Chills, thrills and spills abounded in 2010. For thrills, many thanks are due Chris McCormack and Andreas Raelert, Chrissie Wellington and Mirinda Carfrae, Emma Snowsill, Alistair Brownlee and Tim Don, Catriona Morrison and James Cunama and Amber Monforte. Many thanks are due to the fates that preserved Jordan Rapp, Chrissie Wellington, Alistair Brownlee, Virginia Berasategui, Hunter Kemper and Clayton Treska from injuries that might have retired lesser souls. Deep appreciation is due a passing trio of Marc Suprenant, Jim MacLaren and Juan Antonio Samanranch for their contributions to life and sport. A salute and a prayer must go to those who died too young in competition and training.
Performances of the Year
1. Macca at Ironman Hawaii
Written off by many when he DNF'd defending his 2007 Kona crown and could only manage a 4th place in 2009, Chris McCormack radically cut back on his race schedule to adjust to the pains of age (37). Then he managed a clever, strategy-filled race -- recruiting a gang of strong cyclists to put 7 minutes on two-time defender Craig Alexander and neutralize his potent run, then played rope a dope with supremely fit and ready Andreas Raelert to set up a counter attack in the final miles. Then they traded the lead back and forth with Raelert later than any duel in Kona history before Macca put the hammer down with a mile to go. Finished in 8:10:37 - fifth fastest time in Kona history -- which would have put him right in between Mark and Dave in 1989 -- and thus became the second-oldest man (by a few months to Mark Allen's 1995 farewell 6th win) to win the sport's most precious title for the second time.
2. Rinny at IMH
Mirinda Carfrae erased all thoughts of an asterisk due to Chrissie Wellington's last second illness withdrawal thanks to her 4th-best-ever 8:58:36 time and quantum-leap, record-smashing 2:53:32 marathon.
3. Chrissie Wellington at Roth
Just six and a half months after her arm-breaking bike accident in Great Britain, Miss Wellington amazed with her 8:19:13 gender-paradigm-busting, women's Ironman-distance world best win at Challenge Roth - 12 minutes better than her previous record at Roth set the year before. Not to forget her also-women's-record-smashing 4:36:33 bike split and 2:48:54 marathon.
4. Amber Monforte at Ultraman
Reno, Nevada's Amber Monforte broke Tina Bischoff's 21-year-old Ultraman women's race record by 1 hour 38 minutes and 40 seconds with a sizzling 24:07:11 finish.
5. Snowy at Hy-Vee and Budapest
Coming off a yearlong hiatus due to injury and illness, Emma Snowsill overcame a lousy swim and outran the field by a minute for a come-from-behind win and her second $200,000 check at Hy-Vee. After sorting out nagging illness and injury, Snowy outran the ITU WCS Grand Final field by two minutes for her second huge win of 2010.
6. Brownlee at Budapest
After an up-and-down year following an early season femur break, Brownlee reprised his 2009 Grand Final winning duel with Javier Gomez to win at Budapest.
7. Tim Don at Hy-Vee
Timmy showed he could run with the true lions of running with a 28:56 10k on the roads that was only 1 minute slower than the legendary Haile Gebrselassie. Then Don showed his 2006 ITU World Championship was no fluke by running away from the field for the $200,000 top prize at Hy-Vee.
8. Shonny Vanlandingham at Maui
She took down three-time defending XTERRA World Champ Julie Dibens at Maui - at the age of 41.
Comebacks of the Year
1. Clayton Treska
Iraq war veteran and stage four cancer survivor finished Ironman Hawaii in 15:16:58.
2. Jordan Rapp
Almost killed March by a hit and run car. In November led much of the way and finished 4th at Ironman Arizona in 8:16:45.
3. Chrissie Wellington
After bike crash on January 2 left her bedridden then recovering until May, scored 8:19 world-best-time at Roth in July, then posted Ironman-best 8:31 at Tempe in November.
4. Alistair Brownlee
Out with a femur crack in February, wins WCS Madrid in June and takes WCS Grand Final in Budapest.
5. Emma Snowsill
Out a year with a glandular fever and leg injuries, wins $200,000 Hy-Vee and WCS Grand Final in Budapest
6. Virginia Berasategui
Bike crash in winter, takes 4th at Wildflower and 3rd at Ironman Hawaii.
