look at the nine US gold medallists from the ITU
Triathlon World Championships
Todd Wiley just kept getting faster
as he took on the largest amateur field at worlds.
Exiting the water 25th out of 94 racers, Wiley clocked
the fourth fastest bike and the second fastest run to
finish in 2:04:06. His time was the third fastest
overall age group performance for the day. Lukas
Zgraggen, 30-34, 2:03:21, and Christof Hauser, 20-24,
2:03:38, were the only racers to cover the Lausanne
course more quickly than Wiley.
Wiley picks up the pace en route to the youngest
An elite-class swim (19:57), second
fastest by an AG for the day, put Karen Dehmel out in
front for the duration of her race. Once she exited
the water, Dehmel blistered the hilly streets of
Lausanne on her bike then fell less than six seconds
shy of a sub-40 10k. She crossed the finish 2:46 ahead
of second-place American Catherine Payson who
out-biked and out-ran Dehmel but was never able to
make up a three-minute swim deficit. Dehmel's
time was just 1:01 short of the fastest amateur finish
for the day.
Dehmel capped an elite-class swim with a solid bike
and run in her never-look-back victory.
Last year Peter Kain staved off a
finish-line sprint by Australian Michael Anderson to
become the 30-34 world champion by one second. If he
hadn't won that race Kain would have been sitting in
the States instead of winning his second consecutive
gold. Kain failed to qualify for worlds at the USAT
National Age Group Championships due to a
controversial course violation and disqualification.
Fortunately, worlds victors get an automatic in to the
following year's championships. This year Kain earned
his gold with a comparatively relaxed 0:38.8 margin
over Swiss Reto Schawalder.
Kain closing in on his second consecutive gold.
Jo Garuccio was not happy with her
bronze medal finish at last year's worlds in Perth.
Allergy induced asthma kept her sucking wind
throughout the race with no prayer for a first place
finish and hopes for a silver medal lost to New
Zealander Dian Bell in the final kilometer of the run.
At USAT Nationals in June, Garuccio saw her lead off
the bike evaporate on the heels of eventual winner
Karen McKeachie. Memories of those two races inspired
the four-time world champion to crank through
Lausanne's hills with the fastest bike split in her
age group (1:18:45.5) and put enough padding between
her and the field to earn her a fifth gold.
Garuccio enters the chute for her fifth worlds win.
Susan Bradley-Cox posted a
championship victory last year in Perth by bettering
German Ingrid Menschig by almost 11 minutes. Menschig
was also her closest competition this year and the gap
narrowed--to nine and a half minutes. Bradley-Cox
bettered the eight-racer field in every category
(including transitions) except the run, where she was
second to Menschig by a minute. Her strength is the
swim. The sexagenarian's 2:54:57 would have placed her
in the top seven of the 50-54 age group.
Bradley-Cox pedaling to a comfortable win..
Ruth Kazez has always raced in
Madonna Buder's shadow, but this year's bike course
through the hilly streets of old Lausanne worked to
her advantage. Kazez climbed and descended through
Lausanne 10 minutes quicker than Buder and also gained
valuable time in T1. Even though Buder clocked a run
that was nearly nine minutes faster than Kazez, the
new champion still won her age group with eight
minutes to spare.
Kazez at the finish area turn around.
Only one member of this year's
seven-man 70-74 field attended world's in Perth,
Vaughn Kimbrough from the US. But it was another
American that threatened Ken Nash's gold medal. Robert
Eazor was only 1:44 behind Nash after the swim and he
posted bike and run times that made up over a minute.
But it wasn't enough. Nash stayed out of reach and
completed the race 57 seconds in front of Kimbrough.
Nash holding on to his lead through the run.
He's been confused with Jim Ward,
but Bill Schweizer has carved out his own niche in the
age group triathlon world. The only racer in this
year's 75-79 category, Schweizer faced a much more
imposing competitor than most of the people at
worlds--the clock of age. Although Schweizer's
presence in Lausanne didn't necessarily show that
senior racing makes that clock stand still, he did
help demonstrate that it can be fun to keep pace with
Schweizer in the finish area.
Joanita Reed is doing for women
what Jim Ward and Bill Schweizer have done for men,
proving that life is the real competition in this
world. Reed's overall time of 3:44:14 was faster than
nine younger racers and her run topped three times
that many. Reed's victory in the one-person field
demonstrated an impressive drive for life. When is she
going to stop racing? "When I'm 10-feet
Reed competing with life.