Triathlon News & Notes: Elite Japanese Triathlete Killed, Linsey Corbin Announces Retirement, and 70.3 Rwanda Sees Low Numbers

The news from around the multisport world this week.

Photo: Oliver Baker

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Linsey Corbin announces retirement 

Linsey Corbin, one of the most prolific racers on the long-distance pro circuit, announced that she will be “closing the chapter on a 17-year-long professional triathlon career” after competing in the Ironman World Championships on Oct. 6. “There’s no guidebook on retirement: how, when, where, what to do. So I am a bit clueless on how this all works, but I do know this: I want to spend the next 10 weeks filled with gratitude for a sport that has given me so much,” posted Corbin, 41, who has racked up eight Ironman wins, and finished tenth the last time the Ironman World Champs were held in Kona, in 2019. 

RELATED: This Will Be Linsey Corbin’s 14th Ironman World Championship as a Pro 

Japanese elite triathlete killed while training in France 

Just three days after racing at the World Triathlon Cup in Pontevedra, Spain, Japanese elite triathlete Tsudoi Miyazaki, 25, died upon being hit by a vehicle during a training ride near Orléans, France. According to World Triathlon, Miyazaki was in a training camp when she was fatally struck. Considered a rising star in the sport and an Olympic prospect, Miyazaki had been competing on the elite scene since 2017, and placed third at the Japan Sprint Triathlon National Championships in late June. She also recently raced at the Americas Cup in Long Beach, California, sharing photos of herself and other competitors at the event on social media. 

“Daytona Distance” to return to Clash Endurance in 2022

Pro athletes competing in Clash Endurance Daytona this December will tackle the “Daytona Distance,” event organizers announced this week. The unique distance—consisting of a two-loop (1 mile) swim in Lake Loyd, a 15-lap (37.5mile) bike followed by a three-lap (8.2mi) run—takes place entirely inside the Daytona International Speedway. It was created in 2018 when a thunderstorm forced organizers to keep the race inside the Speedway, and proved to be popular enough among the pros that they’re bringing it back. The race, scheduled for Dec. 2, will also feature a $100,000 prize purse that will pay eight deep among male and female athletes.

Dates announced for Paris 2024 Olympic Games triathlon events

Set those calendar reminders: With two years to go before the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, the official competition schedule has been finalized. The triathlon individual events will take place on Tuesday, July 30 (men) and Wednesday, July 31 (women), while the mixed relay will go off on Monday, Aug. 5 (all competitions will take place at 8 a.m. local time). Pont d’lena, the famed bridge in the shadows of the Eiffel Tower, will serve as the venue for the triathlon, which will include a swim in the Seine River. 

Race numbers low so far for upcoming 70.3 Rwanda

With just two weeks to go before the launch of Ironman 70.3 Rwanda, the first Ironman brand race hosted in the African interior and the first in the central African country, registration is at a mere 200 participants, according to local news sources. That count includes just five Rwandans, and is “a number which is far less than the targeted 2,000 that was expected when Ironman Group officially added Rwanda on the 2022 race calendar.” Why the low numbers? Race director Michel Murame said that it could simply be a matter of not many people know the race is going on since it’s a brand-new event (the far-flung location and the course, which features a hilly bike and run, may also be deterrents). “We are doing our best to mobilize people to register and come to participate and we hope to have at least 500 athletes before the deadline,” Murame explained. The race will take place on Aug. 14 and will offer spots to the 2023 70.3 World Championships in Lahti, Finland. Registration will remain open until Aug. 4.

Joelle Baker tapped as Duquesne University women’s triathlon coach 

The list of NCAA Division I triathlon coaches continues to grow as more schools add the sport to their athletic offerings. The latest? Joella Baker, who has been named head coach of Duquesne University’s women’s triathlon program. Baker, whose athletic resume includes 27 marathons, an Ironman, and 15 Ironman 70.3 races, is the founder of Get Fit Families, an event and coaching company. She is also the recipient of the 2020 Jeff Jewell Spirit Award from USA Triathlon, which recognizes an athlete who gives back to the sport outside of competitions. Duquesne announced the addition of women’s triathlon as a varsity sport last April, and will begin competition in fall 2023.

Former pro triathlete part of record-setting rowing team 

An accomplished triathlete is part of a four-woman squad who rowed across the Pacific Ocean from California to Hawaii in a Guinness World Record-setting time this week. Adrienne Smith, who competed as a pro triathlete and is now a yoga instructor, joined three other women in the Great Pacific Race as part of team Lat35. They covered 2,400 nautical miles in 34 days, 14 hours, and 11 minutes, beating the previous women’s record by one day and 12 hours. To keep up the record-setting pace, the team rowed continuously in two-hour shifts, sleeping no more than 90 minutes at a time for more than a month and subsisting on prepackaged meals while battling seasickness, high winds, and turbulent seas.  

Podcast Notes

  • Triathlete Hour dives into a recap of last week’s PTO Canada Tour race, breaks down the Collins Cup picks, and tries to explain the appeal of the Commonwealth Games.
  • PTO Canada is also the topic du jour on That Triathlon Life (where Paula and Eric share their experiences; spoiler: Paula placed second), Pro Triathlon News (who brings on pro athlete Ruth Astle to offer her hot takes), and the MX Endurance Podcast.
  • The Inside Tri Show offers the second part of its chat with triathlon legend Bob Babbitt, who talks about triathlon coverage and the challenge of engagement with non-triathlon fans, among other topics.
  • I Race Like a Girl podcast, hosted by pro triathlete Angela Naeth and age-grouper Amy Woods, brings on physical therapist Christine Saleeba to cover topics like the most common triathlon injuries, whether you can manage PT on your own, and top PT exercises for triathletes.

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