7. Hunter Kemper
Out a year and half with injuries, wins Escape From Alcatraz.
Best age-graded performances
Finished Ironman Hawaii in 15:48:40 -- 33:15 faster than then 80-year Robert McKeague did in 2005. Hollander, who was a few months younger than McKeague when he was the first to break the 80-year-old barrier in 2005, said he would be back in 2011 to set the Ironman Hawaii record for oldest official finish.
Won the XTERRA World Championship in Maui at age 41, toppling defending three-time champion Julie Dibens in the process.
The 17-year-old, a champion junior triathlete, won the 2010 Footlocker high school cross country national championship in 14:59, becoming only the third person to win that title back-to-back.
1. Andreas Raelert
Guided brother Michael Raelert to his second straight Ironman 70.3 World Championship.
2. Brett Sutton
Coached Caroline Steffen to second places at IM South Africa, Ironman Frankfurt, and Ironman Hawaii.
3. Siri Lindley
Lindley guided Mirinda Carfrae to the Ironman World Championship -- and many Ironman 70.3 wins. She also guided Leanda Cave to her greatest long course year so far.
4. Dave Scott
Coached Chrissie Wellington to an Ironman-distance world best of 8:19 at Roth, and an official Ironman world-best of 8:31 at Ironman Arizona.
5. Omar Gonzales
Guided Javier Gomez to the ITU World Championship Series championship
6. Darren Smith
Guided Lisa Norden and Barbara Riveros-Diaz to success on the WCS circuit.
1. Paula Findlay
Canadian wins Monterrey ITU World Cup, ITU World Championship Series races in London and Kitzbuhel, took 5th at WCS Grand Final in Budapest.
2. Barbara Riveros-Diaz
Chilean wins Sydney WCS and places 2nd at Seoul WCS.
1. Paula Findlay
Won first World Cup at Monterrey, then first World Championship Series wins at London and Kitzbuhel.
2. Barbara Riveros-Diaz
Won first ITU World Championship Series race in Sydney
3. Jodie Swallow
Won Tongyeong, her first ITU World Cup. Followed with Ironman 70.3 World Championship to go with her 2009 ITU long course World title.
4. Sarah McLarty
Won the Life Time Fitness-Toyota Cup series championship
5. Stuart Hayes
Won his first WCS victory with a daring bike breakaway at Kitzbuhel.
6. Meredith Kessler took 2nd at Ironman St. George, 2nd at Ironman Coeur d'Alene, won Ironman Canada and took 4th at Ironman Arizona.
7. Cameron Dye
Won St. Anthony's
8. Andy Potts
Won his first Ironman at Coeur d'Alene in 8:24:40 and liked it so much he won IM Cozumel in course-record 8:15:57.
9. Linsey Corbin
Won her first Ironman at Coeur d'Alene in 9:17:54
Come from behind
1. Catriona Morrison at Ironman Lanzarote
Lost 45 minutes with a broken chain, was 26:37 behind at T2, then ran 3:04:36 to rocket from 9th to 1st, passing age grouper Louise Collins with just 3 km to go.
2. James Cunama at Rev3 Cedar Point
Five minutes back on the swim, lost 4 minutes due to penalty on the bike, came from 17 minutes back at T2 and ran 2:43:35 to win Rev 3 Cedar Point by 3 minutes over Jason Shortis.
