#53: No rest for the weary
Or the wary. Either way.
issue #53: Sept. 20, 2023
It’s been a year (!) since we started this newsletter—which has changed and grown and changed again in a lot of ways over the last year. I’d say something deeper, but it’s the thick of triathlon season and I’m grinding, and I’m sure you’re grinding, that’s what this time of year is about.
Two quick things this week:
Book Club: Announced this quarter’s book this past Sunday. We’re going to read ‘Sidelined’! We’re also going to change up how we’re doing Book Club—and will be hosting threads to talk about the book over the coming weeks before our usual final Zoom Q&A. All Book Club posts and threads can be found here. Get the book and get reading; we’ll start in a couple of weeks.
Audio notes: Since people hate reading words on pages (I’ve been told) and we all have too many emails, another thing we’re going to try is simple audio versions of these free weekly newsletters. These audio versions will be available just to our paying subscribers. Basically, it’s a perk for you—narrated by me. We’ll see if you hate it, and if you do, then we’ll change it. But also: FYI, that’s why the post format is slightly odd if you’re a free subscriber (because of how the system works in order to add paywalled audio at the top) & honestly, it might not work (fingers crossed)—but nothing else changed.
Now, a short one this week.
A break in the action. Oh wait, just kidding
I said that we’d get a nice little break now before Women’s Kona, but I was lying. Instead, it’s time to turn our attention back to short course—which is always more exciting to watch anyway. (Don’t tell the Ironman athletes.)
It’s time this weekend for the World Triathlon Championship Final. Which is only a slightly less confusing name than what it used to be called.
Along with the world title on the line (sure, sure, more on that in a second), we also have: THE NEXT OLYMPIC QUALIFYING RACE *cue drama* And, as I said in last week’s newsletter, we’ve got a last-minute spanner in the works: Gwen Jorgensen has rolled onto the start list.
[What follows is heavily about the U.S. You have been warned.]
A podium this weekend in Pontevedra earns an automatic spot onto next year’s Olympic team for the top American. What that means—and this is always the drama in Olympic qualifying and it’s also what we, as Americans, believe in so deeply—is that it doesn’t matter how you did last year or last month or last week, all that matters is how you do now on the day. So, for sure, Gwen could pull out a rabbit here.
But so could any of the other six Americans on the start list. My money has to be on Taylor Spivey or Katie Zaferes, of course. However. However! Summer Rappaport can deliver when it matters in these kinds of events. And Kirsten Kasper is always solid. And the young Americans, Erika Ackerland and Gina Sereno, are actually higher ranked than Gwen. (Gina’s my pick for LA2028.)
This is why we race. Or, at least it’s why we watch races.
The other race happening within the race is, of course, the actual race for the world title. World Triathlon has made these handy graphics to explain who the leading contenders are for the overall title. World title is determined by points over the series, but this finals race is worth more points towards the title.
In essence, Beth Potter and Cassandre Beaugrand are so close in points that whoever wins will probably win overall. Ditto for Hayden Wilde and Alex Yee. (Beth also needs another podium to lock down her Paris spot for Team GB.)
But, you never know, we could have a repeat of last year’s chaotic final and a completely unexpected World Triathlon Championship Series winner.
I think this explanation of what each person needs in order to win is probably the clearest:
How to watch: On TriathlonLive
Men: Saturday at 8 a.m. PT/11 a.m. ET
Women: Sunday at 7:30 a.m. PT/10:30 a.m. ET
Para athletes: Friday at 11:50 p.m. PT/Saturday at 2:50 a.m. ET
Ironman Maryland: Alice Alberts is really on a roll all of a sudden, isn’t she? (And, the 50-year-old Mel McQuaid continues to podium in her warm-up for Kona.)
Challenge Samarkand: Oddly had Ellie Salthouse beating Emma Pallant-Browne (by quite a bit, I have to assume something was off), and Fred Funk winning. Who knew.
But race of the weekend was….Michigan 70.3! Tamara Jewett ran another 1:15 to win—which is getting almost normal? Jackie Hering was fast behind her, but I gotta give a shoutout to Robyn Pomeroy in third, who took over three years off before returning to the pro field earlier this year. And, on the men’s side, Lionel Sanders sprinted for the finish—which is also getting almost normal? But this time, Jackson Laundry topped him.
See all the results on our Results page.
Some interesting things in our sports you should know about this week.
There will be no pro race at CLASH Daytona—which, apparently, was announced a few weeks ago but I just caught it. Kinda a shame.
Yes, the famous Malibu Triathlon might be canceled this year. (It’s scheduled for the end of the month.) Everyone is quite hung up on the fact that it may be because of endangered fish in a flooded underpass—but I think the bigger problem is it sounds like the organizers weren’t told they needed a new plan in time for the plan to be approved. FFS, Malibu, get it together. Not sure yet what that means for the Super League race that happens in conjunction. (KTLA)
The Diamond League final, at Pre’s Classic in Oregon, was this past weekend and we got a new 5,000m world record for the women (14:00), a pole vault world record for the men, an 800m American record from a happier Athing Mu (1:54.97), and an absolutely historic 3:43 mile between Jakob Ingebrigtsen and Yared Nuguse—so historic it’s even prompted memes about the NBC call. (Youtube/NBC Sports/Tiktok/Instagram)
Lachlan Morton covered the Tour Divide in 12 days, 12 hours, and 21 minutes. (The Radavist)
There were a lot of cycling celebs (and, yes, also disgraced cycling celebs) in Nice, including Alexander Vinokurov who won his age group in 9:35. (Bicycling)
We talked about the weird focus on aerodynamic socks and whether or not that actually pans out, and I know Sam won, but it really seems like the math here can’t be good. (Instagram)
A look at Rudy Von Berg’s race in Nice. (Triathlete)
And pro Lydia Dant, who is giving away her prize money. (Triathlete)
Jess Learmouth had her baby. (Instagram)
Can a woman with MS and a pacemaker finish Kona? (The Seattle Times)
How to “train like a Norwegian.” Because, apparently, we’re still obsessed with that. (Triathlete)
State of the Sport podcast from two major running RDs. (Audible)
The One Water Race summary video doc. How hard is this race? (Youtube)
Lots of prepping for Kona youtubes: Fenella Langridge, Ruth Astle, Lucy Charles-Barclay, and I enjoyed Fiona Moriarty’s testing of the chest water bottle. (Youtube)
Gravel hosted its first nationals in the U.S. a couple weeks ago, and UCI Gravel Worlds is getting ready for its second year. The vibe of gravel is changing. (Velo)
GCN might be up for sale? (Escape Collective)
And, Mayor Pete did a 70.3. (Twitter)
One last thing
There’s a universal rule that if any woman asks another woman for a hair tie or tampon, you have to give it to them—especially in sports settings. Coco Gauff knows.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to Triathlonish to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.