Dianna White finished 11th on Sunday ( 18th September) out of 22 in her 30-34 age group over the standard distance at the Cultus Lake Triathlon near Vancouver, Canada.
Dianna was disappointed with her swim of 39:40 which was mainly due to the cold conditions in this traditional end of season race but recovered well with a strong 1hr 19 mins 18 secs for the 40km bike and 50 min 19 secs 10km run for a 2hr 52 min 14 secs final time, a massive 18 minutes personal best for the standard distance.
Today, Sunday 17th September, it was the turn of Bermuda’s age groupers to participate in the International Triathlon Union’s age group world championships in Rotterdam.
With so many athletes on the bike course and such a cold swim it was not the best conditions with some athletes’ performances clearly affected.
Karen Smith led the way taking 8th place in the Female 45-49 age group in the sprint distance in 1:16:41, another top ten finish at these championships after her bronze medal in Cozumel last year. Given that Karen raced in the World 70.3 Championships just a week before it was a solid performance.
Lea Osborne finished 30th in the Female 55-59 age group out of 53 starters in 1:32:43.
Kent Richardson had a disappointing race after his 11th place finish in Cozumel last year finishing 53rd amongst 55-59 men in 1:23:11, well below his best as he usually finishes in under 1 hr 10 mins. He could not put on finger on why he was unable to perform on the day although the cold may have been a factor.
Alec Shepherd finished 106th out of 145 starters in the competitive men’s 45-49 age group over the Standard distance. Alec finished the 1500m swim, 40km bike and 10km run in 2:25:57.
Stuart Osborne also competed over the Standard distance finishing 52nd out of 79 in 2:40:07 in the 60-64 age group.
The Tokio Millenium Re Triathlon, one of the most popular events on the Bermuda triathlon calendar, will take place on Sunday 24th September with the race start and finish at Albuoys Point in Hamilton.
Racing will get underway at 8AM with a duathlon for juniors who will race over 1km run, 4km bike and 1km run ( 7-10 year olds) and 2km run, 8km bike and 2km run (11-15 year olds).
The Tri a Tri Adults race will get underway at 9AM over 200m swim, 8km bike and 2km run and that race will be followed at 10AM by the main event, the sprint triathlon for individuals and teams over 750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run. As well as the overall winners, age group winners will be determined in male and female categories in the following age groups : 16-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49 and 50+. Team categories will be Male, Female, Mixed (male and female), Reinsurance and Corporate.
Last year’s race was won by Tokio sponsored professional triathlete Tyler Butterfield with youngster Matthew Oliveira in second and Matt Thompson in third.
Ashley Estwanik took top female honours in 2016, finishing 4th overall, ahead of junior Erica Hawley and Megan Kelly.
Flora Duffy executed the perfect race today, Saturday 16th September, in Rotterdam, to not only win the Grand Final, the unofficial world championships of triathlon, but also finish the World Series with a perfect 5200 points after 6 wins.
Almost predictably Jessica Learmonth of the UK pushed the pace on the 1500m swim to split the field. Flora, in her own words, went into the “red zone” to stay with the small group who had around 20 seconds going into T1.
Flora wasted no time in driving the pace on lap 1 of the 40km bike and on the wet and technical course her bike skills were very evident. Only Learmonth and the USA’s Katie Zaferes were able to stay with Flora and by lap 1 they had 33 seconds on the chase pack. The gap continued to grow and by T2 the three had 1 min 30 secs on the chasers.
Zaferes exited T2 first but Flora soon passed her and then upped the pace to gradually pull away crossing the line 53 secs ahead of Zaferes with Learmonth holding on and taking bronze.
Flora’s six wins in a season was just one short of the record of 7 set by Gwen Jorgensen in 2015 and that despite missing the first two races due to injury.
Flora has changed the face of women’s triathlon this year producing such strong all round performances that she has left coaches of the world’s leading triathletes wondering how they are going to beat her. In the past Flora’s achilles heel was her run but this year she has shown that she can run with the best and today, despite slowing to acknowledge the crowd, she recorded one of the day’s fastest run times. What is frightening is that Flora believes she can improve her running further.
