Busy Tri Weekend! From Worlds to Wisconsin to Grand Junction and Avon, Standifer 2nd at Worlds!

By Bill Plock

Coloradans were all over the world this weekend, competing in the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships in France, to IRONMAN Wisconsin to three different multisport festivals in Colorado– Grand Junction, Avon and Loveland (Boyd Lake).

Boulder’s Rudy Von Berg took 3rd overall in Nice at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships (article here). In the age group category, Boulder’s Caitlin Standifer took 2nd in her 30-34 age group and locals Molly Smith and Elise Lagerstrom cracked the top 100 overall in France.

Locally, the 8th annual Deserts Edge Triathlon Festival took place in Grand Junction offering everything from off-road triathlon, to a road sprint, olympic distances a SUP category, runs only and just about any category possible. All the results found HERE

In Avon, the Avon Fest coupled with the Major League Triathlon offered both amateur and professional triathletes a chance to compete in draft legal and non-draft legal events. 303’s Rich Soares covered the event saying, “Multisport, mountains and music – Avon Fest has it all! The Major League Triathlon features a variety of fast pace racing throughout the weekend. This year saw the additional an age-group non-draft Sprint to the line up of draft legal races, mixed-team-relays, beer mile and 5k. The short formats and course designs made for exciting racing and spectating. Avon’s weather and breathtaking scenery make this a great time of year to race during the day and enjoy live music in the park at night.”

In Loveland, Breakaway Athletic Events’, held the first ever Boyd Lake Bash and gave athletes all kinds of options including a kids race and even a Zumba class.

In Wisconsin, Colorado’s Tim Hola got 3rd in the 45-49 category and 27th overall while his dad Ken, won his 75-79 age category! Well known Denver triathlete Todd Lytle completed his 13th Ironman giving him a legacy entry to the 2020 IRONMAN World Championships in Kona. Boulder’s Lauren Vallee punched a ticket there as well by qualifying in Wisconsin and placed 2nd in her age group.

Congrats to all!

Boulder’s Von Berg Takes 3rd at IRONMAN 70.3 Championship

Having grown up training on the roads in-and-around Nice, Von Berg had the home turf advantage, knowing exactly when to attack. Iden, an experienced biker and ITU athlete, was calculating his moment at the same time and passed Kanute for second place as positions changed frequently into Col de Vance. While Brownlee was looking comfortable into the climb, Von Berg saw his opportunity and made a sensational charge for the lead on the descent at about 60km – surprising Brownlee and Iden with the bold move. Von Berg’s gusto paid off as he held off Brownlee, Iden and Kanute to enter Transition 2 in first place with a bike split of 02:17:24, the fastest of any pro on the day.

Having entered T2 with only seconds separating them, the race was on between Von Berg, Brownlee, and Iden. It was a battle of will and skill as the leaders ran nearly side-by-side for the first 6km – Brownlee pushed hard to gain ground, however he could never truly get away from Iden who stayed close and made his pass just before the 6km mark to take the lead of the race. The pro male chase pack led by Von Berg was approximately 01:24 behind at 6km, but the energy expended on the bike course was starting to show as his pace slowed. While Brownlee worked hard to stay with Iden, the Norwegian’s speed in the sweltering conditions was too much to beat. Iden cruised to victory in 03:52:35, putting nearly three minutes between him and his closest rival. Brownlee finished second in 03:55:19, while Von Berg claimed the last step on the podium in 03:56:45 to the delight of locals.