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Triathlon News and Notes: Non Stanford’s Final Pro Race, World Triathlon Confirms Paris Test Event, and More

The news from around the multisport world this week.

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Competitors seriously injured on St. George course

Two competitors were involved in a bicycle collision with a vehicle on the Ironman 70.3 World Championships course on Saturday. According to local reports, the vehicle involved in the collision was a gray Jeep Renegade with extensive damage on the back of the vehicle, including a broken rear window. Mark Evans, one of the people injured in the collision, posted that he was “doing about 30 miles an hour when a car came on the course,” and that a woman who was “apparently intoxicated” pulled in front of him and he went through the back windshield. Evans has undergone two blood transfusions, surgery for lacerations on his arm, and sustained cervical, thoracic, and an elbow fracture, broken ribs, a broken nose.

Following the accident,  the Ironman Group released a statement saying “The well-being of our competitors is paramount, and we are grateful for the work of medical personnel and local law enforcement. We wish both athletes a full and speedy recovery and will continue to support them and their family.”

Triathlon pioneer killed in cycling accident

Dante Dettamanti, a pioneer in the sport of triathlon and celebrated water polo coach, died in a cycling accident last week. According to the California Highway Patrol, Dettamanti crashed into a County Public Works Department street sweeper about a mile south of Highway 92 on Tuesday around 4:07 p.m. Dettamanti, 80, died on the scene. Dettamanti, who placed sixth in the 1981 Hawaii Ironman—the year the race moved to Kona—was one of the most successful water polo coaches in history. He coached at Stanford from 1977-2001, leading the Cardinal to eight NCAA championships, and is the only coach to win NCAA championships in four different decades.

Non Stanford races last pro race

Decorated British Olympian Non Stanford hung up for racing flats for good after competing in her final competition as a pro triathlon yesterday. The 33-year-old, who was both the European and Commonwealth Games champ this year, was greeted by emotional hugs from her competitors after crossing the finish line of the Super League Grand Final in NEOM, Saudi Arabia in 12th place. “I didn’t win but I had fun, doing something I love, surrounded by some of my favorite people. And at the end of the day isn’t that why we all start sport in the first place,” she posted. Stanford, who is set to marry Australian pro triathlete Aaron Royle this year, has announced she is joining British Triathlon as an assistant coach.

Pro Max Neumann shares scary Kona aftermath

27-year-old Australian pro Max Neumann finished an impressive fourth at the Ironman World Championships earlier this month. But he doesn’t remember actually finishing. “I pretty much passed out and went straight to medical then woke up, couldn’t feel my legs and arms … I don’t know what happened,” he told the Australian Associated Press. He came two some two hours later, and then said his ankles “swelled to resemble balloons” and he remained sick for a week. “I was worried. It’s from going over the limit… I’m not sure I want to do that again,” he said of racing in Kona, where he posted the third-fastest run split of 2:40:13. “It’s literally dangerous, it’s like the body telling you you’re like dying.” Neumann, a three-time champion of Ironman Cairns who won Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast in September, has recovered and raced in the Noosa Triathlon, crossing the line in second, but was disqualified.

RELATED: A Physiological Look at What the Body Goes Through in an Ironman

World Triathlon confirms Paris test event

The Olympics may be two years away, but Paris is already prepping. World Triathlon confirmed that a Test Event for the Olympic and Paralympic Games will take place between August 17 and 20, 2023 with the athletes swimming in the Seine river, biking along some of the most iconic streets of Paris: from the Champs-Élysées to the Invalides and the Eiffel Tower, and running to a finish by the Pont Alexandre III. Aside from elite and para triathlon races, the event will also include a mixed relay race.

USAT launches Kids Tri initiative, aims at growing sport among youth

This week, USA Triathlon announced its USA Kids Tri initiative, aimed at growing youth triathlon and multisport by introducing the sport and its lifelong health benefits to a wide range of kids in schools and communities. Supported by the USA Triathlon Foundation, USA Kids Tri will offer financial support for local events, race directors, coaches and clubs across the country that are increasing triathlon and multisport opportunities and access for current and prospective youth athletes.Those who are interested in starting, supporting or sponsoring youth programs and initiatives in their respective communities are encouraged to reach out to the USA Triathlon Foundation at info@usatriathlonfoundation.org or go to usakidstri.org to learn more.

Registration open for Endurance Exchange

Mark your calendars: USA Triathlon’s fourth-annual Endurance Exchange returns in January 2023, with a return to an in-person format. The three-day convention takes place Jan. 23-26 in Austin, Texas. Endurance Exchange gives coaches, race directors, club leaders, athletes, officials and others in multisport the opportunity to network with and learn from industry experts and attendees about a variety of topics. Registration for Endurance Exchange is currently underway. Learn more about Endurance Exchange and register now.

British man sets world record for most Olympic-distance triathlons in one week

Guinness World Records has officially given a nod to Mark Jones for completing the most Olympic distance triathlons in one week; at 22. The 44-year-old of Windsor, UK, finished the back-to-back triathlons in July, all done on his own in an indoor pool and in a nearby park with his wife, Jane, crewing. Jones, who broke the previous record of 20 triathlons,  used his effort to raise money for Steel Warriors, a charity that repurposes seized and surrendered knives from London’s streets into free, outdoor calisthenics gyms, in honor of his late brother, who died from an unprovoked knife attack.

Podcast Notes

  • Greg Bennett brings on pro triathlete and 2002 Ironman World Champs runner-up Sam Laidlow, who rehashes his race in Kona and chats more about how he got to be one of the best in the world.
  • For a dose of inspiration, listen to This Hits Different, which shares the story of Brock Kitterman, a triathlete and hockey player who has overcome cancer and blindness to reach the US National Blind Hockey team.
  • TriDot shares stories from three of its coaches who competed in Kona: Kurt Madden, Joanna Nami, and  Kyle Stone. They share their individual experiences of training for and racing on the world’s stage.
  • A few weeks ago, How They Train posted an episode with Taylor Knibb—worth a listen to for an insight of her build-up to her winning performance at Friday’s 70.3 World Champs.