Far from the intense limelight focused on Challenge Dubai, triathlon competitions kept on rolling on pavement in South America and off road in Australia. Meanwhile, a 46-year-old retired Canadian pro triathlete keeps on putting in quality runs – this one on Saturday in Orlando, Florida.
Marcus Fernandes and Luiza Duarte win Santos International Triathlon
Brazilians Marcus Fernandes and Luiza Duarte held off the international stars of Team Bravo to take home country wins at the Santos International Triathlon.
Fernandes broke away in the swim, establishing a minute lead on all chasers and adding to it with a race-best 53:48 bike leg. Fernandes thus crossed the line in 1:41:41 with a 2:30-plus advantage over 3-time Ironman World Champion Craig Alexander of Australia, who was penalized on the bike leg. Flavio Queiroga of Brazil held off 2006 ITU World Champion Tim Don of Great Britain for 3rd place.
In the women's contest, Duarte took a 40 seconds lead in the swim on fellow Brazilians Bia Neres and Carol Furriela, with Ironman star Rachel Joyce 1:45 down and Ariane Monticeli starting the bike leg 4:50 in arrears. Under-23 rising star Duarte dropped the hammer on the bike, posting a women's-best 1:02:17 split that put more than a minute on Neres and Joyce (1:03:30 splits) and Monticeli (1:03:47). Duarte held firm to her lead on the run and finished in 1:57:37, followed by Neres and 3rd place finisher Joyce. Furriela closed with a 34:09 run, the best women's split of the day, to take 4th.
The race marked the debut of several members of Team Bravo, which is sponsored by Coca-Cola Brazil. Team Bravo Performance Director Craig Alexander had the best result of anyone affiliated with Team Bravo, taking 2nd with a strong run. Rachel Joyce took 3rd in the women's race and Tim Don had the next-best Team Bravo showing with a 4th-place finish in the men's division. Three Brazilian Team Bravo athletes also made the top 10 - Fabio Carvalho placed 6th, 2012 Olympian Diogo Sclebin 7th. and Guilherme Manocchio 9th.
Santos International Triathlon
March 1, 2015
S 1.5k / B 40k / R 10k
1. Marcus Fernandes (BRA) 1:41:41
2. Craig Alexander (AUS) +2:30
3. Flavio Queiroga (BRA)
4. Tim Don (GBR)
5. Henrique Siqueira (BRA)
1. Luiza Duarte (BRA) 1:57:37
2. Bia Neres (BRA)
3. Rachel Joyce (GBR)
4. Carol Furriela (BRA)
5. Ariane Monticeli (BRA)
Courtney Atkinson and Erin Densham win Oceania Cross Triathlon
Two-time Olympian Courtney Atkinson and 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Erin Densham won the elite titles at the Oceania Cross Triathlon Championship at the Lake Crackenback resort in Australia’s Snowy Mountains.
The win qualified the two Australian ITU stars for the 2015 Cross Triathlon World Championship to be held in Sardinia, Italy in September.
Atkinson had to fight his way back from a 2:30 deficit to 14-time XTERRA winner Ben Allen. Atkinson passed Allen on the 3rd and final lap of the rugged 10k trail run. “My legs were shot on that last lap,” Allen told The Snowy Times after the race. Allen had a large lead after the 30k mountain bike leg. “I just hit the wall on that last lap of the run and paid the price for going out too hard on the bike,” said Allen. “Courtney passed me on the big hill, and I tried to dig deep and find another gear. It goes to show you can never count anyone out until it’s over.”
After taking two years off from ITU racing after the 2012 Olympics, Atkinson plans to rejoin the World Triathlon Series this year and make a run to qualify for his 3rd Olympics at Rio. “On that last lap of the run, I knew I was in the strike zone,” said Atkinson. “But if Ben was having his best run, I wouldn’t have caught him.”
Densham enjoyed a solid return to form after illness and fatigue forced her to miss a great deal of racing after the London Olympics. “This is a great start to the year and a really solid hit out,” said Densham, who is planning to compete for a 2016 Olympic slot. “You can’t go easy and you’re always thinking out on the course… I think I am on the right track for bigger picture plans.”
