Day one went off with a bang at the exclusive Island House Invitational Triathlon. Twenty of the fastest men and women in the sport were invited down to the gorgeous Clifton Beach in Nassau, Bahamas, to put it all on the line over three days of intense competition. Many of Colorado’s professionals were invited and made an impact from the start.
Friday’s competition included a time trial event, where each athlete competed in a 750 swim, leaving in 20-second intervals in the warm, Caribbean water. After a short break, competitors took on a 20km cycling course, followed by another break before running a 5k loop on the flat road of the island. The day’s racing equaled a sprint distance race and the individual legs were tabulated for an overall time. Only the top-10 men and women will advance to the third and final day. So day one and two really count. Here’s how our Colorado pros fared on day one.
It was no surprise to see three-time XTERRA and ITU world champion Flora Duffy come out of the water in third behind two of the sport’s best swimmers, Spain’s Carolina Routier and American Lauren Brandon. This set Flora up for a stellar day as she would bike and run well, too. This allowed her to finish third in the overall standings at the end of day one
After a string of injuries, Helle Frederiksen, who trained in Boulder this summer, looked to be in solid form. Her strong bike and run catapulted her into fourth only behind leader and reigning Ironman 70.3 World Champion Holly Lawrence, Duffy, and Olympic gold medalist Gwen Jorgensen.
Behind Frederiksen in fifth and sixth are young guns Lauren Goss and Ellie Salthouse. Both made their moves by hammering the bike and finishing eighth and ninth overall. This moved them up in the standings. Adding swift runs to their day, Goss and Salthouse made another massive jump in the rankings to finish in the top of the overall standings as day two begins.
The rest of the Colorado women include Alicia Kaye in 10th and Mirinda Carfrae in 16th. Best of luck, ladies!
Just like women’s race, the men’s field is filled with Colorado pros as well as former Olympians. At the end of day one, Australia’s Aaron Royle sits atop the men’s field thanks to posting the day’s best swim time. Not far behind in second place is reigning ITU world champion Mario Mola of Spain. American Eric Lagerstrom holds third place.
Uber swimmer-biker, and Boulderite, Cam Dye had a speedy swim to turn in a solid performance, leaving him in sixth at the end of the day. Dye turned in the fourth fastest swim time and the third fastest bike time of the day.
Less than a minute back in the overall standings are Boulder standouts Leon Griffin in 12th, Tim Don in 14th, Tim O’Donnell in 15th, and Ben Hoffman in 17th. Good luck on day two, gentleman!