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Triathlon News & Notes: Lange Crashes, British Olympians Race XC Nationals, and IM Expands Diversity Push

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Ironman bans Russian, Belarusian athletes from World Champs 

In a statement of solidarity with Ukraine, Russian and Belarusian athletes have been banned from participating in the 2022 Ironman World Championships in St. George, Utah. Ironman is also restricting Russian and Belarusian pro athletes from any events this year, starting with the 70.3 Dubai this weekend, and stated that age group participants will not be allowed to compete under the Russian or Belarusian flag at any Ironman events in 2022. “While we recognize the difficult situation created for Russian and Belarusian athletes by these steps, we believe these are necessary to protect the integrity of the events,” the statement read. 

Earlier this week, both Ironman and the Challenge Family canceled events slated for this summer in St. Petersburg and Moscow, respectively. 

The Ironman Foundation signs Sika Henry, aims to expand diversity in the sport 

The Ironman Foundation has announced a partnership with Sika Henry, the first Black female professional triathlete, and Hoka to build awareness and expand outreach in support of the Race For Change initiative. “In partnership with Hoka, the Ironman Foundation and Sika Henry will work to identify and remove participation barriers within the sport of triathlon that impact Black and other diverse athlete groups,” the statement said. Henry’s involvement will include working with the foundation to develop community outreach engagements at certain Race For Change events, like Ironman Tulsa, Steelhead 70.3, Memphis 70.3, and Chattanooga 70.3. Said Henry on the partnership: “I hope to extend and welcome more diverse athletes to our sport who have previously encountered barriers that prevented them from participating.”

Siddal, Hanson added to PTO Athlete Board 

Great Britain’s Laura Siddall and the USA’s Matt Hanson have been added to the Professional Triathletes Organization (PTO) Athlete Board for 2022-23, the group recently announced. The pair joins other pros including Alistair Brownlee, Paula Findlay, and Skye Moench on the board, whose role includes “representing the members’ interest to the non-athlete board of directors in relation to their commercial activities,” according to PTO. Original members Rachel Joyce, Meredith Kessler, Sarah Piampiano, Scott DeFillipis, and Dylan McNeice have all all departed from the Athlete Board.

Xterra picks up Whistler as a new stop in its world tour

Xterra is hitting the scenic spot of Whistler, Canada this June as a stop in its world tour, a weekend of off-road triathlon, trail running, and swimming events. The race, which will start at Lost Lake and then hit the world-class single track trails throughout the municipal park, offers competitive amateur racers a chance to score a qualifying spot into the 2022 Xterra World Champs in Trentino, Italy as well as the 2023 World Cross Championships in Ibiza, Spain. Whistler is one of two Xterra events in British Columbia, the other one being in Victoria in July. 

Patrick Lange crashes, heading to surgery

Germany’s Patrick Lange, a two-time Ironman World champion, shared that he crashed his bike during training camp last week, and the extent of his injury to his acromioclavicular (AC) joint injury will require surgery. Posting a photo of him on his bike trainer with his arm in a sling, Lange wrote, “motivated like crazy to fight back. Let’s go!” Lange, who was set to start his 2022 season at Challenge Salou in Spain, is now questionable for the start list of the Ironman World Championships in May, a race he won in 2017 and 2018. 

British Olympians shine in cross-country nationals

British Olympians and Tokyo double medalists Alex Yee and Georgia Taylor-Brown proved their footspeed extends to any terrain at last weekend’s English cross country national champs. Trading the smooth roads of triathlon for muddy trails, Yee and Taylor-Brown placed third in the men’s senior race and fourth in the women’s senior race, respectively. “Wish I felt better today but proud to keep fighting till the end,” shared Yee. Taylor-Brown, who posted that she had a wardrobe malfunction during the race, said, “it’s been fun to race some cross but now it’s time to get fit for my day job.” 

Teen to race four sprint tris in four countries in honor of his late dog 

A 14-year-old from Hartlepool, England is honoring the memory of his late dog in an epic way: By completing four triathlons in four countries—in under 18 hours. Ben Turnbull, who lost his beloved Golden Retriever, Pepper, is setting off to do a series of sprint triathlons in Ireland, Scotland, England, and Wales this April, all to raise money for an animal rescue charity in memory of his pet. “I know it will be painful but the memory of my dog Pepper will get me through,” Turnbull said. 

Podcast Notes 

  • University of San Francisco’s coach/athlete duo of Chelsea Burns and Kira Gupta-Baltazar are featured on the Triathlete Hour, where they share their experiences in NCAA triathlon.
  • Fitter and Faster dives into the technical topic of bike fits with expert fitter Ivan O’Gorman.
  • World Triathlon brings on Brazil’s Miguel Hidalgo, who chats about his breakout season in 2021, and what’s next for the 21-year-old.
  • Pro triathlete Courtney Atkinson is the very first guest on Red Bull’s new Why I Run podcast, where he talks about his love of all things running.
  • Want to know about periodization? Science journalist Alex Hutchinson heads to The Triathlon Brick Session to chat about the pros and cons to this training model.
  • ProTriNews gets into previews of the Couples Championships and Dubai 70.3, two races both going off this weekend, while the folks at MX Endurance also weigh in about what they think will go down in Dubai.
  • IronWomen also touches on the Couples Championship, bringing on one of the race’s organizers, pro Rachel Olsen, who will also compete for the $100,000 first place prize alongside her boyfriend, Andre Lopes. 

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