Seymour is Sensational in Lone Star State
This summer I got the chance to act as the camp director for Lovato Performance, led by coach and former pro, Michael Lovato. When the camp begin, I recognized one of the “campers” from a social gathering in Boulder and couldn’t help but think as I rolled by her while driving the SAG Wagon, “Wow, she’s really good.” Little did I know, this young lady was a budding pro coached by Lovato. Her name, Jeanni Seymour. I knew I would eventually be writing an article where Seymour would be the winner, the star of the show. And last weekend in Austin, she shined the brightest!
“The last race of the season is a tricky one, as you want remain calm, but also tend to want give it everything and leave it all out on the course. So I tried not build it up too much in my mind and made sure I stuck to my plan,” said Seymour.
From the beginning of the race, Seymour was in the hunt for the win, as she exited the water in 27:02, in the pack chasing the leader. Seymour told me that she had an okay swim and that the choppy water threw her off a bit, which found her a little behind the lead group. However, she managed to hold on and came out of the water in fifth place, about two minutes off the lead.
Onto the bike, and Seymour would find herself chasing leader Heather Lendway, who was unable to keep her two minute lead throughout the whole ride. A charging Seymour would close the gap later in the ride and set herself up in a good position once she hit T2.
“There were no big moves up until mile 45, when Lauren (Barnett) caught up with me and then we managed to close the gap between ourselves and Heather (Lendway) with two miles to go to T2. We rushed into T2 in a tight bunch and, after a speedy transition, I was out of there in first place. This is when the race truly began for me.”
It didn’t take long for Seymour to grab the lead once in transition. Thanks to some zippy changing of the bike to run gear, she was able to dart out on the run in front and never looked back. Seymour turned in the fastest split in the women’s race, 1:21:03, and hit the finish line victorious for the first time in her young career in 4:23:48.
“I felt really great and just settled in comfortably for the first few miles of the run, but my adrenaline was sky high and I was really hungry for the win. My strides were strong and I felt as if I was having the run of my life. I was able to extend my lead on all three laps and, with two miles to go, for the first time I could confidently say to myself, I am going to win this! The last mile in was very emotional for me, and being able to cross the finish line on the red carpet first and rip that tape, was an incredible feeling as an athlete. It made the past four years of hard work, sacrifices and incredible support from my family, truly worth it.”
A huge congrats to Jeanni on her first career 70.3 win!
Boulderite Kathy Rakel was 10th on the day with, according to her Facebook page, a personal best bike split, 2:35:06. Not only that, she also mentioned that her run time of 1:37:38 was the fastest time she’s turned in this year.
Another Boulderite who had a solid day was pro Donna Phelan, who had a solid swim of 28:28, setting herself up for a 15th place finish in 4:54:12.
Great job, ladies!
Appleton Awesome in Austin
Sam Appleton has come onto the 70.3 scene like a tornado, plowing through the tough fields of competition time after time. Last weekend was no different as he held off the stacked Austin lineup of men gunning for the win.
Appleton would battle biker-extraordinaire Andrew Starykowicz all day, as the two turned in very similar times on the swim, with “Starky” out-swimming Appleton in 24:16, just five seconds faster than our young Colorado-based pro. Appleton would stay close to one of the best bikers of all-time and turn in a bike time of 2:09:38 to Starky’s fastest split of the day, 2:08:38.
However, Starky could not run fast enough to take the win from Appleton, who turned in the fastest run split of the day in a blistering 1:14:24. Thanks to Appleton’s amazing run, he hit the tape in a winning time of 3:51:16, while Starky would finish in second in a time of 3:52:59. Rounding out the podium in third was Taylor Reid who finished in 4:00:39.
Appleton was not the only Boulderite who had a great day in the ATX as James Hadley finished in fourth in a time of 4:01:54. Hadley’s third fastest run split on the day, 1:15:01, kept him up front in the race as other competitors would fall off of the fast run pace. After finishing second at Ironman 70.3 Los Cabos just two weeks ago, it seems that Hadley is clicking on all cylinders these days after a knee surgery last year.
The rest of the Colorado crew also turned in some great results with Paul Matthews finishing in sixth place in 4:03:01, Steven Zawaski in 15th in 4:14:32, and Brian Fleischmann in 17th in 4:18:29. Congrats to all our male pros and good luck in your next race!