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Triathlon News & Notes: Remote Championships, Marathon Success, and a Bike Crash

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

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USAT announces Remote National Championships

In a true sign of the times, USA Triathlon will now host the first-ever Remote National Championships. In a partnership with RemoteRacing, USAT offers this opportunity for all athletes across the U.S. to compete for an Olympic and sprint-distance national title no matter where they live. RemoteRacing’s simulation technology works to “localize” participants to the course of the 2021 Toyota USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships in Milwaukee, and then “equalize” results accounting for both gender and age to create a fair and level playing field.  Registration is now open for the event, with the window of competition being Nov. 11-21; athletes must complete all three legs within the race window and activities must be done in swim-bike-run order.

Sika Henry inducted into the National Black Distance Running Hall of Fame

Sika Henry, the first African-American woman to become a professional triathlete, is being recognized by the National Black Marathoners Association, the largest and oldest nonprofit organization for African-American distance runners. This week, the group announced the induction of Henry into the National Black Distance Running Hall of Fame, citing her achievements in triathlon as well as on the roads as an elite runner. “We couldn’t think of a more deserving multi-talented athlete and member for the hall of fame,” NBMA Executive Director Tony Reed said in a statement.

Lucy Charles-Barclay impresses at London Marathon, runs 2:47:53

Last week, we reported that recently-crowned Ironman 70.3 world champ Lucy Charles-Barclay was running the London Marathon. After downplaying her expectations, Charles-Barclay finished in an impressive 2:47:53, her fastest marathon ever. And after hitting the half-way mark in 1:19 (despite losing her shoe at mile 8), the 28-year-old looked to be on target for an even faster time, but the marathon being what it is, she slowed towards the end. Still, Charles-Barclay clearly enjoyed the experiencing, posting that she “smiled for 26.2 miles.”

ASICS makes custom golden shoes for Flora Duffy

First a golden bike, now she’s got golden shoes: 2021 Olympic champion Flora Duffy shared that her sponsor, Asics, has created custom shoes in her honor. “Custom Metaspeed Sky to commemorate my golden day,” she posted on Instagram, along with a photo of the shoes, which feature the Bermuda flag, a nod to Duffy’s home country. The Metaspeed are Asics’ “super shoes,” and also worn by fellow Olympic champ Kristian Blummenfelt in Tokyo. No word yet on whether the golden version will be available to the public.

Triathlon Australia under fire, looking to “shape the future” after disappointment in Tokyo

Australian Emma Carney, a two-time world champion in the 90s, is calling for a review of the country’s governing body of the sport, citing that the Australian’s lackluster performances in Tokyo speak to a greater problem within the sport, including poor governance and athlete mismanagement. “It’s not about Tokyo…what it’s about is athlete care and respect within a sport. My concerns have been raised for years. Tokyo was a failure and I watched athletes in Tokyo do post-race interviews and look at their feet…it broke my heart,” said Carney, who has collected more than 1,200 signatures on a petition for an independent review. For their part, Triathlon Australia—which called many of Carney’s allegations inaccurate and suspended the membership of the once-celebrated athlete—plans to review the national high-performance program and “welcomes this opportunity to shape our future strategy.”

Former pro Barrett Brandon recovering from bike crash

Barrett Brandon, a former pro triathlete turned gravel cyclist (and husband to top American professional triathlete Lauren Brandon) is recovering from a bike crash during a race that left him with a concussion and broken facial bones requiring surgery. Lauren Brandon shared on Instagram that Barrett “still doesn’t remember what happened, but hit the ground hard on his head and probably rolled,” adding she is “incredibly thankful for the film crew that stopped when they came up on Barrett and stayed with him and then ended up bringing him to the hospital.” Barrett, who is the Chief Financial Officer at bike company Ventum, got into gravel riding in 2020,  after a foot injury derailed his pro triathlon career.

Super League Triathlon Arena Games up for another sports award

Super League Triathlon has been nominated for a Sports Business award for its innovative response to COVID-19. Already honored by the Sports Industry Awards with the Cutting Edge Award last month, the SLT Arena Games powered by Zwift is now being recognized for its business impact with a nomination in the “Most Innovative Business Response to COVID-19 – International” category. The SLT Arena Games, which blended in-real-life and virtual racing, proved to be a hit with both the pro triathletes participating in them as well as spectators at home, with the broadcasts reaching more than 100 territories around the world. The 2021 Sports Industry Awards will take place in London on Nov. 18.

Chris Nikic to run the Boston Marathon

A big year is only getting bigger for Chris Nikic, the first athlete with Down Syndrome to finish an Ironman triathlon. Since his triumphant feat, Nikic has won an ESPY award, written a book, and is now set to run the Boston Marathon on Monday. Nikic, who plans to run marathons in New York, Tokyo, and Disney World this year, and is also training for the Ironman world champs in May.

Podcast Notes

  • The World Triathlon podcast features British superstar Alex Yee, who reflects on dream season, which included Olympic medals, podiums, and Super League Triathlon triumphs.
  • The REAL Triathlon podcast brings on Mary-Anne Gillespie, who shares her journey on going from weighing 300 pounds to becoming an accomplished triathlete and coach.
  • Simon Ward’s High Performance Human Triathlon podcast includes an insightful conversation with psychologist Dr. Josie Perry and focuses on her “10 Pillars of Success” that can maximize athletic performance.
  • Chris “Macca” McCormack tackles the next big thing in triathlon: The show-down between Jan Frodeno and Gustav Iden at Ironman California on the MX Endurance Podcast.
  • American pro Ben Kanute heads to the Greg Bennett show, where he recaps his recent 6th place at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships and reflects on his journey in the sport, which started when he was a kid.
  • Rookie pro Tara Grosvenor heads to the IronWomen podcast to discuss her atypical background and her recent rise in the sport.
  • That Triathlon Show brings on a pro panel of coaches who weigh in on their best practices for fueling workouts.