News & Notes: Around-the-World Tri, Couples Championship, and Miss USA

Some of the buzz from the multi-sport world this week.

Photo: Markus Weinberg

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German man completes “around the world” triathlon 

How about these stats: 456km (283 miles) of swimming. 21,000km (13,049 miles) of biking. 5,000km (3,100 miles) of running. 18 countries.

Those are the numbers German Jonas Deichmann, 34, racked up during his around-the-world triathlon, a solo endeavor he began 14 months ago that was accompanied by both physical and bureaucratic challenges, due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. A well-known endurance adventurer, Deichmann set out to break the world record for the “world’s longest” triathlon in the summer of 2020, and with a bike ride from Portugal to Munich, finally completed his journey on Nov. 29. “After 429 days on the road and a distance of 120 x Ironman across 18 countries I am back in Munich where it all began September last year,” he posted this week. “It has been an incredible adventure with so many ups and downs but for now I am just very happy to have finished.” Deichmann has already published a book about his experience and a film documenting the journey will follow. 

Team USA earns mixed relay bronze at Junior Pan American games 

After a series of COVID-related delays, the 2021 Junior Pan American Games finally went off last weekend in Cali, Colombia, with a cadre of rising U.S. triathlon stars competing. Highlighting the event for Team USA was the mixed relay team, which snagged a bronze medal behind Ecuador and Mexico. Drew Shellenberger, Liberty Ricca, Madisen Lavin, and Nicholas Holmes comprised the relay team, with each athlete completing a super-sprint triathlon consisting of a 300-meter swim, draft-legal 6.2-kilometer bike, and 1.5-kilometer run before tagging off to the next teammate. Lavin and Holmes were the top performers in the individual events, placing fifth and sixth in the women’s and men’s races, respectively. 

RELATED: What is the Triathlon Mixed Team Relay?

Ironman Lake Placid’s future continues to hang in the balance 

The will-they-or-won’t-they debate over the future of Ironman Lake Placid continues as members of the local community met for a town hall this week to discuss responses to a survey focused on the local economic impact of the event. Lake Placid’s Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST) hosted the virtual town hall, and shared the survey’s results: Out of 1,441 respondents, 49% said they support the race and 41% stood opposed (the remaining 10% claimed a neutral stance on the race.) While Lake Placid has signed a contract with Ironman to keep the  event through 2022, some locals have been vocal for discontinuing the race beyond that, citing race-day traffic, overcrowding in town, and “event fatigue” among their complaints. A designated Ironman Task Force is expected to make a recommendation regarding the continuation of the race within the next month. 

Couples Championship set for March 

Who’s the fastest and fittest couple in triathlon? A new race to determine just that is set for March 6, 2022 in Tierra Verde, Florida. Simply named the Couples Championship, this race will peg pairs of pros (married or otherwise dating; they must be in a relationship for six months or longer to qualify—no word on how that is being confirmed) against one another to vie for a $100,000 first place prize. The relay-style format will have each athlete compete in a sprint-distance triathlon before tagging his or her partner, then each repeating the same distance. Confirmed couples include Mirinda Carfrae and Tim O’Donnell, Paula Findlay and Eric Lagerstrom, Taylor Spivey and Vincent Luis, and several more. 

Greensboro College adds women’s triathlon, hires coach

North Carolina’s Greensboro College is the latest NCAA program to add women’s triathlon as a varsity sport. The Division III school is now the 38th school in the nation to offer women’s triathlon at the varsity level, inching USA Triathlon closer to its goal of securing 40 varsity programs by 2024 and becoming a  full-fledged NCAA Championship sport status. Greensboro has also hired Karen Buxton, a fixture on the local triathlon scene, to helm the team, which will make a debut in the fall of 2022. 

RELATED: Is Triathlon Ready for the NCAA?

Pearson to run in the USATF Half-Marathon Champs

Morgan Pearson, who earned a silver medal in Tokyo as part of the mixed relay triathlon team, will test his talent in an open half marathon on Sunday. The 28-year-old, who has a 1:02:15 half-marathon PR, is considered among the top contenders for the USAT Half-Marathon Championship, which offers a $40,000 prize purse and goes off on Sunday morning in Hardeeville, S.C. Another competitor of note? Triathlete-turned runner Gwen Jorgensen, who has one of the fastest entry times for the women. 

Top age-group triathlete competes in Miss USA pageant 

From triathlons to tiaras: Taylor Fogg, who was crowned an age-group world champ in 2014, vied for a different type of crown at last week’s Miss USA pageant. Representing New Hampshire, the 26-year-old Columbia University graduate and aspiring lawyer did not finish in the pageant’s top 16, which was ultimately won by Miss Kentucky, Elle Smith. Aside from winning her age-group at the 2014 World Triathlon Grand Final in Edmonton, Canada, Fogg is a five-time USAT National Champ. 

Podcast Notes

  • Greg Bennett celebrates his 100th episode with Ironman 70.3 World Champion Lucy Charles-Barclay as his guest.
  • Tommy Zaferes heads to The Triathlete Hour to chat about his journey as a professional triathlete to professional photographer, as well as his new role as USAT’s Talent ID Coordinator.
  • The Iron Women podcast focuses on NCAA triathlon stars this week, bringing on the Division1 Champion Kira Gupta-Baltazar, as well as Hannah Henry and Alexe Coursol, both members of the 2021 NCAA Championship squad from the University of Arizona.
  • The hosts of ProTriNews discuss potential outcomes of this weekend’s major races, including Ironman Indian Wells 70.3, Clash Daytona, and the XTERRA World Championships.
  • Ian O’Brien, who coaches American star Taylor Knibb among other elites, is the featured guest on this week’s World Triathlon Podcast, during which he shares his philosophies and how he trains his athletes to be the world’s best. (You can read more about O’Brien in this feature article on Triathlete.).
  • The Real Triathlon Podcast offers some hot takes on recent triathlon news, including Kristian Blummenfelt’s record-setting 7:21 finish at Ironman Cozumel.   
  • British breakout star Ruth Astle is on the MX Endurance Podcast to chat about her recent win at Ironman South Africa and her journey in the sport so far.
  • Dr. Stacy Sims, author of the bestselling book Roar, is featured on The Evidence Based Triathlete Podcast to discuss her work and thoughts on the physiology of female triathletes.
  • The legendary Sister Madonna Buder, now 91, joins the Inside Triathlon Show to reflect on her lengthy career as an athlete, noting among other things that she is grateful that her life “means something to somebody” and how that notion gives her a reason to keep her keeping on. Coach Joe Friel also joins the show after Buder to offer insight on training into your 50s and beyond.  

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