Andy Potts continues his tear through the North American triathlon circuit, racing most weekends across various distances, winning almost all of what he enters.
That habit continued today at the 7th running of the Philadelphia Insurance Triathlon. What we don't know is how fast Andy Potts is running right now. He swims and bikes to a lead, and then he wins. Usually without the fastest run of the day. But, he wins. And then he races the following week. Shampoo, rinse, repeat. Are his run splits indicative of his speed, or, is he crazy like a fox—conserving energy for the subsequent week's race?
We probably won't know until he and Hunter Kemper lock horns in a race without a swim mishap. Maybe that'll take place in two weeks at the Life Time Fitness race in Minneapolis.
If you're the sort of reader who likes to absorb a race as it happens, we covered it live—as we do all the Toyota Cup races—and you can move to our play-by-play if you prefer. Otherwise...
Potts showed signs of mortality in the water at the CapTex tri—the heretofore most recent stop on the Toyota Cup circuit—but his aquatic form reverted to godlike here in Philly. He exited the water first, again, distancing very good swimmers like Greg Bennett.
But Cameron Dye, a sneaky good swimmer, hung onto Potts like Jacob grasping the feet of the Angel of God. The two mounted their bikes side-by-side.
They rode clean, and way from the rest of the field. Bennett, Andy Starykowicz, Andrew Yoder, Matty Reed and others exited together, :30 back, and that half-minute quickly tripled on the technical Philly bike course.
This should have been a helluva bike leg: a course made for cycling specialists, with strong riders like Dye, Yoder, Starykowicz and 3-time Philly Tri winner David Thompson in the field. But Starykowicz flatted—riding the last 20k on the rim—and nobody else threatened Potts and Dye on the bike. Dye, for his part, couldn't shake Potts, like he did at the Toyota Cup opener in Miami.
Onto the run, it was Dye and Potts, with a trio of chasers 1:20 behind: Bennett, Matt Reed and Yoder. Dye dug deep, leading Potts through the first two miles, and fairly even with him through three. But the early effort was too much when you go for it all you pay: Dye didn't fade. He blew.
Bennett and Reed quickly dispatched Yoder and set off in pursuit of the leading duo. They caught Dye at mile-4, but couldn't quite reel in Potts, either because they didn't have enough distance—they cut the deficit off the bike almost in half by the end of the run—or because Potts ran as fast as he needed for the win.
As often happens with Matt Reed, he found himself in a finishing sprint. And he won, as also often happens. If you're going to beat Reed, make sure you do it before the final half-mile. He bested Bennett by :01, with Dye hanging on for 4th and Chris Foster running into 5th.
The pro women and men started together, and on paper this works to the benefit of an aquatic speedster like Sara McLarty. Sure enough, she hopped onto the bike with more than a minute on her rivals.
Amanda Stevens, the Wassner twins, and Alicia Kaye gave chase. By the end of the bike leg, Rebeccah Wassner, Kaye and McLarty were together.
Wassner and Kaye sped off, side-by-side, and that's how it went for most of the run. Kaye has had the better of this lately—she won the Washington DC 5150 last week, with the Wassners 4th and 5th. Kaye was 2nd to Sarah Haskins at the previous stop on the Toyota Cup circuit, at CapTex tri.
Today, though, it was all Wassner, as she poured it on during the last half of the run to take the win with :30 to spare. Sister Laurel charged from the back to almost make it a Wassner sweep. She was just :04 from Kaye as she crossed the finish.
"I love racing in Philly, my first big pro win was here in 2007. There was so much support from the fans which really helped me pull away in the final half of the run," said race winner Bec Wassner to slowtwitch. "It was also inspiring to see my sister up in the front. I knew that even with my injury that I would have to push the run or else she would beat me! Although I havent been able to run, due to a hip injury, I have been working hard on my cycling. Fortunately the hills in NYC are very similar to the hills we faced today. The early morning loops of Central Park have really paid off!"
Philadelphia Insurance Triathlon
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania / June 26, 2011
S 1.5k / B 40k / R 10k
1. Andy Potts 1:46:03
2. Matty Reed 1:46:47
3. Greg Bennett 1:46:48
4. Cameron Dye 1:48:22
5. Chris Foster 1:49:37
6. Andrew Yoder 1:49:41
7. David Thompson 1:50:54
8. Tim Reed 1:51:50
9. Holden Comeau 1:52:00
10. Stephen Hackett 1:52:53
1. Rebeccah Wassner 1:59:36
2. Alicia Kaye 2:00:06
3. Laurel Wassner 2:00:10
4. Nicole Kelleher 2:01:59
5. Lindsey Jerdonek 2:02:14
6. Sara McLarty 2:03:44
7. Jenna Parker 2:05:36
8. D'Ann Arthur 2:06:10
9. Amanda Stevens 2:06:15
10. Missy Kuck 2:07:37