Archive for August, 2011
Back in 1990 Lance Armstrong left the sport of triathlon to focus on cycling and became the most important athlete in his sport. In a little bit of a Déjà vu 21 years later, Lukas Verzbicas burst onto the junior scene as a triathlete, but it’s his running skills that make him really special. He has not only won the prestigious Footlocker National Cross Country Championship back to back in 2009 and 2010, he also became the fifth high school runner to break the four minute mile (3:59.71), took five seconds off the high school record for the two mile (8:29) and is enrolled at the University of Oregon to follow in the hallowed spike marks of Steve Prefontaine and Alberto Salazar.
How many runners out there have run a 2:17 marathon to qualify for the US Olympic Marathon Trials and also run the infamous Comrades Ultra Marathon in South Africa-he took 11th- and the 135 mile Adventure Corps Badwater Ultramarathon across Death Valley-he took third-…. all in the same summer? Michael Wardian also runs marathons dressed up as Spiderman and has set world records while pushing one of his kids in a Baby Jogger. LOVE this guy!
Andrew Messick left his position as the President of AEG Sports, the owners of the Amgen Tour of California, to become the CEO of the World Triathlon Corporation, the owners of the Ironman. It was great to get a chance to chat with Andrew, a two-time Ironman finisher himself, about the differences he sees between the world of cycling and the world of triathlon.
Tom Lowe is one of the bigger triathletes out there at over 190 pounds, but with the way he rides and runs, he can definitely be a factor in Kona come October.
Leanda Cave’s transition from swimmer to triathlete was anything but smooth. During her career she has had 13 stress fractures as she tried to become a runner. But despite the setbacks, Cave has had success at all distances including Gold Medals at the ITU Short Course Championships (2002) and Long Course Championships (2007), a bronze (2007) and a silver (2010) at the Ironman World Championship 70.3, a silver at the Commonwealth Games (2002) and wins at Alcatraz (2007) and Wildflower (2011).
Thom Hunt set the indoor record for the mile in high school (4:02.7), was a seven-time NCAA All-American and set the American Record for 10,000 meters on the roads in 1981 with a 28:12. He was also Linda Sweeney’s boyfriend in 1981 and followed her on race day throughout the bike and run on a rented moped.
She only used two gears during the bike ride and had a basket on the front to keep her towel, her cassettes and her cassette player. White Punks on Dope was top of mind. From the reading the materials, Linda Sweeney thought the Ironman course in Hawaii was totally flat. Not quite. It’s hard to believe it has been 30 years since Sweeney won her first- and only- Ironman race.
Barb Lindquist came from the world of swimming to become an Olympic triathlete in 2004. Who better to help USA Triathlon identify our next Olympians? Barb came on to chat about her awesome career and to fill us in on who to watch as we head towards 2012 and 2016.