his rivals unable to respond. It was the biggest win of his ultrarunning career.
“There’s just a lot of running in the race,” Smith said, referring to the long flat sections along much of the course. “It really favors a flat runner rather than a mountain runner, and I typically do a lot of mountain stuff.”
His win — in 16 hours, 33 minutes, 25 seconds — was far from expected. Smith was not among the pre-race favorites to win, and he wasn’t feeling well leading into the Twin Lakes aid station near the 40-mile mark. But at the turnaround at Winfield, he held his pace steady, averaging around 10 minutes per mile for the rest of the race.
Mulitsports headed to the hills this weekend with a road triathlon in Steamboat Springs at Lake Catamount and an off road triathlon, with Xterra Indian Peaks.
In Steamboat, this Olympic distance race was won by Eric Kenney and Emily Osga. The rest of podium was filled by Amanda Withington and Mary Robinson for the women and Ed O’Malley and Anthony Besson for the men.
Some interesting results here with the top ten finishers being equally split between the men and women and in 11th place was first timer, Jenny French. All results are found HERE
At Eldora Mountain Resort, the Xterra Indian Peak off road triathlon and trail run took place with a 1,000 meter swim, 22k trail ride and 7k trail run. Boulder’s Ryan and Maia Ignatz won the men’s and women’s race. Grzegorz Zgliczynski took second (as a 50 to 54) and Thomas Spannring was third. Valentina Carvallo was second for the women and Megan Riepma was third.
The USAT Age Group Nationals took place the weekend in Cleveland, Ohio. The Olympic distance race was Saturday and the Sprint race was Sunday. 20 Coloradans were on the podium!
Seven Coloradans were on the podium in the Olympic Distance:
Lockett Wood and Eileen Croissant both earned first place in the 80 to 84 category. Steph Popelar took second in the 50 to 54. Laura McDonald (35-39) and Tim Hola (45-49) both were third. Lori Dandley (65-69) was fourth and Amy Peters (40-44) finished 5th.
In the Sprint Distance, 13 Coloradans were on the podium;
1st Carter Brand (15-19)
1st Lockett Wood (80-84)
2nd Jonathan Mason (40-44)
3rd Jack Welber (80-84)
4th, Kirk Framke (45-49), Peter Valentyik (50-54), Allicia Caldwell 55-59
5th, Cassidy Hickey (15-19), Katie Cullingford (25-29), Jim Halberg (40-44) Neal McLaughlin (60-64), Nancy Mallon (70-74), Susan Griffin-Kaklikian (60-64)
Congrats to all Coloradans who competed!! To find all results and search by name go HERE
Coloradans, Tim Hola, Laura McDonald both former Olympic Distance age group champions, and Cassidy Hickey and Jonathan Mason, Sprint Distance champions are competing in the USAT Championships this weekend in Cleveland. Many other Coloradans are competing as well.
Here is the official information about this weekend’s event with links to track and follow along!
Nation’s most competitive age-groupers to race for national titles in sprint- and Olympic-distance events
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Approximately 4,500 of the nation’s top amateur triathletes will return to Cleveland’s Edgewater Park this Saturday, Aug. 10, and Sunday, Aug. 11, for the Toyota USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships. In addition, an open water swim competition will be held as part of Age Group Nationals weekend for the first time on Friday, Aug. 9.
First held in 1983, Age Group Nationals is USA Triathlon’s largest and longest-running National Championships event. Athletes from all 50 states and Washington, D.C., are set to compete. The youngest athlete on the start list is 15, and the oldest is 90.
Cleveland hosts the event for the second consecutive year, and also hosted in 1992. The main venue is at Edgewater Park. Athletes will swim in Lake Erie, bike and run along the lakeshore overlooking downtown Cleveland, and finish with a sprint down USA Triathlon’s iconic National Championships red carpet within the park.
Athletes must qualify to compete in Saturday’s Olympic-distance race by earning a competitive age-group finish at a previous USA Triathlon-sanctioned event. No qualification is required for Sunday’s sprint-distance race. Both races will be qualification-based starting in 2020, when Age Group Nationals returns to its 2013-2015 host city of Milwaukee. Athletes racing this weekend in Cleveland have access to special qualification opportunities for 2020; more details can be found here.
Racing action begins Friday at 11 a.m. ET with an open water swim competition, hosted by USA Triathlon in partnership with USA Swimming and U.S. Masters Swimming. Athletes will cover a 750-meter course in Lake Erie. Also on Friday, at 6:30 p.m., Greater Cleveland Sports Commission hosts the Sunset Sprint 5K starting and ending at the USA Triathlon Age Group Nationals finisher’s arch.
