Issue #13, October/November 2001
Pro Nationals in NYC
Nearly a thousand age group athletes turned out to race in the new New York City Triathlon that served as this year’s U.S. Elite Championships as well. Several of the top pros from Colorado headed east to race on the course that is very similar to that of the Goodwill Games a couple of years ago, with its run in Central Park and the swim leg in the Hudson River. There were barges for the swim start and exit, but the going got a little dicey as the strong current swept a couple of age groupers under the exit barge and even had a few of the pros scared. The 1500 meter swim only lasted around 12 minutes for the best swimmers, a 30% boost just from the speed of the water.
USAT National Resident Team member Hunter Kemper (Florida /Colorado Springs) took the win. Other Colorado pro finishers included: Abe Rogers (Boulder) 7th, Michael Smedley (Colorado Springs) 8th, Wes Hobson (Boulder) 12th, Paul Fritzche (Boulder) 20th, Pat Brown (Boulder) 24th, and USAT Resident Team member Desiree Ficker (Colorado Springs) 9th place woman.
Susan Williams 1st in Mexico
New mom Susan Bartholomew Williams (Littleton) won the Ixtapa Triathlon in grand style in September. She came in with a two minute lead over second place and two and a half ahead of her pal Jenny Gutierrez (Greenwood Village). Susan won the olympic distance ITU points race in 1999 as well. She barely missed a beat after the birth of her daughter this past winter. She has raced very strong in triathlons all season, and even finished fourth place in the grueling Pike’s Peak Ascent half marathon.
Olympics: Athens 2004
The International Olympic Committee has confirmed triathlon’s inclusion in the next summer Olympiad. International Triathlon Union officials had asked the IOC to increase the men’s and women’s fields but the request was denied and the totals will remain at 50 each.
Olympic organizers feel that the games have reached a maximum manageable limit with about 10,000 athletes, and their support staff, participating in each summer Olympics. Athens will be the first Olympic Games in over forty years that has not added events. No new sports or subset events in existing sports were approved. That makes triathlon one of the very last events added for the foreseeable future.
Dave McGillivray, the acclaimed race director of the Boston Marathon, has tried his hand at triathlon this year with the Monster Challenge (sponsored by monster.com) in Boston. It featured a two lap swim in Boston Harbor and a bike along the Charles River. For an interesting twist, the transition area was indoors, in the World Trade Center. The distance was olympic for the pros, who vied for a $25,000 purse and ITU points. The age groupers did a sprint distance. Entry for the 600 amateurs consisted of raising $500 each in pledges for a local AIDS organization. Boulder’s Abe Rogers and Nick Cady finished 13th (1:47:20) and 19th (1:48:41) respectively. Colorado Springs USAT Resident Team member Desiree Ficker placed 15th, clocking 2:03:08.
The hottest invitation in this year’s triathlon world was one to the Goodwill Games in Brisbane, Australia. Only 25 men and 25 women were tapped to compete for $200,000 in prize money. That is the biggest purse for an Olympic distance event in the history of the sport. On top of that, every athlete’s full travel expenses are paid by the organizing committee. The field turned out to be a truly astounding list of nearly all of the very best ITU racers in the world, most of them having also attended the World Championships in July. Siri Lindley (Boulder) ran a 35:17 10K, the fastest of the day, but it was only enough to get her in fourth. Michael Smedley and Hunter Kemper (Colorado Springs) had a tough time against the powerhouses from down under. Hunter placed 16th and Michael came in behind him at 17th, but a full four minutes back. Olympian Jennifer Gutierrez (Greenwood Village) didn’t fare much better, finishing 19th.
Siri Wins Two More World Cups
Lindley probably wasn’t too dissappointed with her 4th at the Goodwill Games, because she had just won two more World Cup events in the two weekends preceding that race, in Tiszaujvaros, Hungary and Lausanne, Switzerland.
A year ago she had just won the first ITU World Cup of her career at Lausanne, against the eventual Olympic Gold medalist Brigitte McMahon. She never looked back. She now has been at the top of the podium in an amazing seven World Cups in a row, and is ranked number one in both the ITU international standings and the independent Profile Multisport Rankings that include a broader range of events.