Triathlon News & Notes: A New Chris Nikic Challenge, Safety Concerns at IMCA, and More

The news from around the multisport world this week.

Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN

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Chris Nikic finishes Kona, eyes World Marathon Majors

From Kona to New York City: Chris Nikic is on to conquer more milestones. After becoming the first person with Down Syndrome to finish the Ironman World Championship, Nikic, 23, will next toe the line at the New York City Marathon on Nov. 6. In 2020, Chris Nikic became the first person with Down syndrome to complete an Ironman triathlon, sharing that he now aims to compete in the Abbott World Marathon Majors, six marathons that include Boston, Chicago, New York City, Tokyo, Berlin, and London. “People ask what’s next year?” Nikic posted on Instagram.  “More Ironmans and the six major marathons: Tokyo, Boston, Berlin, London, Chicago, NYC. 1% Better is a habit and lifestyle.”

Rain forces swim cancellation at Ironman Arizona 70.3

Heavy rain forced the cancellation of the swim portion of Ironman 70.3 Arizona on Sunday. Race officials made the call on Saturday after some .35” of rain fell on Tempe; initially they shared that any measurement over .2” would call them to cut the swim in Tempe Town Lake as it wouldn’t allow enough time for water quality testing, which takes 24 hours. “Whenever there is significant rain, storm runoff can impact the lake’s water quality. Water testing required to meet full body contact standards cannot be completed in time for the race,” the City of Tempe Tweeted.  Instead of the swim, the race began  with a bike time trial.

Run through dark park concerns some Ironman California competitors

Some Athletes are voicing concerns about their safety on part of the Ironman California course that runs through Discovery Park along the American River Parkway trail, according to reports from a local news outlet.  The race, set for Oct. 23, includes a nine-mile stretch through Discovery Park for the marathon course, which some fear could be dangerous, especially when running in the dark. “The concern is that I’m slow and often times that means there’s not a lot of people around,” Trish Hart, an Ironman California entrant said. Rangers with the Sacramento County Regional Parks, who patrol the area, which has a large unhoused population, said that they don’t foresee any issues with the race, and will have rangers patrolling the course by foot, car, motorcycle, and bicycle. Ironman is also bringing in its own security and will place large light towers on the trail. “I make this course so that I will feel safe with my 85-year-old mother out there,” race director Tom Cotton said. Ironman California was not contested in 2021 due to a powerful storm that hit Northern California.

Ironman heading to Springfield, Mass.

The city of Springfield, Mass is the latest to be added to Ironman’s ever-evolving roster of locations. The inaugural Ironman 70.3 Western Massachusetts is set for Sunday, June 11, with general registration for the event opening on Wednesday, Oct. 19. The race will feature a 1.2-mile downriver swim in the Connecticut River, a 56-mile bike throughout Western Massachusetts, and a 13.1-mile run in Riverfront Park and along downtown streets of Springfield.  Qualifying slots to the 2023 Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Lahti, Finland, set for late August, will be offered to top age-group performers in Springfield.

RunSignup offering non-binary search feature

In an effort to better support inclusive and flexible gender options within the event registration process, RunSignup is now offering the ability for race participants to search for events offering non-binary gender features. RunSignup currently has more than 2,500 events offering a non-binary gender options. Event organizers can choose to add non-binary gender options for their events and will automatically appear in RunSignup’s search field when selected. “We’ve been looking at ways to ensure those that identify as non-binary are able to be fully supported by event organizers and not feel forced to identify as traditional male or female categories,” said RunSignup’s Bob Bickel. “We know this can be a touchy subject, especially in the endurance space, so offering flexible options helps events to offer an inclusive race experience and embrace diversity.”

Registration open for the USAT Foundation Ambassador Team

The USA Triathlon Foundation is now accepting applications for the fifth-annual USA Triathlon Foundation Ambassador Team. A nationwide community of multisport athletes, the Ambassador Team is made up of individuals who are committed to both fundraising and advocacy for the USA Triathlon Foundation, the sport and multisport communities. The application window is open now and runs through November 30th. Ambassadors, who are asked to raise a minimum of $1,000 each for the USA Triathlon Foundation, will receive benefits at each fundraising level, including a USA Triathlon Foundation Ambassador hat and polo, a pair of Newton Running shoes, VIP access at USA Triathlon Nationals and USA Triathlon Multisport National Championships Festival and other exclusive items based on the level of fundraising.

Podcast Notes

  • That Triathlon Life muses on many topics, including winter tris, van living, and why a pro triathlete needs a coach.
  • Want the scoop on the build-up Chelsea Sodaro’s stunning Ironman World Championship win? Listen to an insightful convo between Greg Bennett and Dr. Dan Plews, Sodaro’s coach. The pair chat about Plews’ impressive background and ways he helped Sodaro prep for Kona, including heat acclimatization, hydration, her postpartum comeback, and more.
  • Pro triathlete Haley Chura shares the highs and lows of her 13th-place finish at the Ironman World Championship on IronWomen, and then the hosts talk to Joy McAdams, the host of the Waterfall Racing Podcast, about her athletic journey.
  • And if you just can’t get enough of Kona, tune into the MX Endurance podcast for a full recap of the race, highlighting the incredible performances from across both fields.
  • The hosts of the Real Triathlon podcast weigh in on the future of the Ironman World Championships, debating the pros and cons of the increased cost of racing and other factors.

Jan Frodeno Reflects on His Final Ironman World Championship

Immediately after finishing 24th place at his final Ironman World Championships, the Olympic medalist (and three-time IMWC winner) explains what his race in Nice meant to him.