Memorable swim performances
1. Hillary Biscay -- Ultraman Hawaii new women's record 2:20:48
2. Jonas Colting -- Ultraman Hawaii second-best-ever 2:16:04
Impressive bike splits
1. Chrissie Wellington at Challenge Roth world-best-ever 4:36:33
2. Stuart Hayes Kitzbuhel breakaway 1:00:42 -- 2 minutes faster than closest rivals.
3. Karin Thuerig IMH best-ever 4:48:22
4. Chrissie Wellington 4:47:06 at Ironman Arizona.
5. Chris Lieto IM Hawaii 3rd-best-ever 4:23:18
Superb running times
1. Mirinda Carfrae's record-smashing 2:53:32 marathon at Kona.
2. Rasmus Henning's 2:39:43 marathon at Challenge Roth
3. Chrissie Wellington's 2:48:54 marathon at Challenge Roth.
4. Emma Snowsill's 33:08 10k run at WCS Grand Final in Budapest - 1:57:faster than any other woman.
5. Caitlin Snow's 2:56:04 marathon was second-best-ever at IMH
6. Pete Jacobs' 3rd-best-ever 2:41:06 marathon at Kona.
7. Filip Ospaly's world-best-ever 1:08:50 triathlon half marathon at Austria Ironman 70.3
8. Chrissie Wellington's 2:52:56 marathon at Ironman Arizona
9. Craig Alexander's 2:41:59 6th-best-ever marathon at IMH.
10. Jan Frodeno and Courtney Atkinson's equal 29:08 runs (course slightly short) at WCS Seoul.
Triathlon's fifth biggest winner's checks
Bet you can’t guess who took home triathlon's fifth biggest winning paychecks of 2010. Mark Kruger of the Biggest Loser Season Five won $25,000 for finishing first of the Biggest Loser men's wave at the San Francisco Triathlon at Treasure Island in 2:47:32. Tara Costa won $25,000 for topping the Biggest Loser women's category at Treasure Island in 2:58:53. Biggest Loser broadcaster NBC paid the purse.
Triathlon's 12 biggest winning paychecks for 2010
1. Hy-Vee winners $200,000
2. Ironman Hawaii winners $110,000
3. Abu Dhabi International winners $50,000
4. Dextro Energy World Championship series Grand Finale winners $30,000
5. Biggest Loser top finishers San Francisco Triathlon at Treasure Island $25,000
6. Challenge Roth $20,055
7. XTERRA World Championship Maui $20,000
7. Rev3 Quassy $20,000
7. Lifetime Fitness-Toyota Cup Minneapolis $20,000
7. Lifetime Fitness-Toyota Cup Dallas $20,000
11. Rev3 Cedar Point $16,000
12. Ironman Frankfurt $15,000 USD
Adios - or not?
Luc Van Lierde
Yes - as a professional. At 41, Van Lierde has transitioned to coaching several training camps in Lanzarote and other venues in Europe, coaching a Belgian national junior squad, and coaching nine amateurs for a television project called Code Roth - preparing them for their first Ironman distance event. "Between all these projects, I’m trying to stay in shape and do some local national and/or international races… as age grouper!"
Not yet. In 2010, Badmann tried to work out more than coach and life partner Toni Hasler advised and through overtraining contracted Epstein Barr virus and had to withdraw from Kona to rest and recuperate. In 2011, she has agreed to obey coach Toni to the letter and plans resume her competitive career at age 44 in Ironman South Africa.
Yes - at Kona only. DeBoom stated that his 33rd place at Kona in 2010 would be his last. But the 40-year-old has scheduled an ambitious set of interesting races including the Norseman Extreme.
He says it's over. Just 34, the mighty mite from Melbourne possessed an ultra-exciting, all-or-nothing style which earned Robbo ITU World Titles in 2001 at Edmonton, 2003 at Queensland, and in 2005 at Gamagori to go with silver medals at Perth in 2000 and Cancun in 2002. Robertson also earned a bronze at the 2006 Commonwealth Games at home in Melbourne. But Robertson's proudest moment came in 2000 when the 50th-or-higher ranked longshot topped half a dozen far more famous and accomplished countrymen to win his one and only chance to make his home country Olympic team with a win-or-go-home victory at the Sydney World Cup. Did we say all-or-nothing? Robertson's gambling style did not pay off in the 2000 and 2004 Olympics - he finished 34th at Sydney and 24th at Athens.
USAT Executive director, was pushed out in what sources described as "a palace coup." In his 5 and 1/2 year tenure, he increased USAT revenues to $12 million. The federation's all-important rainy day fund—there in case the cyclical nature of liability insurance suffers a down cycle — grew from about $2 million to north of $6 million. The number of annual members grew from about 60,000 to its current 135,000.
USAT High Performance Director left USAT in August for a similar position with USOC.
Ended: Craig Walton- Emma Snowsill (2003-2009); Conrad Stoltz-Amber Monforte (2006-2010); Cliff English-Samantha McGlone (2005-2010).
