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#36: Lucy & Paula & Emma & Sebi
How many races is too many races?
issue #36: May 24, 2023
All-sporters, it was good to say hi to a few of you in Morro Bay. And it was good (?) to be back at a regular Ironman race, back at a regular 70.3 for the first time in awhile. (I’ve largely only been at championship events for work the last couple of years, or at a handful of local things.) It was also a solid new event. Very central California coast and I saw many sea otters. This is assuming Ironman can be OK with a race staying at 2,000 people and not cancel it simply because it’ll never be massively huge, since I don’t see how it could expand much with the capacity limitations. (The local paper I picked up at the bar said they have a three-year contract, with the tourism bureau paying $30K the first two years & $25K the last year + the city covering police and staff costs.)
For me, personally, though, the race was what it was. I had to drop out halfway through the run and that’s never ideal. I tell you this not for sympathy—you do the best with what you’ve got on the day and I didn’t have it—but because I’m still dealing with hormone dysfunction caused by my concussion back in January. (And as anyone who’s ever gone through menopause will tell you, hormones sorta affect everything.) This is an fyi because: 1. I’ve heard from a number of you who were glad to know they weren’t the only ones dealing with the consequences of vagal blacking out episodes, 2. this is your general everyday reminder that sometimes things suck and that’s fine, and 3. concussions are no joke—it’s like having an injury that’s not really fully healed and I had to pull out to prevent permanent damage, but the injury is my brain.
That’s also my long-winded way of saying: I’m on vacation now, camping in the woods in Big Sur, and walked up to the library to use their wi-fi to send this out. So this week’s newsletter is short(ish). We’ll be back with the usual Triathlonish analysis next week.
One of the main things I’ve been doing on vacation this week is pouring over’s book, Up to Speed. Join us for our first Book Club & read it!
Results from the races
We’ll focus primarily today on the many many (way too many) races this past weekend. First up, because I always care about U.S. things the most…
Sometimes it can seem like every week is the same names, same idea, shuffle the location and the order. And I’m not saying that’s not the case. But also, you know, you just described how sports work. Some weeks some people do better than others.
Paula Findlay and Sarah True jumped into Chattanooga, adding themselves to the list of women who were also at St. George 70.3 two weeks ago. What we got then was similar names, different order. Paula took the tape by over five minutes, after pulling away on the bike. She really is very good at the 70.3 distance, and it’s always nice to see her looking happy and strong these days—and to see her follow up a fine day in Ibiza (5th place) with a win here. Danielle Lewis and Jeannie Metzler switched positions from Utah and went second and third. I think we have to acknowledge Danielle, at this point, has turned herself into a very legit mid-distance racer, far from the days of her medium-controversial start. And then Sarah, who is the busiest pro in triathlon, came off the end of her semester studying for her PhD and ran her way just into fourth, ahead of Skye Moench by seven seconds. Will be good to see what Sarah does this summer off some sleep. It was a very intense race (if you’re an O+ member, you can watch the replay); second through fifth were 66 seconds apart, which would give me panic attacks if I was one of them.
Now, over to Europe.
Doesn’t everyone just assume that when a pro says they had a mechanical what they mean is their electronic shifting malfunctioned but they don’t want to say that because of sponsor obligations? Turns out that’s not always the case!
It sounds like India Lee rocked her first major title on a fixed gear after her shifting went out. (No idea what she rides or what happened, but she did say she lost all of her gears.) We can debate all we want about how much a championship it is if it’s self-declared, but aren’t they all self-declared to a degree? And there was still $100K and PTO “Gold” level points up for grabs. So, go India!
On the men’s side, it was the first of a few results this weekend where we all had to learn a new name. This time, it’s winner Mathis Margirier. (He previously took second at Gran Canaria and second at Lanzarote 70.3, and one has to think he will eventually leave the Spanish isles.)
In Germany, Lucy Charles-Barclay also had a mechanical. But it sounds like it was her aerobars coming loose?!? (Wild speculation is key here.) After the whole ‘will she-won’t she’ Brexit overstaying your visa debate, Lucy made a whirlwind 48-hour trip to blow the last two days she had to use in Europe. YOLO, but also: What’s her plan now for the rest of the season?
