The International Triathlon Union this week featured an article on one of the greatest triathletes, Mark Allen, one of the sport’s early superstars. Allen was known as the Zen Master for his ability to focus and go through incredible pain barriers. He was one of four triathletes, the others were Dave Scott, Scott Molina and Mike Pigg, who earned the knickname “the big four” such was their dominance in the sport.
In 1987 and 1988 Bermuda hosted one of the richest prize money triathlons in the world ( only the Gold Coast Triathlon in Australia equaled the prize money) and the event, for professionals and amateurs, attracted the best field of professional triathletes ever assembled from across the world. It was pretty cool going to the start line with the professional triathletes. Mark Alen won the 1987 event.
BELOW ARE LINKS TO PART OF THE BERMUDA INTERNATIONAL TRIATHLON 1989 RACE COVERAGE AND TO THE ARTICLE ON MARK ALLEN.
Promising Bermuda junior, Erica Hawley, is just finishing up a 10 day ITU/ Camtri traithlon camp in Ecuador. It was a camp for juniors and U23’s in our region. 34 athletes were invited by the Camtri region. It was held in Cuencas, at one of the High Performance Centres.
A report on the camp will follow from Erica in a couple of weeks.
I was deeply saddened this week to hear that Jackie Fairweather Gallagher committed suicide on 2nd November 2014 at the age of 46. Jackie suffered a long battle with depression.
In 1996 I hosted three Australian triathletes for the Bermuda ITU World Cup Triathlon. One of those triathletes was Jackie who finished 4th in the women’s race. I recall that she was devastated not to have at least made the podium because she was such a perfectionist but she vowed to win the world championships. Jackie went on to win the Triathlon World Championships in Cleveland, USA two weeks later. Jackie was a fierce competitor but also a lovely lady . Even though she was only with us for a few days my two boys thought the world of her. Jackie had strong opinions on everything but she also had an engaging personality and a warm smile. I next saw her on a shuttle bus at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, where she won bronze in the marathon, and she fondly recalled her time in Bermuda.
Jackie began competing in triathlons in 1992 and won the elite Australian National Series in her first season. She spent eight years as a professional triathlete. In 1996 when she became the world triathlon champion she set a championship record time of 1 hour 50 minutes 52 seconds . She also won the World Duathlon Championships in 1996 to become the only person ever to win both world titles in one year. In 1999 Jackie won gold at the World Duathlon Championships and silver at the World Triathlon Championships. She also took two other silver medals (1995 and 1997) at the World Triathlon Championships. In 2004 Jackie was appointed Head Coach of the Australian Institute of Sport Triathlon programme and she gained universal recognition for her fantastic work with Australia’s triathletes. Jackie was inducted into the Australian Triathlon Hall of Fame in 2012. RIP Jackie.
Click on “comment” above to read Charlie Duffy’s recollection which I think is correct.
Niiki Butterfield, wife of Bermuda’s Tyler Butterfield, returned to racing this weekend, Sunday 9th November, with an excellent podium finish at the Asia Pacific Ironman 70.3 in Madurah, Western Australia.
In a closely contested race Nikki completed the course in 4hrs 3 mins 49 secs. The winner was Australia’s Annabel Luxford who finished in 4 hrs 2 mins 20 secs
Germany’s Michael Raelert who competed in Bermuda in the Escape to Bermuda Triathlon was the men’s winner.
Nikki’s result will give her a lot of confidence as she heads into the new prestigious Bahrain 70.3 Triathlon in December which has significant prize money and has attracted a strong field. Tyler will be in the men’s field.
Bermuda’s Flora Duffy completed a remarkable year of racing as she won the Queen of Bermuda Triathlon this morning, Sunday 9th November, ahead of US twins Bec and Laurel Wassner. Flora finished in a time of 55 mins 50 for the shortened course with Rebecca Wassner finishing in 56.45.
ELITE PRO RESULTS :
Atrocious rain prior to the race meant that the 18.6km bike was reduced due to flooding but fortunately the weather held off during the race itself and there was a good turnout of local and visiting triathletes.
Flora opened up a 45 second lead going into the bike and managed to maintain that lead going from the bike into the last 5km run.
Meanwhile there was a bit of an upset in the race for top amateur finishers as newcomer Marie Lyne Dore used the fastest swim amongst the amateurs to hold off veteran Julia Hawley with Belinda Castree in 3rd place. Despite a large contingent of visitors (almost 70) Bermuda had the top ten overall finishers. The first visiting athlete was 14 year old junior Kylie Holman of Canada competing in only her 2nd triathlon.
TOP TEN AMATEUR FINISHERS :
FOR FULL RESULTS AND PICTURES GO TO THE LINKS SECTION OF THIS BLOG AND CLICK ON BERMUDA TIMING SYSTEMS.
More also on the race Facebook page at Queenofbermudatriathlonpresentedbybacardi or on Twitter and Instagram at gomemracing
North American professional triathletes Laurel and Rebeccah Wassner will take to the start line on Sunday with Bermuda’s Flora Duffy in the elite division of the Queen of Bermuda Triathlon.
The twins are well known on the North American circuit where they are consistent top finishers in the professional ranks in non drafting triathlons.
Laurel and Rebeccah Wassner live in New York City. Rebeccah is a three-time winner of the Nautica New York City Triathlon. Laurel is the first cancer-survivor-turned-professional triathlete. In 2010, she took second in the Nautica New York City Triathlon, finishing just two minutes behind Rebeccah.
The twins race to win championships, but also to raise awareness for the fight against cancer, particularly among young adults. In 1998, about a year after college graduation, Laurel was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. After six months of chemotherapy, Laurel spent the next few years battling fatigue and nausea while recovering her strength and rebuilding her life. Meanwhile, Rebeccah morphed into a professional athlete, competing first in marathons, before turning to triathlons in 2004.
In 2006, watching her sister race against the world’s top-ranked athletes at the ITU Elite World Championships, Laurel vowed to one day join her sister on the podium. With the help and support of friends and family, this dream became a reality when Laurel turned pro in 2008.
In September Laurel finished 4th in the Chatanooga Ionman in 9 hrs 14 mins with a fast 3 hrs 11 mins marathon and two weeks ago she was 5th in the Miami Ironman 70.3.
Rebecca finished Ironman 70.3 Hugesund in Norway in Jluy in 4 hrs 13 mins to take 2nd place.
The twins are no strangers to Bermuda having finished 7th and 8th female pros in the Escape to Bermuda Triathlon in 2008.
Tyler Butterfield finished 9th at the Noosa Triathlon, Australia last Sunday 2nd November. Not having trained for shorter distances leading into this race Tyler had his work cut out, especially as he had to make up over a minute on the leaders going into the bike. Despite a usual strong bike the effort proved too much on the 10km run as his 34.04 time was well off the leaders who clocked in the low 32 mins.