Started: Emma Snowsill-Jan Frodeno; Desiree Ficker-Phillip Graves
Andreas Raelert and brother Michael Raelert at Ironman Hawaii -- Michael gave accurate splits to Chris McCormack while his brother was fighting with Macca for the win. Andreas shook hands with Macca with two and a half miles to go. After losing, Andreas smiled and said it was an honor to be in such a magnificent duel with the Australian.
Race car drivers -- Jenson Button,2009 Formula One Champion raced 2010 London Triathlon. Indy Car drivers Tony Kanaan and Vitor Meira finished the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Clearwater.
Actors and athletes -- Teri Hatcher of Desperate Housewives, James Marsden, who played Cyclops in X-Men, film actor Giovanni Ribisi, Rules of Engagementstar Megyn Price, and Law & Order: Los Angeles actor Travis Van Winkle competed in the Nautica Malibu Triathlon.
Actress Eliza Dushku of Dollhouse, former Laker basketball player Rick Fox, NBC’s Today Show correspondent Natalie Morales competed at Nautica South Beach Triathlon. Carolina Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams ran with the kids in the Nautica Tot Trot and Kids Run
at Nautica South Beach 2010
Epic5 Challenge: Richard Roll and 2009 ESPY award winner Jason Lester thought that completing five Ironman-distance courses on five consecutive days on the five major Hawaiian islands was just the thing to do to inspire folks to donate to charity. By the time they were done with the 12 miles of swimming 560 miles of biking and 131 miles of running on May 10, the proceeds will ultimately fund the creation of Lester's "The Never Stop Performance Center" in Kailua–Kona in 2012.
Challenge Copenhagen: The new Ironman distance event held on the picturesque streets of the elegant capital of Denmark, drew 1,600 entries and a strong pro field featuring Rebekah Keat's impressive 8:54 finish.
Rev3 Cedar Point: Pros loved the money $16,000 to win and $100,000 total purse. Some especially liked the amusement park that would allow family and supporters a break from the rigors of a long Ironman-distance day.
Tri Grand Prix Basque Country: Got a rave review from Catriona Morrison: "Pretty tough little cookie -- point-to-point ocean swim round the coastline with some pretty large swells and only two buoys the whole way. Three-lap bike course rolling first lap. The last 20k was epic - kind of like the beast in St Croix multiplied by 2 and then another 3k steady climb shortly after that. Great honest course - very, very pretty."
Triathlon admitted to 2016 Paralympic Games
Triathlon has been accepted into the Paralympic Games and will debut at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. ITU has supported the development of Paratriathlon for more than 15 years and has held Paratriathlon World Championships every year since 1995.
WTC goes short course
World Triathlon Corporation, owners of the Ironman series of triathlons, announced in October its foray into short-course racing. The new distance (actually Olympic distance) is called 5150 (or 5i50), with Ironman's ubiquitous dot over an "i", reminiscent of its M-dot logo. While they proudly announced that athletes would have the opportunity to compete for "$1 million in prize money," at least $750,000 of that figure will be accounted for by WTC's inclusion of the high-dollar Hy-Vee Triathlon, with 15 other established (Miami International, St. Anthony's, Memphis in May, Washington DC, Boulder Peak, Nautica New York) and new races (5150 New Orleans, 5150 Provo, 5150 Lake Lanier, 5150 Lake Las Vegas, 5150 Galveston, 5150 Clearwater - plus international 5150 races in Frankfurt, Klagenfurt and Zurich) to account for the rest.
Triathlon to the rescue!
The crew of the Greek tanker Triathlon, while sailing 193 nautical miles northwest of Bermuda, spotted a flare set off by the crew of the 41-foot ketch Emma Goldman which had been dismasted in a storm and adrift for 12 days. The crew rescued Captain Dennis White, 64, and Amanda Thorns, 25, daughter of William Thorns, who died in the storm.
Volcano affects IM South Africa field
Widespread volcanic ashes cancel flights in Europe and IM SA loses 10 percent of the field.
