The day after winning the ITU race in San Diego, the Olympic gold medalist – and the best triathlete in the world – Alistair Brownlee and I sat down for a Q&A in front of a huge Tri Club of San Diego audience. This young man is very special. Enjoy the audio from our interview.
Javier Gomez just might be the most versatile triathlete in the world today. Besides winning the Hy-Vee Triathlon last summer, along with the $151,000 prize purse, he also has won the 2013 Escape from Alcatraz, which is non-drafting, the 2012 XTERRA World Off Road Triathlon Championship during his first ever XTERRA race, and a Silver Medal at the 2012 Olympics in London. In that race he averaged 44K per hour on the bike before getting off and running a blistering 29:15 10K.
Before Lukas Verzbicas, the fifth high school runner to break the 4:00 minute mile and two-time Footlocker Cross Country National Champion, was wheeled into surgery after a horrific bike crash late last summer, his parents were told that there was a good chance he would never walk again. Lukas came in studio to go through his early days of running and triathlon, his accident, his comeback and his plans for 2013 and beyond.
Sarah Springman is the Vice President of the ITU, the President of British Triathlon and a three time ETU Champion from her racing days. Sarah raced in the first ever triathlon in England back in 1983 and has been instrumental in the years since in triathlon. Seeing triathlon accepted into the Olympics, triathlon being accepted into the Paralympics, and the huge growth in female participation in the sport. During our chat we talked about the possibility of more triathlon related events-duathon, the mixed relay, longer distance races- being accepted into the Olympic Games and other international competitions in the years to come.
The bike crash was a bad one. Lukas Verzbicas, fresh off two big ITU wins, broke his back, 5 ribs, and his collarbone, plus had fluid in his lungs. He came on with us from the hospital to fill in the blanks around his injuries and his future.
Hunter Kemper was hoping to make his fourth U.S. Olympic Triathlon team, but he was coming off of a catastrophic accident at a race in Myrtle Beach, four operations on his elbow and seven months without racing. Kemper used all of that as fuel on race day in San Diego.