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Triathlon News & Notes: Winter Worlds, Patagonman Lottery Opens, and More

The news from around the multisport world this week.

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Athletes from Italy and Russia claim world winter duathlon titles 

Italy’s Franco Pesavento and Russian Triathlon Federation’s (RTF) Anna Medvedeva claimed world winter duathlon titles earlier this week. The grueling race, set in Naturlandia, an adventure park in Andorra, Italy, featured a run/cross-country ski format (three laps of 1.35km running, two laps of 3.1km skiing) with five transitions. Athletes from Romania and Norway rounded out both the men’s and women’s elite podium. A few days later, Pesavento took the world title in the winter triathlon event (two repetitions of a 4km run, 6.4km bike, and 6.2km ski leg), while Daria Rogozina of RTF won the women’s race. 

XTERRA World Tour president Janet Clark retires

Janet Clark, who has been with XTERRA for over 28 years, is stepping down from her role as president of the company’s world tour. Known as the “XTERRA Momma,” Clark, of Australia, is widely credited for “developing the friendly atmosphere and culture of inclusion XTERRA is known for,” a statement read. For her part, Clark said, “I have been fortunate to have spent the past 28 years producing and marketing events and to have built a globally recognized brand alongside a truly talented and dedicated crew,” adding that she plans to spend more time with her parents in Australia and gardening in her home on Hawaii’s Big Island.

US Paratriathlon team announced for 2022 

Tokyo 2020 gold medalists Allysa Seely, Kendall Gretsch, Brad Snyder and his guide Greg Billington headline the US Paratriathlon team for the 2022 season, USA Triathlon announced earlier this week. Grace Norman (silver medalist in Tokyo and gold medalist in Rio), Chris Hammer, Kelly Elmlinger, and Kyle Coon and his guide Zack Goodman round out the team. The athletes are set to compete at the Americas Triathlon Para Championships in Sarasota in Florida March 12-13 in what is the first elite event of the year.

Patagonman 2022 lottery now open 

The registration lottery is now open for Pantagonman in Chile, set for Dec. 4, 2022. The third edition of the race, said to be one of the most extreme event on the planet, includes a 2.4-mile swim in the bone-chilling Aysén Fjord (after a leap from the back of a ferry), a 112-mile ride in the winding mountains, and a marathon over hilly dirt roads. Athletes are selected via lottery and it costs $11 to enter the lottery; if selected, the entire fee is $790. Click here for more details.  

South African business exec, triathlete, killed while cycling

Tragedy has struck again in the greater cycling and triathlon community. Last week, 52-year-old business executive and devoted father and husband Andre Piehl died after being hit by an alleged drunk driver while riding in Lanseria, South Africa with a training partner, who was also airlifted from the scene in critical condition. Piehl, who began competing in Ironman in 2000 and excelled all the way to world championship level, qualifying for Kona in 2017, shared his journey in the sport on The Kona Edge podcast in 2018, saying, “I’ve loved the 20 years of being part of this incredible sport.” The driver is expected to be charged and could face up to 15 years in jail if found guilty.

Bob Babbitt shares his role in producing Super Bowl commercial 

Bob Babbitt, best known in the triathlon world for his historical role in the sport, his entertaining Breakfast with Bob Youtube show, and his work with the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF), shared how he helped put together a commercial that will air during the Super Bowl in certain regions. The ad is for a documentary about Landis Sims, a 15-year-old baseball player born missing both his hands and feet who is aiming to make his high school’s varsity team, and is produced by the CAF and Major League Baseball. Babbitt, an Ironman triathlon hall of fame inductee, said that instead of paying millions for a national ad during the big game, he paid much less by running it specifically in the Cooperstown, New York area, saying, “I got my Super Bowl ad for three grand.” 

Podcast Notes

  • Ultraman world champ and 66-time iron-distance finisher Hillary Biscay joins the Triathlete Hour to chat about her impressive journey in the sport.
  • Greg Bennett welcomes New Zealand triathlete Kris Gemmell, whom he calls “one of the most influential people in the world of triathlon” to talk about his career.
  • Olympic silver medalist Morgan Pearson heads to The Triathlon Brick Session to discuss, among other things, coming back from disappointment and his recent 1:01:40 half-marathon.
  • The TriDot Triathlon podcast discusses aging in triathlon, featuring insight from veteran triathletes Kurt Madden and Dede Griesbauer, who share wisdom and tips on continuing to excel in the sport as the years go by.
  • Dan Grieb, who served as a guide for Chris Nikic, the first person with Down syndrome to finish an Ironman triathlon, is the guest on the Why We Tri podcast to share about working with Special Olympians and the transformative power of sports.
  • The Inside Tri show shifts gears and discusses cross country skiing—with triathletes. German pro Laura Philipp and Norway triathlon coach Arlid Tveiten share their experience and love of the sport.
  • Tri legend and coach Mark Allen returns to the MX Endurance podcast to offer his predictions for the women’s Pho3nix Sub8 attempt, specifically his thoughts on what Lucy Charles-Barclay may do (spoiler: it’s in the 7:30-range).
  • The IronWomen Podcast brings on Swedish pro triathlete and doctor Sara Svensk, who talks about her decision to return to practicing medicine during the pandemic, her bout with COVID-19, and her current goals in triathlon now that she’s back in the sport full-time. 

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