Triathlon News & Notes: Lake Placid Gets One More Year, and Two Olympians Out of Sunday’s Race

A look at some of the news we’ve picked up in the sport over the past seven days.

Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images

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Ironman Lake Placid to return in 2022

Good news for Lake Placid lovers: The popular Ironman event will return in 2022. After talk of the town possibly ending its agreement with Ironman after a two-decade run, Lake Placid Mayor Art Devin announced on Friday that a one-year contract extension is “the most fair solution for all,” and allowed the town to “make an educated decision, not a quick decision” on the future of the race beyond 2022.

Mike Greer, 70.3 Lubbock founder, passes away

The greater triathlon community is mourning the loss of Mike Greer, a longtime race director and founder of the Buffalo Springs Lake triathlon, which was purchased by Ironman in 2019. Greer, 82, was en route to the 70.3 Lubbock race on June 27 when he was involved in a serious motorcycle crash and later died of pneumonia, according to local reports. In a tribute, USA Triathlon called Greer one of the “forerunners of the sport who guided triathlon through its formative years,” having started his event in 1990, credited him with creating the swim-bike discipline of aquabike, and noted that as an enthusiastic endurance athlete himself, had completed more than 400 triathlons.

Joanna Zeiger’s cannabis research highlighted

Joanna Zeiger, the 2008 Ironman 70.3 world champion, may no longer be competing, but she’s racing to seek approval for athletes to use cannabis for pain and recovery treatment. As highlighted in an article in the Johns Hopkins Hub, Zeiger, a Boulder, Colorado-based epidemiologist, heads up the Canna Research Group, where she is researching cannabis use in the athletic community, and advocates for it based on her own experience in treating pain following a career-ending injury in 2009. “Our goal is to help patients find the right ratios, dosages, and administration routes to get the most benefit with the least harm,” Zeiger said.

Belgium’s Jelle Geens out of Olympics after testing COVID positive

Belgian triathlete Jelle Geens, currently ranked 11th in the world, will not compete in the triathlon event on Sunday after testing positive for COVID-19. The 28-year-old, who had a breakout year in 2019, is still in Belgium, has since tested negative, and hopes to travel to Tokyo to make the mixed team relay event next week. “If possible, he will travel to Tokyo in the coming days, as soon as this is in accordance with the rules,”  the Belgian National Olympic Committee said in a statement.

South Africa’s Richard Murray also off the Olympic lineup

Also out for Sunday? South African Richard Murray, who finished fourth in Rio in 2016. The 32-year-old underwent a heart ablation procedure last month to deal with his Atrial Fibrillation (AFib), and decided he wouldn’t be able to sustain the distance covered in the Olympic event. “My body/heart is not ready,” he posted, and added that he plans to race in the mixed team relay. “I find it important for Team South Africa to have a team and will race within myself to keep the fire burning.”

Ironman founding family to race at 70.3 Oregon

Those participating in this weekend’s 70.3 Oregon will be among impressive company as none other than Judy and John Collins, the founders of Ironman, will be part of the field.  Judy, 82, and John, 85, who spearheaded the first Ironman race in 1978 in Hawaii, will participate alongside their children and grandchildren as a relay team.

Kevin McDowell stars in cheeky Manscaped commercial

Swim, bike, run…shave? Olympian Kevin McDowell is featured in a new ad for the Manscaped Lawn Mower 4.0, also known as the “ultimate groin and body trimmer.”  The tongue-in-cheek ad showcases McDowell in various training elements, while highlighting the fourth discipline of triathlon: body shaving.

Alyssa Seely speaks up about the cost of winning as a paratriathlete

In an article highlighting a push towards equal pay for para athletes, Rio Paralympic gold medalist in triathlon Alyssa Seeley spoke up about the price of winning in her event. Seeley, whose left leg was amputated below the knee in 2013, said that her prosthetic leg costs $20,000 and is not covered by insurance. “I would say the cost of winning my gold medal in 2016 was easily in the hundreds of thousands of dollars,” she shared. The piece also speaks to the recent development that, in Tokyo, USA Paralympians will be paid the same as their Olympic counterparts for their medal wins for the first time in history.

Jan Frodeno talks timepieces

In a New York Times feature about athletes sponsored by watch companies, three-time Ironman world champ and world record holder Jan Frodeno–who endorses Breitling–reveals that he has a watch to represent each of his world titles. “Each of these watches has an important meaning to me. It’s a tribute to all those fulfilling a dream,” he said of the timepieces, which he bought for himself or were gifted to him. The article also says that Breitling has given Frodeno one of their new Endurance Pro Ironman watches, though he won’t wear it unless he wins the Ironman World Champs this year.  Then, “I will have earned it,” he said.

Podcast Notes

  • Ecuador 70.3 champion Jackson Laundry and runner-up Nick Chase recap their races on the REAL Triathlon podcast.
  • Hear from Maya Kingma (who just may snag a medal in the Olympic triathlon) on the Oxygen Addict podcast, where she chats about her rise in the sport.
  • Olympian Kevin McDowell looks back on this career in the sport, which includes a Hodgkins Lymphoma diagnosis at 19 and the many ups and downs involved in the return on The Triathlete Hour.
  • The MX Endurance podcast offers a preview of the Olympic triathlon with host Chris “Macca” McCormack.
  • Macca also pops on the World Triathlon podcast for another Olympic preview, also highlighted by insight from Sydney 2000 gold medalist Simon Whitfield, 2012 silver medalist Lisa Norden, world champ Helen Jenkins, plus Triathlete contributors Brad Culp and Tim Heming.
  • And if you haven’t had enough Olympic predictions, check out Pro Tri News, which serves up some podium pics, plus a Tri-Battle recap, and an Ironman Lake Placid preview, among other topics.

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.