Joining Densham on the podium were 8-time XTERRA winner Jacqui Slack of Great Britain, who was second, and Jessica Simpson of Australia, who edged Renata Bucher of Switzerland for 3rd place.
Oceania Cross Triathlon Championships
Lake Crackenback, Australia
February 28, 2015
S 1.5 k / MTB 30k / TR 10k
1. Courtney Atkinson (AUS) 2:12:08
2. Ben Allen (AUS) 2:13:57
3. Max Neumann (AUS) 2:14:03
4. Braden Currie (NZL) 2:14:57
5. Kyle Ward (AUS) 2:19:35
1. Erin Densham (AUS) 2:27:23
2. Jacqui Slack (GBR) 2:32:27
3. Jessica Simpson (AUS) 2:38:19
4. Renata Bucher (SUI) 2:40:58
5. Jess Simpson (NZL) 2:41:24
Lisa Bentley wins Orlando Best Damn race Half Marathon
She is an 11-time Ironman winner, an 11-time Ironman 70.3 winner and placed 3rd at the 2006 Ironman World Championship. Years after retiring from her pro triathlon career, Lisa Bentley keeps getting faster at her ace in the hole - the run. Last April she won the women's 45-49 age group at the Boston Marathon in a time of 2:47:47. On Saturday, she won the women’s overall title at the Best Damn Race half marathon in Orlando, Florida in a time of 1:20:08.
Bentley celebrated with a wry acknowledgement of her advancing age in this Facebook post: “Body was a little less spry than last year. Felt less ‘elastic’ and less ‘flexible’ but I willed myself to run as fast as I could. I won in 1:20:08. Crazy fun. Icing now! Massage later. Gotta put Humpty back together again.”
Thomas Liby and Barbara Kreisle win USAT Winter Tri Nationals
Thomas Liby and Barbara Kreisle won the USA Triathlon Winter Triathlon National Championship overall men’s and women's titles Saturday at the Bogus Basin Ski Area in Boise, Idaho.
Boise endurance athlete Liby came into T1 on the heels of Gus Gibbs, with former Winter Tri Nationals podium finisher Matt Sheeks not far behind. Eventual podium finisher (and co race-director) Adam Wirth and local elite ski racer Joe Jensen were 1 and 2 minutes behind.
Liby scored a quick transition and hit the bike leg first and finished with a 34 minute split putting time into Sheeks while Wirth advanced to 3rd.
On the skate/ski leg, Liby held his lead while Wirth passed Sheeks for 2nd place and Joe Jensen posted a swift final leg split to secure 3rd place.
Liby finished the 4k snow run, 12k snow bike and 8k skate and freestyle cross country ski in a time of 1:11:20 which gave him a 1:16 margin of victory over fellow Boise resident Wirth and 1:44 over 3rd place finisher Jensen of Twisp, Washington.
Kelly Quinn of Spokane, Washington posted the fastest run split to open the proceedings with local pro triathlete Erin Green, last year’s champion, right behind. Green crashed heavily on the first descent of the bike, injured her shoulder and had to withdraw. Ex-mountain biker Barbara Kreisle cut into Quinn’s lead on the bike and made a pass on the ski leg for the win.
Kreisle finished in 1:28:20 which gave her a 1:56 margin of victory over Quinn and 4:48 over 3rd place finisher Kelly Wirth of Boise.
USAT Winter Triathlon Nationals
February 28, 2015
Snow run 4k / Snow bike 12k / Skate/freestyle cross country ski 8k
1. Thomas Liby (Boise, ID) 1:11:20
2. Adam Wirth (Boise ID) 1:12:36
3. Joseph Jensen (Twisp WA) 1:13:04
4. Gus Gibbs (NA) 1:13:12
5. Matthew Sheeks (Woodinville WA) 1:13:39
1. Barbara Kreisle (Boise ID) 1:28:20
2. Kelly Quinn (Spokane WA) 1:30:16
3. Kelly Wirth (Boise ID) 1:33:08
4. Stephanie Liddle (Idaho Falls ID) 1:38:57
5. Christine Hall (Albany NY) 1:40:31