On tap for Saturday are the Olympic-Distance National Championships, featuring a 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike and 10-kilometer run. The first wave of athletes will go off at 6:50 a.m., the last wave starts at 9:06 a.m., and the course will close at 11:45 a.m.
On Sunday, racing continues with the Sprint National Championships, in which athletes will cover a 750m swim, 10k bike and 5k run. The first athletes will start at 6:50 a.m., the last wave goes off at 8:20 a.m., and the course closes at 11:45 a.m.
In both races, athletes will be chasing national titles in their respective age groups. Top finishers in each age group will also earn the opportunity to represent Team USA at the 2020 International Triathlon Union (ITU) Age Group Triathlon World Championships in Edmonton, Alberta, in their respective race distances.
At Olympic-Distance Nationals, the top 18 finishers in each age group (rolling down to 30th place) will earn a spot on Team USA. Sprint-distance competitors must finish in the top eight in their age groups to secure a spot for the Sprint World Championships, which will feature a draft-legal format. Athletes may also qualify for the Sprint World Championships with a top finish at the USA Triathlon Draft-Legal Sprint National Championships in Tempe, Arizona, on Nov. 16. For more information on Team USA, comprised of the nation’s top amateur multisport athletes who represent the U.S. at each ITU World Championship event, visit HERE
Eighteen national champions from 2018 will be back to defend their Olympic-distance titles, including defending Olympic- and sprint-distance men’s overall champion Justin Lippert (Middletown, N.J.) and defending Olympic-distance women’s overall champion Gabrielle Bunten (Forest Lake, Minn.). The 2018 men’s Olympic-distance Masters champion, Scott Erba (Winona Lake, Ind.), will also be back, as will both the women’s and men’s defending Grand Masters champions, Kelly Dippold (Irvine, Calif.) and Tony Schiller (Eden Prairie, Minn.).
Returning Olympic-Distance National Champions
Name (Hometown), 2019 Age Group
Abbie Sullivan (Canandaigua, N.Y.), F20-24
Justin Lippert (Middletown, N.J.), M20-24
Gabrielle Bunten (Forest Lake, Minn.), F25-29
Todd Buckingham (Big Rapids, Mich.), M30-34
Laura McDonald (Castle Rock, Colo.), F35-39
Michael Phinney (Yardley, Pa.), M35-39
Tracy Kellner (Mequon, Wis.), F45-49
Tim Hola (Highlands Ranch, Colo.), M45-49
Scott Erba (Winona Lake, Ind.), M50-54
Stephen Bosic (Walthum, Mass.), M50-54
Linda Robb (Juno Beach, Fla.), F55-59
Kelly Dippold (Irvine, Calif.), F55-59
Lee Walther (Oklahoma City, Okla.), M55-59
Carol Gephart (Hamilton, Mich.), F60-64
Tony Schiller (Eden Prairie, Minn.), M60-64
Sibyl Jacobson (New York, N.Y.), F75-79
Robert Plant (Woodside, Calif.), M75-79
Don Nelson (Tulsa, Okla.), M80-84
In addition,19 of last year’s sprint-distance national champions will return to the start line, including Lippert. Both the women’s and men’s defending Masters champions, Ginger Reiner (Lincoln, Mass.) and Vachee Loughran (Glenview, Ill.), are back to defend their titles, as are both of last year’s Grand Masters champions, Dippold and Ron Gierut (Cedar Rapids, Iowa).
Returning Sprint-Distance National Champions
Name (Hometown), 2019 Age Group
Cassidy Hickey (Parker, Colo.), F15-19
Justin Lippert (Middletown, N.J.), M20-24
Desiree Terella (Fairview, Pa.), F30-34
Todd Buckingham (Big Rapids, Mich.), M30-34
Kirsten Sass (McKenzie, Tenn.), F40-44
Ginger Reiner (Lincoln, Mass.), F40-44
Jonathan Mason (Fort Collins, Colo.), M40-44
Celia Dubey (Tarpon Springs, Fla.), F45-49
Vachee Loughran (Glenview, Ill.), M45-49
Robert Skaggs (Solana Beach, Calif.), M50-54
Kelly Dippold (Irvine, Calif.), F55-59
Clint Dowd (Goffstown, N.H.), M55-59
Ron Gierut (Cedar Rapids, Iowa), M60-64
Kathy Calabretta (Ludington, Mich.), F70-74
Terry Habecker (Ithaca, N.Y.), M70-74
Lois Leon (Miami, Fla.), F75-79
Sharon Roggenbuck (Hillsborough, N.C.), F80-84
Madonna Buder (Spokane, Wash.), F85-89
Wayne Fong (Chatsworth, Calif.), M85-89
The Cleveland community is encouraged to come out to Edgewater Park, support the competitors and experience the excitement of multisport. Admission is free to all spectators.
