Long Course Nationals
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October 2, 2010 (Myrtle Beach, SC) – Stephanie Murphy and Tom Clifford bested the competition Saturday to claim overall titles as the national championship season came to a close at the USA Triathlon Long Course National Championship. In addition, Columbia Multisport, Bay Area Multisport, Northwest Arkansas Triathletes, Full Throttle Endurance Racing and Get Fit Families won titles in their respective divisions at the USAT Club National Championship.
Heavy rains earlier in the week led race organizers to cancel the swim for the safety of the athletes, and nearly 1,500 athletes kicked off their race with a time trial start. Clifford (Wilmington, N.C.) posted the fastest time of the day in the long course event, finishing the 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run in 3 hours, 39 minutes, 48 seconds, edging out his closest competitor by just one second.
Stephanie Murphy (Berthoud, Colo.) led the women with a time of 3:59:57, beating out Alicia Parr by less than two seconds. Parr (Durham, N.C.) finished in 4:01:49 to nab her second masters title in two weeks after winning the female masters title last weekend in Tuscaloosa at USAT’s Age Group National Championship.
Northwest Arkansas Triathletes and Full Throttle Endurance Racing both defended their club titles from 2009, while Columbia Multisport Club, Bay Area Multisport and Get Fit Families clinched club national titles in their respective divisions. Clubs participated for titles in five divisions based on their membership size, and club members earned points based on their finishes in the long course, aquabike (shortened to a bike race), intermediate-distance and sprint-distance events.
Despite shorter events due to the swim cancellation, the athletes were still in good spirits. “It’s definitely a great crowd, we’ve got beautiful weather,” said Kirsten Sass (McKenzie, Tenn.) who finished fourth in her age group after competing at Age Group Nationals last weekend. “Of course the most important thing is keeping everybody safe.”
In addition to having national titles on the line, the top 20 finishers in each age group earned their spots on Team USA for the 2011 International Triathlon Union (ITU) Long Distance World Championship, which will be contested in the Las Vegas suburb of Henderson, Nev. “The competition is really tough and the best part is trying to get into worlds,” said David Goldberg. “It’s just a different level of competition.”