We are about mid-way through the competitive part of the year, and the events are going on hot and heavy. Just like everyone else we enjoyed a nice 4th of July off of racing, watched fireworks, and ate junk food……but after that it was time to get to work!
Our first of three big pro team races of the month was at the Muncie 70.3 half ironman in Indiana. This race has been a very important target for our team because many of us raced there in the past (formerly the Muncie Endurathon), and now that it is a professional event with a large prize purse we want to target it even more. Many of our teammates live near this race as well, we have 3 former champions as well as a second place there on our team, and most of us know a ton of the age group athletes there.
This time it would be much more difficult to succeed with 27 international pro’s on the starting line but we got it done! The swim was fairly uneventful, and caused several big packs to form on the bike. Mike Caiazzo was our top man and blasted through everyone on the bike/run to claim 2nd overall, 2nd American, and fastest run of the day! Daniel Bretscher also had a brilliant day, finishing 5th overall on what is essentially his home-town course. Tony White had a very solid day finishing 11th, and Zach Ruble in 16th. Ryan Giuliano and Ryan Bates felt a bit off but brought it home together in 22nd/24th. Overall it was a huge day for us both in terms of results and team promotion!
After Muncie we took a weekend off of team racing, and then our next great team event was Ironman Lake Placid in New York. Daniel and Kyle Pawlaczyk were already targeting this event, and Ryan Bates entered last minute to help with promotions and to get in some good training for his first official future Ironman race in the fall. This is one of the oldest races on the ironman circuit, and the atmosphere surrounding the race was incredible.
The swim in Mirror Lake is gorgeous and smooth, which is sort of a tease before you hit the huge hills on the bike! Everything went to plan for us on the swim as Daniel was out in a great position near the front, while Kyle and Ryan swam neck and neck midway through the pro packs. Once on the hilly bike Daniel moved himself up a few spots, getting himself into podium contention and putting some space on any followers. Kyle and Ryan again stayed fairly close to each other on the bike, along with a couple other pros, to mentally and physically push each other.
Once off the bike Daniel really unleashed his run that has been improving all year. He finished strong in the money with a 5th overall, as well as 3rd American in only his second ironman ever! Kyle and Ryan kept up a great day of promotion and training, when Ryan dropped out as planned at 10 miles into the run, and Kyle had to pull out around 18 miles with achilles pain. The great news is that Ryan was in 10th and Kyle 8th before pulling the plug, which gives them huge confidence for their future at the ironman distance!
Only one week after the ironman we closed out the month with another huge team effort at the new Columbus Multisport Festival olympic distance race in Ohio. Even though it was a first year event, there were still about 20 male pros at the start in part due to a large prize purse. This was another important race for us in terms of promotion and results, and we personally knew a huge percentage of the age group athletes and staff at this race. If you have been in the Midwest lately you know that the water is very warm right now! The beach start felt like we were jumping in to a hot tub, so everyone was eager to get on the bike. Due to the large pro field most of us were in some sort of pack exiting the swim. This race is unique because transition #1 is in Alum Creek State Park, while transition #2 is in downtown Columbus to showcase our event to more of the public. The bike course was very fast and competitive so most of us again came off the bike near large groups of fellow pros. Starting the run downtown was really neat and quite scenic, and the two loop course was great for spectating. Tony was our top guy finishing 4th with a very well-rounded effort. Daniel put in a very solid day to finish 9th, which was most remarkable only a week after his high placing at Ironman. Ryan B probably had his best race of the year to finish 11th, with Kevin Lisska close behind in 13th. We enjoyed hanging out with all kinds of pros and age groupers that we knew, and got to meet some of the gents from Planet X bikes.
We had a few other great results on an individual basis this month as well. Our ITU expert Manny Huerta took a huge 4th of 53 pros and 2nd American at the San Francisco ITU Pan Am Cup! Manny is steadily climbing the ladder at ITU racing and has a huge future for our country at the Olympic distance, as well as continuing to pursue a spot on the 2012 Olympic Team. In other individual races this month, Kevin Lisska took 1st overall (fastest swim/bike) at the Xterra Whitewater off road triathlon in North Carolina. Zach Ruble got in another Ironman 70.3 at Racine Wisconsin, finishing a very solid 10th of 18 pros.
Overall July has been a great month for us, and we continue to build on an incredible year for our team! Check out our website to see where our team and our guys are racing next. Stop by our booths for some free samples from our sponsors and to check out their gear!
11 August 2011