And, anyway, alas, all the yolo-ing wasn’t enough to top Laura Philipp, who has been quite dominant at the races she wasn’t too sick to start. Laura barely beat Lucy to the line in Kraigchau, who just outran Ellie Salthouse. This time, first through third were 53 seconds apart.
The new name you need to learn in this men’s race: Winner Rico Bogen, who bested Patrick Lange and put that immediately at the top of his resume.
At Pays d’Aix 70.3
In France, Emma Pallant-Browne ran a 1:16:50 to just hold off Tamara Jewett running a 1:13:28. Word is Tamara crashed twice, but still pulled that off. Women’s racing: it’s just better.
And this time the name is: Dylan Magnien, who finished his first race of 2023 and also won it.
There were actually two other long-distance races this weekend and a Xterra World Cup and a handful of World Tri smaller events, so I’m only going to note two (OK, three) more things:
If you thought the days of Sam Laidlow blowing himself up off the front were over since getting second at Kona, you were wrong! (Sam got pulled from the marathon at IM Lanzarote. Part of me respects the style.)
Also, Cam Wurf is legit badass and was third.
Sebi Kienle got another meh penalty at another Challenge event and this time threw his bike and laid down on the side of the road. He later apologized, but I actually feel him on this. Pros, they’re just like us.
Rest of the many, many results are on our Results page.
Mark your calendars
WTCS Cagliari: The WTCS circuit is non-stop now, on to Italy! It’s big names every weekend since the season is in full swing: Beth Potter is back (but no Sophie Coldwell) and both Katie Zaferes and Gwen Jorgensen rolled off the waitlist, which is excited/nerve-wracking. And we actually do have Alex Yee, Hayden Wilde, Vasco Vilaca, all the Norwegians and French men, and the high likelihood of a pack race.
Ironman Brazil: The only race we really care about this weekend—because we all need to send Sid happy vibes and wish her good mechanical luck!
A few of the things from our sports that I thought were interesting. (This week it’s not all the things, just some.)
CORRECTION: Last week, we said Rosa Maria Tapia Vidal was the first Mexican athlete on a WTCS podium. There was actually a Mexican man on a podium in Yokohama back in 2016. Thanks to sharp-eyed reader, Ian Hoffman, for pointing this out. (Triathlonish/World Triathlon)
World Triathlon has gone out for bids for host cities for its 2024 events, if you wanna get in on that. America, I’m looking at you! (World Triathlon)
There’s a new Buenos Aires 70.3. I might go just to sing the song from Evita. (Ironman)
USAT is also asking for nominations to their Board of Directors. (USAT)
Rick Hoyt passed away this week from respiratory complications. Rick, and his father Dick, were famous for their many Boston Marathons competed with Rick in a wheelchair and for being the first wheelchair team in Kona (and for fighting for inclusion for everyone). They were inducted into the Ironman Hall of Fame and there is a memorial road race this weekend. (Boston 25/Triathlete/Race Roster)
A couple of weeks ago, Aleksandr Sorokin broke his own 100K world record with a time of 6:05:35. (iRunFar)
This 6th grade math teacher will likely represent the U.S. at the Marathon World Championships. (Runner’s World)
On the other end of the spectrum: This story on women in Afghanistan now being unable to recreate outdoors or even exercise was incredibly anger-inducing. And made me appreciate even more Zeinab Rezaie’s effort to represent Afghan women in triathlon—and how hard it was for her to leave in the chaos as the Taliban took over and, now, how it must feel worrying for her family. (Outside/Triathlonish/Sports Illustrated)
Russia is trying to annex Ukrainian athletes into their central sports system as well. (Escape Collective)
The Olympic marathon qualifying process makes no sense and is dumb. I say this as someone who understand the process more than most people. (Twitter)
Wahoo has bought back its debt from the banks. File this under ‘the many ways raising capital from equity firms is almost always not going to work out for you.’ (DC Rainmaker)
It appears Ironman has stopped body-marking, which I was thinking about this weekend and a little bit want to do a deep dive on. So was happy to see: Why do we still wear bib numbers? (New York Times)
The view from the back of the pack. (New York Times)