LIVESTREAM AND EVENTS APP: Spectators and media can access a free livestream of both races at usatriathlon.org. Live coverage will also be available on Twitter @USATLive. Race leaderboards and individual athlete tracking can be found by using the USA Triathlon Events App, free to download on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Media, family and friends can also track athletes using a web-browser-based version of the app, available here.
It’s always exciting when the mainstream media covers our sport, especially when triathlon makes it into a paper as big as The New York Times. It’s also always a little entertaining to see what they get right….and wrong. By now, you’ve probably readThe New York Times’story on triathlon participation decline and the industry’s efforts to now attract more (and younger) athletes by eliminating barriers and making the sport cheaper.
In general, yes, the story got the broad strokes right: We know triathlon participation declined over the last five or six years after a period of massive growth in the 2000s. We also know there were a number of reasons for this, some having to do with market shifts and some, yes, having to do with a perception of triathlon as too hard and too expensive. The sport, in general, as outlined in the NYT, is now trying to change that perception and attract more diverse and younger athletes.
But, USA Triathlon CEO Rocky Harris, said the one big thing they missed: It’s already happening. Triathlon participation is already starting to go back up. “We’re now seeing that trend change,” said Harris.
So, in general, yes, the mainstream media got our triathlon basics right. However, we do have a few triathlete-y specifics (and one big one) we’d like to nitpick.
From 303’s perspective, the local races appear to be doing well aside from the now discontinued IRONMAN Boulder. Last weekend’s 70.3 had about 2,500 people register. The Harvest Moon (same distance) coming up in a month is sold out. The sport seems level but at each race there is a healthy show of hands when people are asked to identify themselves as newbies. Many races include duathlons, aqua bikes, relays and SUP options to cast the biggest net on endurance athletes interests.
“Who wants it more? You or Brad?!” Derick yelled. My brain was foggy, sweat poured off me like I was my own personal rain cloud. I could feel the sweat pooling in my shoes and the shoe inserts beginning to bunch up at my toes. But Derick had said the magic words. I was already running at a sub 6 minute per mile pace but I knew that if I wanted there to be no doubt that I belonged on the Team that USA Triathlon selected for Tokyo next year I needed to push even harder. So with my heart thundering in my ears, my muscles screaming and my lungs burning, I cranked the treadmill speed up again. 5:30/mi, 5:15/mi, 5:00/mi, 4:52/mi…
“The Elite Paratriathlon Selection Committee can not decide who the better athlete is at this time and so they’ve elected to go with the athlete who’s points allow easier access into the top 12 in the world.”
“Bull shit!” I wanted to scream, but couldn’t since I was sitting on a bus riding back from Denver to Colorado Springs after having run a successful BolderBoulder 10K. I’d literally sat down in my seat and opened up my email and had gone from an immediate high to a crushing low.
Currently there are three of us in the American Male Visually Impaired Ranks who are battling it out for the opportunity to represent the United States in Tokyo 2020. Our top Male VI athlete—Aaron Scheidies–is recovering from injury and therefore it’s up to myself and Brad Snyder to pick up as many points as possible and get as highly ranked as possible in the world to ensure multiple slots at the world championship and multiple slots in the top 9 of the Paralympic Rankings. Given my performance at the CAMTRI American Championship where I’d taken 2nd to Aaron Scheidies by just 1 min 37 seconds, and where I finished 2 minutes and 34 seconds ahead of Brad it was decided that I would get the first World Paratriathlon Series start in Milan, Italy. I went to Italy and raced to a 3rd place finish—it turns out much to the surprise of everyone except myself and my coach. The only two guys to finish ahead of me were the guys who’d taken 1st and 3rd at the 2018 World Championship. So the only people to beat me in the 2019 season was the podium from 2018 Worlds—Dave Ellis, Aaron Scheidies, Hector Catala Laparra… I was feeling pretty good.
Brad was given the opportunity to race at the next World Paratriathlon Series Event in Yokohama, Japan. Brad was able to race to a 3rd place finish as well against a field that lacked anyone from the 2018 World Championship Podium. So I felt that I’d raced better against a stronger field so was confident I’d get the call to toe the start line in Montreal for the third installment of the World Paratriathlon Series. Not only that but I was on a very steep trajectory and if everything played out right I could improve on my 3rd place finish and begin collecting points for the Paralympic rankings which would open up on June 28, the same day as Montreal. Those hopes were crushed when USA Triathlon decided to send Brad Snyder to Montreal instead.
