I always enjoy seeing you guys challenge yourselves. Whether it's with a new distance, new event, ambitious goal - it's what I admire most about this group. You have moxie. And it causes a chain reaction, because when one person does something totally awesome, it inspires others to do the same.
That was certainly the case this weekend, as we saw some entrees into the world of multisport events. At the Diamond in the Rough Triathlon, Suzanne Hurst said forget the sprint, I want to do the International...as her first ever tri! Suzanne swam a lot last year as she prepared for the virtual Swim Across America, picked up a road bike and off she went. No surprise, she blazed the run (34:30 for 5 miles) and finished 8th woman overall and WON her age group! She put almost 20 minutes into her husband, Sam, who was also competing in his first ever tri. They were both all smiles after the race, and I suspect we'll see a lot more from them in the sport.
Tom Stack also competed, finishing 13th in 2:14:03. He had a cramping issue pop up in the water (80 degrees, which is still somehow 8 degrees cooler than the Merritt Athletic Club pools right now) but managed a fine ride, before heading out onto the run. His run split of 32:22 was good enough to keep him ahead of the women's winner.
Down at the Maryland Duathlon, put on by RIP IT EVENTS, Lisa Ievers was also trying out her run-bike-run legs. She had a solid first run and then got into transition and wasn't quite sure of the rules and etiquette. She saw some other ladies walking their bikes through transition so she thought if she ran, she'd be DQ'd! Of course she learned that wasn't the case, and pedaled as hard as she could on a borrowed (heavy) bike. Her second run was an exercise in holding on, but she got it done, and finished 19th.
More from triathlon, Kendra Ingram competed in the Papillion Mayor's Triathlon in Nebraska. We are really proud of Kendra, going from an occasional 5k or 10k road race to all of a sudden signing up for and racing in a full season of tri's! And out in California, Chris Scott raced the Vineman 70.3, a big time race out there with a stellar pro field. He finished in 5:30, and when I saw him recently he was looking very fit. Wonder if he'll move up to IM soon...
Elsewhere, Nate and Carly Page ran the Utica Boilermaker 15k. Who can forget last year as Mike Zero chronicled a day in the life of someone on the streets of Utica after the race through twitpics? The 15k is competitive, and it's not an easy course. Add in the start of this heat wave and you have a tough day, but the Pages ran well. Nate broke an hour (59:43) and Carly was 32nd F in 1:02:23.
Joel Gladfelter ran a 38:00 10k at the Arts Festival 10k in State College, good enough for 5th, and at the Pikesville 5k we saw some decent results. Jack Flowers was 3rd, David Cobb was 7th, and Megan DiGregorio was 2nd, enduring a rare defeat to Sherry Stick.
We awarded the Purple Drink Athlete of the Week to Lisa Ievers for her terrific first duathlon outing!
From Monday/Tuesday, we of course have to shout out Dave Ploskonka's exceptional run at Badwater. This is the 4th consecutive finish for Dave, and he's really good at running this race. He moved up something like 30 positions after one of the early checkpoints, and absolutely torched the final 13 miles. Ultra-studs Dean Karnazes and David Goggins had 2.5+ hour leads on him at mile 122, and he gobbled them up to finish in 16th at 32:07:51. It was about 4 hours slower than his time last year, when he was 8th, but he had to endure air temps over 120 degrees and road surface temps of 170 degrees this year (last year was cooler). We don't know how you do it, Dave, but our hats are off to you!