Linda Jannelli and daughter Jordan romped home to a 10.48 victory in the 45-49 age division in front of fellow multisport athlete Beatrice Van Horn
The highs and lows of Ironman day!It was certainly the perfect day for Ironman racing in Southern California. The weather gods were very kind, giving us a cool overcast day for the ride and a little sunshine as the afternoon wore on. There were a lot of PR's on the race course and with the swim being the correct distance, most folks who were second timers walked away with faster times than last year.
Our multisport athletes represented all day in fine fashion. From Chris Williams who won the 18-24 age division, to Linda Jannelli's dominating performance in the 45-49 division - to a strong performance by Chris Legh for 4th overall, your's truly's 2nd place behind the always smiling Naatascha Badman. It was also a tough day for some - Heather decided to call it quits after a super swim and then a distinctly 'off' day on the bike. I think we are going to see her hitting the shorter races for a small stretch here - to recapture some of that speed that gets lost in all those years of long miles.
For Huddle it was a record setting day in the Ironmanlive booth. They set all sorts of records with their live broadcast and fans tuning in from around the world. I heard the figure of 2 million hits an hour being bandied around. Ryan successfully got everyone their special needs bag on the bike - so it is not his fault if you blew up. But on the flip side of that it was a devastating day not only for Roch and Paul as the bike course co-ordinators but for the race as a whole - when news of the death of Ohio triathlete Perry rendina came in. It certainly cast a very dark cloud over the day and the hearts of everyone there. It certainly makes us all feel our own mortality even when we are supposed to be doing something that is our passion. Race director Graham Fraser was reduced to tears when he got up to address the issue at the awards luncheon. He has retired the #1408 for any of the Ironman North America races in honor of Perry. Our hearts and sympathies go out to all of his family and friends.
As for that Hawaii Ironman qualifying thing - I will certainly vouch for how difficult it is becoming. When I find myself riding with Anna Svardstrom the winner of the 30-34 age group most of the way, and only catching Karin Swenson the winner in 30-34 age group, at about 80 miles, I have to say that my heart went out to all my friends who were racing in those age divisions. I may not be at the top of my game, but I am not that far gone yet, and these girls were very impressive. Of note is that none of the pro women took any of the qualifying spots and so they were rolled over to the pro men. All the way down to 15th got a shot at taking a spot. Most notable was that 3rd place Craig Walton, after an impressive debut performance, elected not to take his spot. He has decided to focus on the shorter races for the rest of the year, particularly Mrs T's and LA tri.
The stories good and bad abounded - rough swim, upset stomach's, blown up legs, mechanical breakdown's - you name it we know someone it happened to. As the dust settles there is much that is still to be decided about the future of the race. No agreement has been reached regarding this race for next year. Stories are flying about moving the race out of the military base into Oceanside, to moving it completely out of state. Provo Utah has been mentioned, but then so has Idaho - it is all speculation for now but I have no doubt wherever it lands up it, we will all follow!
Looking at the week ahead - Roch and Heather are off to Cabo, Mexico, for a much needed break. Ryan is picking out new flooring for the expanding offices in Solana Beach (I might even get my own desk there!), Huddle has months of doing laundry ahead (don't forget I now OWN the top spot in the coaches challenge), and just two days after the race Chris Legh is moping around looking bored - so I told him to write us a story - keep your fingers crossed.
Congrats to everyone on a great weekend. You were all part of the story in one way or another!