Swim, bike, run, wrestle an alligator
Doug McCard, a 35-year-old sales associate for A-1 Septic in Kissimmee, Florida was attacked by an alligator just as he was beginning a May 16 swim training session for a planned Half Ironman in June. “It was a real hard hit and I felt the teeth,” McCard told a news conference at Orlando Regional Medical Center about the incident in Lake Mary Jane in Moss Park. “I started thinking to myself …I can’t believe a gator is biting me.” McCard stood up in the shallow brackish waters and started to swing his elbows. “I got in a pretty good elbow to the head and he released me,” he said of the gator he estimated to be between 8 and 10 feet in length. Witnesses said they heard McCard screaming and yelling and running out of the water bleeding from the chest. The gator landed five puncture wounds to McCard’s right shoulder, one to his hip, and a few more to his back. McCard, described as an “alligator aware" Florida native who had been swimming in Florida lakes “thousands of times,” said thinks he startled the alligator and it reacted by chomping him.
Best new name
Quintana Roo's prototype frame -- Project Illicito
Best family finishes
Bella and Stephen Bayliss win ITU Long course World Series race in Ibiza Spain
Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee at Budapest ITU WCS Grand Final -- Alistair takes Elite, Jonathan takes U23.
Inspiring Marc Herremans ad -- Herremans, who rose from a paralyzing January 2002 bike crash to become the 2006 physically challenged Ironman World Champion, is featured in a Johnny Walker advertising campaign with the tag line "When your reality changes, your dreams don’t have to."
Hawaii Five-0 episode centers on "doping, thieving, lunatic triathletes": PR mavens always say: Any pub is good pub. So no worries triathletes about a Fall episode of the revived Hawaii Five-O in which a gang of four super-fit triathletes on steroids plan a multi-million dollar jewel heist to take place in the middle of the "Koko Crater Classic Triathlon." Most of the tri action is filmed at Ala Moana Beach Park -- the "Koko Crater Classic" swim start is rendered by stock helicopter footage from the Waikiki Roughwater Swim. The Hawaii Five-0 good guys and gals (Kono, Chin Ho, Danno and McGarrett) tackles or kung-fued the Bad Gang of Four at Kawaiahao Plaza, by the Honolulu Advertiser printing facility, Chinatown and the Ala Moana Beach Park.
Aussie sportswriter says tris rate, if not rule
Jon Anderson of Melbourne's Herald Sun rated the top 50 international sports stars and two triathletes made the list.
Triathlete Emma Moffatt of Australia was ranked 28th, behind USA tennis star Serena Williams (19) Australian surf champion Stephanie Gilmore (25), and Australian basketball star Lauren Jackson (26) but ahead of USA Olympic gold medal skier Lindsay Vonn (29) and USA track star Allyson Felix (42).
Triathlete Javier Gomez of Spain was 44th, behind Spanish tennis start Rafael Nadal (1) but ahead of USA footballer Michael Vick (45) and Spain's Tour de France winner Alberto Contador (46).
Deaths in Triathlon
Sandra de la Garza Aguilar, 36, from St. Bruno de Montarville; Christine Deschamps, 44 and Lyn Duhamel, 39, from Boucherville -- were killed when hit from behind by a pickup truck in Rougemont, Quebec near Montreal in May. They were members of the Saint-Lambert Triathlon Club and were riding single file along a straight stretch along Highway 112 in Rougemont near Montreal, about 40 km into a 140 km ride. De la Garza Aguilar and Deschamps were training for Ford Ironman Lake Placid, while Duhamel was getting ready for Subaru Ironman Canada. Three other cyclists in the group were seriously injured but survived the crash.
"This has caused a huge shockwave in the triathlon and cycling community here," said Marc Flageole, Lyn Duhamel's husband. Because he had to work, he was unable to join the rest of the group on their long ride to Sherbrooke for the training camp - he was to follow a few hours later with all their gear in his car.
Nicole Baird Bucholz, 24
Bucholz suffered an apparent seizure during the bike leg of the Jacksonville Sprint Series Triathlon in Fernandina Beach, Florida.
Dick Valentino, 40
A Prospect Run mail carrier with a wife and two sons, disappeared during the Philadelphia Insurance Triathlon swim Saturday June 26, 2010. He was found dead in the river 34 hours later.
Sir Christopher Moran, 54
The Royal Air Force Air Chief Marshal and President of the Royal Air Force Triathlon Club, died this May after collapsing on the running leg of the RAF sprint triathlon at the Brize Norton air base in Oxfordshire, Great Britain. Moran was Deputy Chief of NATO in Afghanistan - the second most senior officer in the RAF. Moran was a Harrier pilot and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He is survived by his wife Elizabeth, two daughters at university and a son in school.