I was frustrated and bewildered. How could USA Triathlon say they didn’t know who the better athlete was? I’d decisively beaten Brad in consecutive races and had made the 2018 World Championship Podium finishers work their butts off to catch me thereby making them really earn their places ahead of me. After 48 hours of stewing over the “decision” and meeting with my coach and a USA Triathlon official who explained the decision further, I decided to just put my head down and train even harder. It wasn’t the first time I’d been doubted and it won’t be the last.
The Decision Explained
To the best of my knowledge here’s how to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games in the sport of Paratriathlon. Beginning on June 28, 2019, races will begin counting toward a separate Paralympic Ranking. The races that are eligible to be used as points collectors are the World Championship (valued at 700 points for 1st place), the World Paratriathlon Series Events (valued at 550 points for 1st place), the Continental Championships (valued at 500 points for 1st place) and the Paratriathlon World Cups (valued at 450 points for 1st place). How you get into each of these races is based on your World Ranking. The Paralympic Rankings will close on June 28, 2020. In the span of that 12 months we have the chance to race at these various races. Our top three races will be added together to get our Paralympic Ranking. The top 9 in the Paralympic Rankings will qualify slots for their country but no country can receive more than two qualifying slots. So even if the United States had three athletes ranked in the top 9 of the Paralympic Rankings, the US would only be allotted two slots. The USA can then decide to whom those two slots go.
The International Triathlon Union (ITU) has decided to have a 12 man field at the World Championships this year for the Visually Impaired category. Since World Championships are worth the most points in the Paralympic Rankings, USA Triathlon decided to try and get either Brad or myself into the top 12 in the world so we’d be assured two slots at Worlds and therefore have a good chance at finishing the 2019 season with two athletes ranked in the top 9 of the Paralympic Rankings. Then in early 2020 USA Triathlon will ensure that the best Visually Impaired Triathletes face off in a race and at that point it will be mano-e-mano and the top two athletes at that point will get the full support of USAT to ensure we both go to the games.
So how do I make sure I’m one of those two that goes to the games? Train hard, race harder, and rise to the occasion.
Six Months into this journey of being a full time ITU Paratriathlete, living and training at the Olympic/Paralympic Training Center, I’ve experienced some extreme highs (including two podium finishes and some truly unbelievable workouts where I pushed myself to new levels) and crushing lows (being left off the team that traveled to Montreal for the first opportunity to collect points toward Tokyo Qualification as well as some truly horrific workouts that left me broken and questioning why I’m doing this to myself).
It has been a learning experience managing the load and stress of training, knowing when to push hard and when to throttle back. When I need a break and when I need to just suck it up.
It was barely two weeks after USAT had made their decision regarding Montreal that I needed a mental break. I’d been hammering away for five months doing nothing but eat, sleep and train. I’d done little else but think about triathlon, run calculations on what it would take for me to get into the top 12 in the World Ranking; what paces I’d need to hold to ensure I finish ahead of the best triathletes in the world… And that stress was beginning to catch up with me. I struggled and fought through every workout trying to complete them perfectly only to fall short. My swimming in particular seemed to be reverting back to beginner level. Immediately after racing in Milan I was effortlessly gliding through the water at speeds I would’ve considered impossible a year before, now I struggled to hold the paces I’d held when I first moved to the training center in January.
I needed to get away and not think about triathlon for a couple of days, even just 24 hours would be a big relief. Fortunately the opportunity presented itself. A friend invited me for a weekend camping trip to the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. Having heard that the dunes were an amazing experience and not having camped in about six years I leaped at the chance. And I got my wish. While triathlon lingered at the back of my mind for about 36 hours I blissfully focused on running barefoot through hot sand, splashing in icy cold river water and enjoying a camp stove cup of coffee early in the morning. Tension that had gathered seemed to slowly melt away as I finally realized that my 2020 hopes weren’t over. I knew in my soul that I’m one of the two best triathletes in the country and when given the opportunity I’ll prove that I’m one of the best in the world.
Granted it’s not just me on this journey. I’ve received nothing but support from my friends and family as I pursue what really amounts to a very selfish pursuit. In particular I have to give my guide, Zack Goodman, some mad props for being so incredibly patient with me as I struggle with the highs and lows of this profession. Zack has been at times motivator, voice of reason, frustration sounding board, and ultimately a friend. Whereas I’ve just primarily been a premadonna pain in the ass ITU triathlete
Between Zack and my coach, Derick Williamson, I’ve reached heights in the triathlon world I’d only fantasized about before now. And as they both continually remind me, the hard work is just getting started. I may be six months into this journey, but we have a long way to go on this road to Tokyo. So stay tuned because if there have been highs and lows in these first six months I can’t wait to see what the next six months bring!
