Ellis, Reed win Pan Am Golds

Mary Beth Ellis outran Jenna Shoemaker to win a crash-filled women’s race and Matt Reed out sped Hunter Kemper and Tim O’Donnell at the PATCO Pan Am Championship Triathlon in Oklahoma City today.

On a windy afternoon with warm clear skies, top US contender Jillian Peterson crashed and broke her collarbone on the bike.

Ellis took control of the race with her race-best 38:42 run which topped Jenna Shoemaker's 10k effort by 1 minute 17 seconds - almost precisely accounting for her margin of victory.

Ellis finished in 2:05:35 and topped runner-up Shoemaker by 1 minute and 13 seconds at the finish line.

The win marked Ellis's second notable international performance in the past half year. Last November, she ran hard to take second place at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Clearwater.

In the men's race Reed set up the pace from the gun. Coming out of the water a close third behind Canadian Andrew McCartney and Kemper, Reed drove to the front on the bike and a lead pack of 7, including Kemper, Matt Chrabot, Tim O'Donnell, Ben Collins, and Andrew McCartney of Canada, establishing a solid 2 minutes 50 seconds lead by T2. Reed was first into and out of the second transition and opened up a 30 second gap on Hunter Kemper by the second of four 2.5 kilometer laps. Reed maintained his margin until the finish line chute, where a few hand slaps to the crowd reduced the margin down to about 12 seconds as he crossed the line in 1:52:23. Tim O’Donnell rounded out the podium for 3rd in 1:52:37.

“I am working hard in training and took no taper for this race," said Reed, who continued a 2009 hot streak that includes wins at Miami International and Ironman California 70.3.

"I felt good and strong today” Reed stated after the race. "Although I won, and I should be happy, thinking how I ran today I would not have placed very well (against a typical ITU) World Cup field. There are still a few tweaks I need to do to be ready to make the podiums at Madrid and at the Washington DC ITU World Championship Series races this June."

Reed said he could still take satisfaction with the win against a field of top contenders from North, Central and South America. “I am proud to win the Pan Am Champs for the USA!” he declared.

The win adds to Reed's already impressive resume that includes two wins at USA Triathlon elite nationals and at Boulder Peak, wins at St. Anthony's, Escape From Alcatraz, and Ironman California 70.3.

Reed also had high praise for his closest rivals. "I just wanted to give a shout out for Tim O'Donnell, who has done a bit of training with me in Boulder," said Reed. "While he always had a strong swim and bike, he has now proved he can really run. Also, this was a great race for him just a week after a tough win at St. Croix."

Reed offered similar kudos for Kemper in his rival's first race after Beijing and hernia surgery last October.

"Hunter has been dealing with injury for a long time," said Reed. "To finish 12 seconds behind me in his first race of the season after all the problems he has been dealing with deserves a lot of credit."

Kemper said he was satisfied with his first race of the season. "I felt really good on the swim and the bike, but there were several little niggles that have slowed me down in training for the run," he said in a telephone interview.

"The scar tissue from hernia surgery last October has healed pretty well and doesn't hurt much. But I've felt a little lower back pain like I had in 2007, so my run training isn't quite there. Before this race, I didn't know where my fitness was because I never ran faster than 6 minute miles in training the last three weeks. This was the hardest effort I've done in a long time."

Kemper said he kept to a conservative pace for the first three laps of the run, then pushed hard the last lap.

"Let's put it this way," said Kemper. "Both Matt and I did not have spectacular runs today. If I ran this way in a World Cup, there would be a lot more bodies between me and the winner."

2009 PATCO Pan Am Championship Triathlon
Boathouse International Triathlon
May 16, 2009
Oklahoma City OK
1.5k S/ 40k B/ 10k R

Unofficial results

Elite women

1. Mary Beth Ellis (USA) 2:05:35
2. Jenna Shoemaker (USA) 2:06:48
3. Jennifer Spieldenner (USA) 2:08:23
4. Becky Lavelle (USA) 2:08:41
5. Kerry Spearing (CAN) 2:09:06
6. Susan Williams (USA) 2:09:33
7. Tenille Hoogland (CAN) 2:09:41
8. Elizabeth Bravo (ECU) 2:14:18
9. Amanda Stevens (USA) 2:14:40
10. Carolina Grinaldo (COL) 2:14:56

Elite men

1. Matt Reed (USA) 1:52:23
2. Hunter Kemper (USA) 1:52:24
3. Tim O’Donnell (USA) 1:52:37
4. Matt Chrabot (USA) 1:53:32
5. Ben Collins (USA) 1:54:49
6. Ethan Brown (USA) 1:56:09
7. Marcus Fernandes (BRA) 1:56:39
8. Bruno Mateus (BRA) 1:56:41
9. Kevin Collington (USA) 1:56:50
10. Diego Sclebin (BRA) 1:56:52