In closely fought races today, Tyler Smith and Erica Hawley produced solid enough results over the sprint distance world cup of 750 meter swim, 20km bike and 5km run.
In both the male and female events there was little to separate two large groups of athletes coming into T2 and in the end it came down to who had the fastest run.
Erica was well placed after a 9 min 49 secs swim that saw her enter T1 with a large group of athletes. She then matched the pace of the large leading pack to enter T2. Erica’s run time of 18 min 33 secs was respectable but the top 27 competitors all went under 18 mins.
Erica’s finishing time of 1hr 00 mins 24 secs left her just 1 minute off a top ten finish as in this shorter racing there are fine margins between competitors. Overall though the University of Boulder student can take confidence from this race.
Meanwhile Tyler Smith’s race followed a similar pattern, as he too emerged from the water with a large group in a time of 9 mins 09 secs and then rode the 20km in 27 min 22 mins to enter T2 with a large group just 20 secs short of the leading group. Once again the run proved decisive as the winner, David Castro of Spain, ran 14min 31 secs with Tyler clocking 15 min 44 secs to finish in exactly 54 mins overall. Tyler was just over 1 min out of a top 10 finish.
With so many athletes seemingly evenly matched now on the swim and bike, run times are proving crucial and it will take run times of around 17 min 30 secs ( Erica) and 15 mins flat (Tyler) if they are to be in contention for top ten finishing at this level of competition.