2019 Six Month Statistics
Swim: 369762 yards (338100 meters)
Bike: 2250 miles (3620 kilometers)
Run: 526 miles (846.5 kilometers)
Podiums: 2 (2nd Place at American Continental Championships; 3rd at World Paratriathlon Series Milan)
Next Race: July 13, 2019 Magog Paratriathlon World Cup, Magog, Canada
After 70.3 miles of racing, less than 75 yards separated 1st from 2nd place in the men’s pro race.
At the awards ceremony, men’s winner Chris Leiferman thanked fellow competitor Tyler Butterfield for pushing him–Leiferman won by eight seconds! Leiferman knew Butterfield was close behind when the crowds errupted behind him as Butterfield was closing the gap. But Leiferman prevailed to take first place with a time of 3:44:32. The rest of the field included Kennett Peterson, 3rd, Andy Potts, 4th, Josh Armberger (Aus) 5th and Ben Hoffman 6th. Only Jos Armberger doesn’t reside in Colorado, quite the day for the Coloradans!
The women’s race was won by Skye Moench with a time of 4:09. She came off a recent victory in the full in Frankfurt Germany and Boulder was her first 70.3 win. In second place was Boulder’s Lesley Smith, followed by Meredith Kessler(USA) , Luiza Cravo (Brazil), Romina Palacio (Argentina) and Rachel Olson (USA).
Of the 2,200 amateurs who started the race, Matt McWilliams was the fastest male with a 3:58 time and Alina Henschke Busch for women at 4:28. As temperatures soared into high 90’s the last athletes came in around 4:30
In a fun side story, the Miami Tri Club brought 50 athletes to race, but more importantly to be witnesses to the club manager, Andy Clark marrying Stephanie Reinhold at the finish line after all the athletes were in–and having raced themselves. Andy’s sister in-law, Nicole Clark works for IRONMAN in Louisville. She and her husband, Nick (Andy’s twin brother) raced as well. It’s all one big happy family in the Triathlon World!! Congrats to the Clark family!
All the results of yesterdays race can be found HERE
Professional triathlete and second place finisher of the Boulder IRONMAN in June, Kennett Peterson isn’t sure exactly why he has so many competitors tomorrow, but no doubt the start list is impressive. It includes some notable international names and local pros who have won here before—Ben Hoffman, Andy Potts, Tyler Butterfield, Josh Amberger, Justin Daerr, Chris Leiferman, Sam Long, Meredith Kessler, Danielle Mack, Linsey Corbin, Maggie Rusch, Lesley Smith to name a few.
All in all, 44 men and 24 women pros signed up. The actual start line will probably be smaller as often pros sign up far in advance and then adjust their schedules for many reasons.
Kennett suggested a couple of things are probably adding to the large field. One it’s local and many pro’s live and and train in Boulder. Traveling to race is expensive and the prize purses aren’t deep enough to make it cost effective to always travel. Also, the IRONMAN race calendar is not that full right now after a packed June and early July schedule. A 70.3 right now is a great time to start a final push for those racing in Kona in a couple of months.
If you want to see some great racing this weekend, come to the Boulder Reservoir tomorrow!
Multisport athletes had plenty of choices this past weekend with the Evergreen Triathlon (results HERE), the TriBoulder (results Here), Xterra Beaver Creek (Results Here) and the Carter Lake Swim (results not posted yet, check back HERE)
The Evergreen Triathlon was won by Graham Tuohy and Catlin Standifer (she is on fire, three in a row!). Chase Seebohar and Grant Drummond took second and third for the men while Ashley Zanetell and Riley Ballard did so for the women. About 225 people competed in the Sprint race along with many relay teams. This is a fun, hilly course and a beautiful swim in Evergreen Lake!
In Boulder the Tri Boulder event took place at the Reservoir with race options for just about anyone! There was a sprint, olympic, duathlon, Aquabike and Long Course options. Susan Brooker won the Sprint (as a 55 to 59, wow), Jose Felicia won the mens category (15 to 19 category)–might be one of the larger age ranges to win the race we have seen! Kim Goodell and Luis Iturralde won the Olympic distance and Meg Smith and Cory Rose won the long course.
In Beaver Creek, Josiah Middaugh of Vail won for the men and Suzie Snyder of Reno won for the women. Boulder couple Maia and Ryan Ignatz were 3rd and 6th respectively.