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AgeGroupTriSm.gif (3325 bytes)      1998 World AG Championships
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AGPhotos 98 ITU World Championships
Lausanne, Switzerland

Age group athletes arrived at the transition area well before dawn wearing warm ups as shielding against a cool Lausanne morning. The over-50 women were scheduled as the first wave start at 7:00 a.m. That time was pushed back until 7:10 and all the over-40 women launched the age group race together.


20-24 age groupers make last-minute preparations.

98WagTrans01.jpg (22835 bytes)

98WMagBike01.jpg (20007 bytes) The bike was the most talked about aspect of the world's course. Although none of the climbs were punishingly long, the narrow streets and 17-percent grade that awaited in downtown Lausanne had to be completed four times.


Age groupers climb away from the transition area and head for downtown Lausanne.

Like barrel riding in a rodeo, runners had to loop past the finish-area chute twice before completing the race. Spectators and racers alike had the opportunity to keep tabs on the field and watch the competition reach its climax.




Hynek Oklestek, 40-44, anchors himself as he whips around the run turnaround.

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98WMeaKar01.jpg (6708 bytes)98WMeaKar02.jpg (10636 bytes) Worlds was to be a family affair for Karen Meader-Starets, 35-39, but tragedy struck just days before the race when her father in law passed away in Lausanne. With husband Tim still on the course, ninth-place Meader- Starets crossed the finish line and confronted the emotions of a race dedicated to Dad.

Karen Meader-Starets, competing for the emotions of life.

Karen Chequer-Pfeiffer, 40-44, and Jo Garuccio, 45-49, earned a bronze and a gold between them. Chequer-Pfeiffer, starting in the first wave, was the first person out of Lac Leman for the day with a 21:24 swim split.


Karen Chequer-Pfeiffer and Jo Garuccio, all smiles after their races.

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98WBetJB01.jpg (13321 bytes) It's the worst. Walking into the transition in the dark and discovering that your tire is flat. That's where J. B. Betzold, Team USA's bike mechanic and part-time psychologist shines. No problem, relax, it'll be okay. And it is.





J. B. Betzold glues together the pre-race anxieties of Team USA.

Tim Yount, deputy director of USA Triathlon and one of the most well-liked administrators in the triathlon world, can call virtually every amateur athlete on Team USA by name.

Tim Yount takes a break in front of Team USA juniors during a photo session.

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Bells, bells and more bells can be found throughout Switzerland. These traditionally clad bell ringers helped ring in the opening ceremony for worlds.




Ringing in the race in Lausanne

World's is more than just another race for the nearly one thousand age groupers who attend the event each year. It is an opportunity to build world-wide friendships and see how individual amateur athletics can thrive in environments not dominated by the NBA and NFL.

Canadians flaunt their national pride during pre-race ceremonies.

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98WTayCin01.jpg (17177 bytes) New Zealand's Cindy Taylor, 40-44, had an easy master's win last year in Perth, leading from the start and never looking back. This year it was different. One minute behind Karen Chequer-Pfeiffer after the swim,  Taylor and Canadian Edie Fisher used faster transitions and barely faster bikes to make it a three-woman race into the run. Taylor pulled away from both and crossed the line 0:58 ahead of last year's second-place finisher Fisher and 1:57 in front of Chequer-Pfeiffer.



Cindy Taylor, top master two years running.

1998 AG Worlds     AG Home