Fledgling Canadian elite Matthew Sharpe, just 19 with two DNFs and a blow-up in his last three starts, ran a race-best 33:59 to hold off 26-year-old US pro Ethan Brown while 22-year-old Canadian pro Sarah-Anne Brault out sprinted America pro Kaitlin Shiver to win the elite titles at the San Francisco Triathlon at Treasure Island.
Sharpe hit the line in 1:56:52 with a 10 seconds margin of victory over Brown, who let the Canadian surge away at the start of the run then made a futile charge that fell 10 seconds short. Curiously, just two weeks ago at the Pan American Cup race at Coteau-du-Lac, Quebec, Sharpe led from the start but faded out of contention on the run as Brown ran off with the win.
"This is my first year as an elite and I haven’t had much luck before this," said Sharpe. "My first two races this year were DNFs, and two weeks ago I led at Coteau-du-Lac but didn't respect the Olympic distance and faded out of contention. Today, I put together a complete race and it's my best race ever."
After beating Sharpe soundly two weeks ago, Treasure Island runner-up Brown was confident he could take down Sharpe's surge at the end so he let the young Canadian go before cutting away Sharpe's lead at the end. "It was my plan to build into the run," said Brown, who won his first pro title at Pacific Grove last Fall. "But Sharpe was a different man today and I fell a few seconds short."
In the women's race, four women streaked to the lead on the swim and bike and then played a triathletic game of Four Little Indians on the way to the finish. After a 21:10-21:22 swim and a 1:07:50 or thereabouts bike, Lisa Marangon of Australia, 2008 Olympian Julie Ertel, recent Monroe, Washington 2nd place finisher Kaitlin Shiver and the West Virginia Mountaineer NCAA runner from Calgary took off together well ahead of the 24-woman field. First to drop was Marangon in the first mile. Second to go was Ertel, the former Olympian who is now a dedicated mother of 19-month-old twins. It seems that one run and one bike a week is enough to keep a mother healthy but not enough to stick with the 24/7 training crowd more than 3 and a half miles.
In the last 2 miles, Brault tried two surges and failed. In the final mile, she broke free and hit the line in 2:07:51 with 15 seconds in hand over runner-up Shiver and 2:47 over Ertel.
"I just started training for triathlon this summer because I'm focusing on run training for West Virginia," said Brault, who has a 33:53 10k PR on the track. She used evry bit of her runner's edge this day for her first professional win.
San Francisco Triathlon at Treasure Island
San Francisco ITU Pan American Cup
USA Triathlon Elite Race Series Round 3
San Francisco CA
July 9, 2011
S 1.5k B 40k R 10k
1. Matthew Sharpe (CAN) 1:56:42 -- $3,750
2. Ethan Brown (USA) 1:56:52 - $3,000
3. Leonardo Chacon (Costa Rica) 1:57:23 -- $2,250
4. Manuel Huerta (USA) 1:58:07 -- $1,500
5. Jon Bird (CAN) 1:58:39 -- $1,200
6. Dustin McLarty (USA) 1:58:45 - $1,050
7. Peter Schokman (AUS) 1:58:53 - $900
8. Kevin Collington (USA) 1:59:28 - $600
9. John Dahlz (USA) 1:59:58 - $450
10. Ben Logan (NZL) 2:00:07 - $300
1. Sarah Anne-Brault (CAN) 2:07:51 - $3,750
2. Kaitlin Shiver (USA) 2:08:06 - $3,000
3. Julie Ertel (USA) 2:10:38 - $2,250
4. Alexandra Coates 2:11:03 - $1,500
5. Lisa Marangon (AUS) 2:11:19 - $1,200
6. Rebecca Kingsford (NZL) 2:12:22 - $1,050
7. Jenna Parker (USA) 2:13:54 - $900
8. Alexis Smith (USA) 2:15:17 - $600
9. Evelyne Blouin (CAN) 2:16:06 - $450
10. Lauren Goss (USA) 2:16:19 - $300