Ian Sloss, 64
The retired Air Commodore collapsed during the swim at the London Triathlon and died after spending two days on life support in a London hospital.
Leslie Chariton, 60
The Coeur d'Alene, Idaho resident suffered a heart attack during the swim portion of the Hayden View Triathlon in late July and was pronounced dead at the Kootenai Medical Center.
Marc Surprenant, 49 -- a triathlon star during the mid-1980s, died on 25 May. Marc was an original "Beast from the East" at a time when most top triathletes hailed from and lived in California. As was the case with most triathletes of that era, he was competitive across all distances. He finished 8th in the Hawaiian Ironman in 1986, and second at Ironman New Zealand. But it was his shorter course talent that made him a top-10 -- and maybe top-5 -- triathlete across all distances during the middle of triathlon's formative decade. He appeared on the cover of Triathlete Magazine, and his swimming/cycling prowess meant he appeared at the front of every race he entered.
Jim MacLaren, 47 -- died August 30, ending a life of tremendous talent, inspiration, pain and loss that he refused to limit or define him. At age 21, he was a 6-5, 300 pound All-American defensive tackle and a handsome and talented actor at the Yale School of Drama. The next year he was riding a motorcycle in New York City when he got hit by a 40,000 pound bus. His lower leg was gone, but he worked hard to reinvented and re-sculpted himself as an endurance athlete and set physically challenged records of 3:16 in the marathon and 10:42 at Ironman Hawaii in 1987. Thereafter he built a career as a motivational speaker and continued to pursue triathlon. In June 1993, he was hit by a van at the Orange County Performing Arts Triathlon and broke his neck. Doctors said he was would be a quadriplegic for the rest of his life, but MacLaren fought hard to rehab his body and achieved a remarkable degree of feeling and movement and continued important work for the Challenged Athletes Foundation. In 2005 MacLaren and Ghanaian amputee Ofosu Yeboah were given the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs.
Juan Antonio Samaranch, 89 -- The former chief of the International Olympic Committee who approved Olympic entry of triathlon died in April. He was widely credited with renewing and fundamentally changing the landscape of the Olympic Movement, and was instrumental in triathlon’s entry to the Olympic Games. Samaranch was elected as IOC President at the 83rd IOC Session in Moscow in the summer of 1980 and held the position for 21 years. In 1988, Samaranch first called ITU founding president Les McDonald and asked him to front the movement to lobby for triathlon’s appearance in the Olympic Games. Samaranch ultimately saw the sport admitted into the Olympic movement and debuted at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.
Renee Nicholls, 27 – This bright, rising star from Australia sustained massive head injuries during a training ride on February 27 and was removed from life support the next day. A physical training instructor with the Australian Defence Force since the age of 22, Nicholls burst upon the age group triathlon scene in 2008 with podium finishes at Geelong 70.3 and Ironman Western Australia and Ironman Australia. In 2009, she won the highly competitive 25-29 age group by 9 minutes at the Ironman World Championship in Kona and decided to apply for a professional license. Nicholls touched many, many people with her enthusiasm and positive energy as evidenced by the outpouring of grief and love seen on her Facebook memorial page. In a phone interview with IronmanLive.com’s Gaylia Osterlund a few weeks before her death, Nicholls said: “My glass is not just half full, it’s overflowing. Sometimes I feel like I need to dump it out and share it with, well, everyone.”
Jim Douglas -- a Zipp employee since 2002, died when the bridal van he was traveling in was involved in a crash in Indianapolis, Indiana June 5. Douglas first worked for Zipp as a Customer Service Representative. He later became International Sales Representative, stepped up to become the SRAM Road Program Manager and most recently had taken on the role as the Zipp Wheel Product Manager.
John E. du Pont, 72 -- Multi millionaire who supported prominent Philadelphia-area triathletes including Jeff Devlin, Ken Glah, Steve Fitch, Brooks Clark and Joy Hansen Leutner on his Team Foxcatcher in the early 1990s, died December 9 in a Pennsylvania prison Thursday. Du Pont was 72 serving a 13 to 30 year sentence for third degree murder in the January 26, 1996 shooting death of 1984 gold medal winning Olympic freestyle wrestler Dave Schultz.