Triathlon News & Notes: New Ironman Races, Former Pro Triathletes Take National Titles and Mega IPOs

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

Photo: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images for IRONMAN

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WTSC Hamburg event Saturday

While many eyes were on the Ironman 70.3 World Championships, another speedy set of international athletes was competing thousands of miles away in Germany for the WTCS Hamburg event.  The race, which offered the first opportunity for triathletes to earn points in the 2022 World Championship standings, included American Olympian Summer Rappaport, who last week won the Metz Triathlon in Saint-Jean-de-Monts, France as well. Rappaport took third in Hamburg, while Germany’s Laura Lindemann claimed her first WTCS title. The men’s race was also won by a German and a first-time WTCS champion, Tim Hellwig, in a sprint finish.

USAT members to vote for 2021 Board of Directors 

Voting is now open for 2021 USA Triathlon Board of Directors and Athletes’ Advisory Council. Nine candidates are running for five positions, including Triathlete’s own Kelly O’Mara, who is nominated for the Athlete Director’s position. The election will stay open until Oct. 15, and all USA Triathlon annual members are eligible to vote. (Members received a personalized link to cast their votes via email.) Composed of 12 members, the board represents the interests of the sport of triathlon in the U.S. by providing USA Triathlon with policy, guidance, and strategic direction.

Former pro triathlete Nell Rojas is now a road running national champ

Elite runner Nell Rojas, 33, who competed as a professional triathlete after college, had herself a day last weekend, breaking the tape at the Cherry Blossom 1-miler in Washington, D.C. and picking up the USATF 10-mile national championship. Rojas, who lives in Boulder, Colorado and is not sponsored, finished in impressive fashion, outsprinting three-time Olympian and 1500m world champion Jenny Simpson in the final stretch of the race.

Another former pro triathlete leads On Running to mega IPO

Rojas isn’t the only former pro triathlete to earn accolades this week: Olivier Bernhard, a three-time world duathlon champion and multiple Ironman winner when he competed for Switzerland in the late ’90s, generated buzz with an impressive $600 million IPO for the shoe company he co-founded, On. The increasingly popular shoes, born out of Bernhard’s desire to create the feeling of “running on clouds,” first hit the market 11 years ago, but saw explosive growth this year, with sales jumping 84.6% to $344 million. With the funds raised by the IPO, On plans to expand its geographical reach, open more retail stores, and continue to enhance its sustainability efforts.

Maltese triathlete circumvents Sicily in record time

Because sometimes 112 miles just isn’t enough. An age-group athlete from Malta recently cycled more than 600 miles around Sicily to raise funds for animal shelters. Earlier this week, Fabio Spiteri took exactly 47 hours and 41 minutes to complete the ride, becoming the second person in history to ride all around Sicily’s coast in less than 48 hours. Spiteri, who did the same route last year in 56 hours, also holds the Maltese national record in double and triple Ironman races. 

Red Bull takes a closer look into Lucy Charles-Barclay’s life

Red Bull offers an in-depth look into newly crowned 70.3 world champ Lucy Charles-Barclay’s world in a lengthy feature of the 28-year-old star. In the piece, she reveals that her foray into triathlon was especially tough, and that people doubted her ability in the sport. “Being told you’re not good enough just makes you hungry to prove those people wrong,” she said. Charles-Barclay also shares some who-knew details of her journey, including that she once worked at a zoo and that she and her husband Reece still haven’t taken a honeymoon despite being married since 2018.

Ironman adds two new races in Europe

2022 will see two new races added to Ironman offerings: One in Aix-en-Provence, France and the other in Dresden, Germany.  The former will be a full Ironman on May 22, which joins the existing 70.3 event, while the Dresden 70.3 event is brand new and is set to take place on July 31, 2022. General registration for both open on Sept. 28. 

Podcast Notes

  • Kristian Blummenfelt is still making the podcast rounds, this time heading to Mile High Endurance to talk about his gold medal performance in Tokyo plus his outlook for the Ironman 70.3 World Champs.
  • Taylor Knibb, another star of 2021, heads to Triathlon Taren and the Inside Tri show to talk about her recent races and trajectory in the sport.
  • This week’s Crushing Iron podcast covers a gamut of topics, from the Ironman World Championships potential move from Kona to how to recharge and focus after an Ironman to predicting your finishing time.
  • On Triathlete’s Fitter and Faster podcast, former Ironman world champion Karen Smyers and ultra triathlete and Ironman champion Dede Griesbauer join host Emma-Kate Lidbury to talk about their experiences in racing strong at any age and how to adapt and readjust your training and expectations as you grow older.
  • British up-and-comer Kat Matthews is featured on the Triathlete Hour, chatting about her journey going from a British Army captain to a contender in St. George.
  • If you’re into Super League Triathlon, tune into the Super Chute Triathlon show, which breaks down the Munich event last week and looks ahead to the Jersey race, which also went down Saturday.
  • The MX Endurance podcast talks 70.3 worlds with UK superstar, Joe Skipper, and features a chat between host Chris McCormack and short-course star Vincent Luis.
  • The folks at ProTriNews ponder a novel (and perhaps unpopular) idea—that Kona should be held every four years.
  • Greg Bennett offered a pair of podcasts this week; one featuring Ironman legends Dave Scott and Mark Allen, and the other with fellow Australian (and 2016 70.3 world champion) Tim Reed.

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.