Triathlon News & Notes: Frodo’s Gravel Triathlon, Triathlete Survives Fall Off Bridge, and More

Here are some tri-related stories generating buzz over the past seven days.

Photo: SGRAIL100

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Collin Chartier, Molly Supple win SGRAIL100 

On Sunday, American pro Collin Chartier crossed the line first at the first-ever SGRAIL100, a swim, gravel bike, and trail running race put on by Ironman world champ Jan Frodeno and his wife, Olympic gold medalist Emma (née Snowsill). The festive event featured a 1.2-mile swim, a 55-mile bike, and a 6.2-mile run, ending at the Frodeno’s La Comuna café in Girona, Spain. Chartier earned the win quite handily, outdistancing runner-up Cedric Labadens of France by 90 seconds and even managed to post stories on his Instagram feed while he biked and ran. On the women’s side, Girona-based triathlete Molly Supple took the win over British pro Kat Matthews. Jan Frodeno placed 37th (in what appeared to be a leisurely effort, riding and running in a colorful button-down shirt) while Emma was the fifth woman across the line in her first triathlon in over a decade.

Tommy Zaferes tapped for USAT talent ID coordinator

Tommy Zaferes—elite triathlete, race photographer, and husband to Olympian Katie Zaferes—is adding another title to his resume: talent ID coordinator for USA Triathlon. In the role, Zaferes will lead and develop programs to identify, recruit, assess, and support USA Triathlon’s future Olympic and Paralympic medalists. Zaferes, who recently transitioned to a career as a triathlon photographer after a pro career that began in 2010, will continue to take pictures at World Triathlon races while in the position. “I look forward to seeking out the future of USA Triathlon high performance, and showcasing the amazing opportunities triathlon and paratriathlon have to offer,” Zaferes said. “The pressure is on to help find and mentor the next generation of Olympians and Paralympians, but I’m up for the task.”

USAT Board of Directors results are in

In other USAT news, the governing body announced the results of its 2021 Board of Directors and Athletes’ Advisory Council elections. Dr. Tekemia Dorsey, CEO of the International Association of Black Triathletes (IABT), earned re-election as a general director to the USA Triathlon Board of Directors, while William Huffman and Erin Storie were both elected to the USA Triathlon Board of Directors as elite/pro athlete representatives. Greg Billington won re-election to the USA Triathlon Athletes’ Advisory Council (AAC), and will be joined by newly-elected Chelsea Burns. All terms start in January 2022, with general directors serving a four-year term, athlete directors serving a two-year term, and AAC members serving a two-year term.

A second Russian pro banned for doping

A second Russian elite triathlete has been banned from the sport for doping. On the heels of Igor Polyanskiy’s ban last week, Alexander Bryukhankov, 34, was given the same three-year ban by World Triathlon after the presence of the endurance-enhancing drug EPO was found in a urine sample taken at a race on June 19. Like Polyanskiy, Bryukhankov admitted to doping and received a one-year reduction from the default four-year period of ineligibility. All of Bryukhankov’s results and points he earned from June 19 have been scrubbed, including his bronze-medal finish at the Russian National Championships. Also worth noting: On Wednesday, the heads of Ukraine’s national anti-doping organization (NADC) resigned on Wednesday after being accused of violating international standards. One of Ukraine’s top triathletes, Yuliya Yelistratova, is currently serving a  provisional suspension after testing positive for EPO weeks before the Tokyo Olympics.

Ironman Ohio 70.3 moves to Sandusky

After several years of running the event in Delaware, Ohio, Ironman is packing up and moving their 70.3 race 40 miles away to Sandusky, a town known for being home to the Cedar Point amusement park. The race, set for July 24, 2022, will feature a swim in the Sandusky Bay, a 56-mile bike ride through Erie County, and a 13.1-mile run along the Lake Erie shoreline before finishing in downtown Sandusky. Registration opens on Nov. 10.

Ironman Chattanooga champ Joe Skipper “extremely lucky” to survive being hit by a van

Top pro triathlete Joe Skipper shared that he was hit by a van during a training ride earlier this week. The 33-year-old Brit posted that a van “shot through a junction and collided with me, luckily hitting into the chain stay and just missing my legs. I was very lucky as I landed on a grass verge, which must have cushioned my landing, as I was somehow able to walk away from it.” Skipper, who most recently won Ironman Chattanooga in late September, went on to say that while his bike was totaled, he felt extremely lucky, writing, “had the point of collision been 20cm different it could have been a very different story and I may have sustained a career ending injury.”

Registration is open for USAT diversity summit

Registration remains open for the second annual “Together We Thrive: Actions for Change” summit, hosted by USAT. The event is scheduled for Nov. 5-7 and will feature panels centered around increasing diversity in the sport, including growing the number of women, LGBTQIA+, and BIPOC participants in the sport. Speakers include Monica Garrison (founder of Black Girls Do Bike), trans triathlete Chris Mosier, Asian-American pro triathlete Clarice Lorenzini, and Nia Obotette, author of I Am a Triathlete. The summit is free and open to all members of the multisport community. A USA Triathlon membership is not required to attend.

Triathlete survives 50 foot fall during North Carolina 70.3

An athlete competing in the Ironman 70.3 North Carolina last week was rescued after falling some 50 feet off a bridge during the bike portion of the race. According to local reports, fire officials were called to the area of Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway and McRae Street in Wilmington around 9 a.m. on Oct. 23, where the athlete “appeared to be fine” but could not get out of the marshy ravine. Firefighters were able to lower themselves down and hoist the man to safety doing a high angle rope rescue. The athlete, who was examined by EMS on the scene, declined to be taken to a hospital by ambulance. 

Podcast Notes

  • Greg Bennett brings on Ed Baker, the entrepreneur (and accomplished triathlete) behind AnyQuestion, the new app that allows fans to ask their favorite pros questions, and receive exclusive answers in return.
  • Australian paratriathlete Lauren Parker joins the Triathlete Hour to talk about her experience in Tokyo and her journey to getting there.
  • British pro Emma Pallant-Browne heads to the MX Endurance Podcast to recap her stellar season, including a win at the L.A. Triathlon last week.
  • Planning to join the Zwift Academy tri program? Check out the Zwift Powerup Tri podcast to hear Matt Lieto and Dan Plews  break down the workouts and offer tips on how to tackle it.
  • The Inside Tri Show celebrates its 100th episode with messages and memories from several top triathletes, including Taylor Knibb, Chrissie Wellington, and the Brownlee Brothers.
  • The Ironwomen podcast brings on former professional triathlete, Ruth Brennan Morrey, PhD, who recently launched her own mental skills performance coaching practice to help athletes discover joy, purpose, and true potential in sport and life.

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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.