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Triathlon Business International (TBI), an industry organization dedicated to promoting the sport and the business of triathlon, announced its male and female winners of the Ron Smith Triathlete-of-the-Year Award, the most innovative triathlon product of 2013, the best published triathlon article and image, the Top 10 Multisport Retailers and the “Triathlete’s Choice” Best Event winners at its TBI/ACTIVE Network Awards Celebration dinner last night as part of TBI’s 4th annual conference January 26-28 in Marina del Rey.
Ron Smith Triathletes of the Year – The award, named after Ron Smith, one of triathlon’s earliest pioneers, recognizes a male and female triathlete who best demonstrate a combination of strong moral character, athletic performance and professionalism in the sport of triathlon. The award acknowledges triathletes who are not only strong competitors, but also are a role model to all; and who help promote the sport and pave the way for future triathletes.
Women’s Ron Smith Award recipient: Karen Aydelott
Karen Aydelott is a 68-year-old woman who completed her first Olympic triathlon in 1984 and first Ironman in 1989. In 2006, she became an amputee as a result of complications suffered from a car accident. Although she tried various surgeries to right her injury, she decided to undergo amputation in 2008. She felt that it was the best decision to make. Karen slowly rebuilt her strength after her surgery in July 2008; she received her first prosthetic leg in September. By December of that year, she was already cycling. A year later she did the Big Rock, an international distance triathlon, and the Desert Triathlon the following spring; plus Ironman 70.3 California. In 2012 and 2013 she qualified in her age group for the Ironman World Championship in Kona – a dream come true. Unfortunately she had a problem with the bolt on her cheetah run leg and in 2013 finished 47 seconds over the finish time. Her ultimate goal is still to cross the finish line in Kona under 17 hours
Men’s Ron Smith Award recipient: Luke McKenzie
Luke McKenzie is the only pro triathlete – male or female – to complete the 2013 Triple Crown of triathlon (Hy-vee 5150 championships; Las Vegas 70.3; and Ironman Kona). Luke finished second at Kona in 2013 and won Ironman Cairns Australia. He’s had five other Ironman wins since 2008. When Luke is not racing, he focuses on the need for clean water around the world. He just completed a six-day, 1300km ride from Bondi Beach in Sydney to Noosa where the group raised $75,000 towards bio-sand filters for clean water in Cambodia.
Most Innovative 2013 Triathlon Product: Felt IA tri bike. IA stands for Integrated Aero. The IA is designed with hidden brake calipers, a place on the top tube for some food and, as has been the case with Felt’s bikes since the introduction of its Bayonet forks, a smoothing and integrating of the bike’s front end: fork, steerer, stem and aerobars. One other notable departure in frame design is the IA’s seat stays, which connect to the seat tube way below the traditional junction.
Best Triathlon Published Article and Image in 2013:
F1 Sprint Triathlon San Diego by Rich Cruse (tie)
Kitzbuhel World Triathlon by Janos Schmidt (tie)
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Top 10 Retailers for 2013:
- Trisports.com, Tucson, AZ
- Nytro Multisport, Encinitas, CA
- All3Sports, Atlanta, GA
- Austin Tri Cyclist, Austin, TX
- R&A Cycles, Brooklyn, NY
- Gear West Bike, Long Lake, MN
- Speedy Reedy, Seattle, WA
- Colorado Multisport, Boulder, CO
- Running Away Multisport, Deerfield, IL
- Athletes Lounge – Portland, OR
“Triathletes Choice: Best Events of 2013:
- Best Large Triathlon Race (1,000+ participants) – Ironman Mont-Tremblant
- Best Small Triathlon Race (<1,000 athletes) – Patriot Half (East Freetown, MA)
- Toughest Triathlon Race – Ironman World Championships, Kona
- Best Urban Triathlon Race – USAT Age Group National Championships
- Best Triathlon Race for Beginners – Pumpkinman Triathlon (South Berwick, Maine)
- Most Scenic Triathlon Race – Ironman Lake Placid
- Bucket List Triathlon Race – Ironman World Championships – Kona
- Best Triathlon Race Swag – Pumpkinman Triathlon (South Berwick, Maine)
- Best Triathlon Race Series – Sun Multisport
- Best Draft Legal Triathlon – USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championships (Milwaukee, WI)
All winners and the Top 10 retailers were presented with specially-designed crystal awards from TBI member Ashworth Awards.