Tyler Smith executed the perfect race today to take a very impressive 11th at the ITU World Junior Triathlon Championships today, Saturday 16th September.
In cold and wet conditions in Rotterdam, Tyler critically emerged from the 750m swim with the leaders in 9 min 06 secs just 10 secs behind the first swimmer out. After a solid transition Tyler was in an excellent position in the lead pack going into the 20km bike.
Importantly for Tyler, who’s weakest discipline is the run, the lead group whittled down to just 7 athletes with Tyler working hard in the group and clocking 29 minutes and 26 secs, the fastest bike of the day.
Tyler got caught by a few faster runners in the chase pack but was happy with his 16:38 5km run time.
In the end his total time of 57:18 was 1:24 behind race winner Matthew Houser (Australia) with 55:54 and just 43 seconds off the podium.
Congratulations to Tyler who has really put in the work over the past few years and this result is well deserved.
Erica Hawley finished 40th today, Friday 15th September, at the International Triathlon Union’s Junior World Championships in Rotterdam, Netherlands in a time of 1hr 45 min 45 secs.
In very cold conditions, as expected it was the 750m swim that proved crucial for a top ten finish with Japan’s Fuka Sega leading out a large group in 10 min 15 secs. The group included defending champion Taylor Knibb of the USA. Erica emerged from the water further back in 10 : 45, which will be a big disappointment for her, and from then on her chances of catching the leaders had all but gone.
Knibb, who finished 2nd to Flora Duffy in the Edmonton leg of the ITU World Series, and Sega set a fast pace at the front as packs formed behind the two leaders. Erica found herself in the 3rd pack and they slowly lost time on the leading group entering the 2nd transition around 3 minutes behind Knibb who opened up what proved to be a crucial 26 minute lead over Sega and a group of 7 other athletes.
Despite losing 10 secs on the first 2.5km lap of the run to a fast charging Kate Waugh Knibb held on to win in 1:1:22 with Waugh just 16 secs back after a run of just over 17 minutes and Sega in third in 1:02:05. Exact results are not yet available but Erica’s run was just over 19 minutes.
More to come once I have a race report from Erica and/or her family from Rotterdam.
5 triathletes will represent Bermuda at the 2017 International Triathlon Union Age Group World Championships in Rotterdam this weekend.
Karen Smith, fresh from her 15th place finish in her age group at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships this weekend will be hoping to again podium as she goes in the much shorter Sprint Distance World Championships in the 45-49 age group. Karen took the bronze medal last year in Mexico but interestingly will face former ITU Elite World Champion Michellie Jones, an Australian who has lived in the USA for many years and now races as an age group amateur.However, for Karen much will depend on how she has recovered from the 70.3 Worlds. Karen has raced in 5 previous world championships over sprint, long course and Olympic distance.
Kent Richardson will once again start over the Sprint Distance, an event he has competed in on a number of occasions. Last year he finished 11th in the mens 55-59 age group and will be hoping to crack the top 10 this year in what has prove to be a very competitive age group.
Also racing over the sprint distance is Lea Osborne in the 55-59 age group. Lea first represented Bermuda in 1999 at the age group wordl championships in Montreal and subsequently at the same championships in 2001 in Edmonton. She also was part of the Bermuda team to the Small Island Games in Guernsey in 2003.
This year the Sprint distance races will be draft legal on the bike making for some interesting racing with position out of the water being an important factor.
Alec Shepherd and Stuart Osborne will be Bermuda’s representatives in the Olympic distance World Championships.
Stuart last raced for Bermuda at these championships in Edmonton in 2011 and with wife Lea is now based in Zurich where they compete on a regular basis. He and Lea both took part in the WTS age group race in Leeds in 2016 with Stuart finishing 16th in the mens 60-64 age group and Lea 5th in the 55-59 age group sprint event, albeit on rented bikes.
Alec Shepherd raced in these championships in Chicago in 2015 finishing 85th out of 129 in his age group over the Standard distance in a very competitive age group. Since then his focus has been more on longer distance racing including a very good time this year in the Chattanooga Ironman 70.3 when he finished in 4 hrs 54 mins
The Olympic (Standard) distance races get underway on Sunday 17th September at 7.30AM and the Sprint distance age group races follow at 1.30PM.