When the athletes jumped in the Hudson River early this morning they weren’t just competing for the Panasonic New York City Triathlon title. The professional men and women were also chasing the Toyota Triple Crown win and the $50,000 that comes with it. While the Lifetime triathlon races—of which New York City is one—all offer prize purses and are part of the overall Lifetime race series (which has another $200,000 for its championship), the Triple Crown is an additional race within those races.
Only one person—man or woman—can win the Triple Crown. At the New York, Minneapolis and Oceanside events the professional women are given a head start to equalize the competition. And, the prize ultimately goes to whoever can cross the line first.
In Minneapolis, Ben Collins won the men’s race, but lost the overall to Alicia Kaye by 19 seconds. Today, though, in New York, the order was reversed, with Collins passing Kaye in the final mile. The two will have to battle it out again in Oceanside for the prize money.
Just under 11 minutes before the men jumped in the water, the women were off. With the blistering current in the river, the New York swim is always fast and this year was no exception. Lauren Brandon (USA) finished the 1500 meters in just 11:48, with Sara McLarty (USA) right behind her in 11:49. Katie Hursey (USA) followed in 11:52, Radka Vodickova (CZE) in 11:54, Alicia Kaye (USA) in 11:55 and Rebecca Wassner (USA) in 11:58.
Kaye made her move over the other short-course stars on the bike with a blistering race-best of 1:03:24. None of the other women could touch that, with McLarty, Vodickova, Brandon and Rebeccah Wassner coming into T2 over three minutes down—a huge amount of time in an Olympic race. Jillian Peterson (USA) and Laurel Wassner (USA) moved up after slightly slower swims with 1:07:04 and 1:07:12 bikes, respectively, to come into T2 behind that group.
On the run, Kaye had the women’s race in the bag, but was fighting to hold off Collins. Her 35:25 run was the best of the field and she crossed the line as the first woman in 1:54:52, but Collins passed her in the final mile to take the equalizer. Behind Kaye, Vodickova’s 35:59 earned her second in 1:59:16. Peterson and Laurel Wassner kept moving up through the field with their 37:27 and 37:34 10Ks, but Peterson came out ahead by just eight seconds for third in 2:01:19. Laurel Wassner followed in 2:01:27. After a slow bike, Hursey used the second-fastest run of the day (35:47) to claim fifth in 2:02:29.
Cameron Dye (USA) was first out of the swim in a blazing 11:00, with Ben Collins (USA) and Kevin Everett (USA) right behind him in 11:03. Michael Poole (USA), Sam Douglas (USA) and Brooks Cowan (USA) followed a few seconds later.
Dye went to the front on his bike, but was forced to drop out after a flat, leaving Collins to dominate the ride with his race-best 57:05. About two minutes back, a large group followed him into T2. Jesse Thomas (USA), Kaleb VanOrt (USA), Chris Foster (USA), Taylor Reid (CAN) and Jordan Jones (USA) all used fast rides to move up—58:23, 58:31, 58:39, 58:34, 58:15, respectively—after coming out of the water 30 seconds down on the leaders. Douglas (58:33), Cowan (58:49) and Poole (59:03) rode similar times to finish the bike in the mix.
The men’s race stayed closer than the women’s contest, but Collins also had his eye on Kaye as he moved up on her on the run with a 31:41 10K for the win in 1:43:25—45 seconds ahead of of the first woman. VanOrt ran away from the large group with a race-best 30:13 to take second in 1:44:05. The rest of the men’s places were neck-and-neck as the guys battled it out. Ultimately, Foster’s 31:20 earned him third by 17 seconds in 1:45:14 with Reid following in 1:45:31 after a 31:39 run. Thomas was close behind in 1:45:44 after running 31:57.
Panasonic New York City Triathlon
New York City, NY – Aug. 3, 2014
1.5K swim, 40K bike, 10K run
1. Alicia Kaye (USA) 1:54:52
2. Radka Vodickova (CZE) 1:59:16
3. Jillian Peterson (USA) 2:01:19
4. Laurel Wassner (USA) 2:01:27
5. Katie Hursey (USA) 2:02:29
1. Ben Collins (USA) 1:43:25
2. Kaleb Vanort (USA) 1:44:05
3. Chris Foster (USA) 1:45:14
4. Taylor Reid (CAN) 1:45:31
5. Jesse Thomas (USA) 1:45:44