By Bill Plock
As storm Xylia pummeled the Front Range of Colorado, many Coloradans raced the Challenge Miami Triathlon over the weekend. Ten Colorado based pro’s and a large contingent of athletes from Boulder’s BASE team raced the three day event. On the pro podium hoisting some champagne from Boulder were Chris Leiferman (4) and Rudy Von Berg (5). Germany’s Jan Frodeno won the men’s race over Lionel Sanders (2) and Ben Kanute (3). For the women, in a bit of a surprise, British triathlete Jodie Stimpson edged out favored Lucy Charles-Barclay of Britain by almost a minute and a half. Rounding out the women’s podium were Jackie Hering, Sara Perez Sala and Skye Moench. Boulder’s Lisa Bechares and Lesley Smith (A BASE sponsored athlete) finished 11th and 12th respectively. Other Colorado pros finishing included Tyler Butterfield (7), Tim O’Donnell (11), Matt Hanson (13), Ben Hoffman (16) and Robbie Deckard (19).
Chris Leiferman finished just under four minutes behind Frodeno and chased down Von Berg on the run overcoming about a minute off the bike to take fourth by 25 seconds. Said Leiferman, “I was happiest with my bike. It was fun and dynamic and being able to stay in the mix and come out of T2 in a good spot put me in a good position for the finish.”
Lesley Smith also competed at Challenge Daytona at the end of 2020 and has been working hard on her swim and had this to say about the race, “I was happy to see the consistent super swimming I did in jan / feb pay off, as the swim went better than it did in Daytona. The Bike course was far more technical than Daytona and that is not my forte but it was a really amazing race and I’m glad to have had the opportunity.”
Challenge Miami, similar to Daytona, featured many events for age group athletes including a sprint, mid-distance (70.3), a kids challenge and a 5k making it a three day event with the pros racing on Friday.
BASE president, Matt Miller said after his first racing in a while, “Challenge put on another fantastic event in Miami. BASE had 100 athletes in town racing split pretty even between the different events which was amazing. Everyone practiced safety snd was cautious with masks. I personally raced the sprint myself and although the body was rusty and filled with cobwebs, it felt to get back out there after 18 months and get a sweat on. Loved it”