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It’s been triathlon central in Los Angeles the past week with the star-studded Malibu Triathlon taking place one week before the pro-studded 12th annual LA Triathlon.
Written by: Erin Beresini
The second-to-last event in the Toyota Cup Series, the LA Triathlon had a prize purse of $40,000, including $10,000 to the first place male and female pro finisher. As an added bonus, pros and age groupers alike were treated to a course that started with an ocean swim at Venice Beach, then had the athletes bike and run down streets typically packed with cars, finishing up in downtown L.A. in front of L.A. Live.
On the female side, Swedish Olympian and the 2009 and 2010 LA champion, Lisa Norden, was out to reclaim her third straight title. On the men’s side, Olympian and three-time LA tri winner, Greg Bennett was also out to reclaim his title. But these race favorites had tough competition in Jodie Stimpson and Cameron Dye, among others.
Bennett couldn’t hold Dye off, so Dye took home the win and $10,000 for the men. Norden, as predicted, won the women’s event, finishing in eighth place overall.
Bennett came out of the water just ahead of Dye on this overcast day, with Filip Ospaly and Stuart Hayes close behind. Dye didn’t let a few missed seconds on the swim get him down, dominating the bike up Venice Boulevard, finishing the mostly flat course in 53:13, two minutes ahead of Bennett. It was a brilliant move, as both Bennett and Ospaly ran faster 10Ks (31:30 and 31:04 respectively) than Dye (32:45), but they couldn’t make up the lost bike time. Dye took the win in front of L.A. Live in 1:46:34 with Bennett and Ospaly rounding out the podium behind him.
The top women, including Norden, 22-year old British athlete Jodie Stimpson, and American Jillian Petersen, stayed close together on the swim, exiting the water within seconds of each other. But nobody could match Norden’s blazing fast bike. The Swedish Olympian took off down Venice Boulevard never to be touched during the rest of the race. Her bike time of 58:30 put her over three minutes ahead of her competition—a lead she held onto through the run to cross the finish line victorious in 1:57:16, good enough for eighth place overall. Stimpson took second after running a 34:56 10K on the gruelingly hilly run course to cross the line in 2:01:10. Petersen rounded out the women’s podium.
Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Triathlon
Los Angeles, Calif. – Sept. 25, 2011
1.5km, 40km bike, 10km run
1. Cameron Dye (USA) 1:46:34
2. Greg Bennett (USA) 1:47:19
3. Flip Ospaly (CZE) 1:49:45
4. Stuart Hayes (GBR) 1:51:07
5. Fraser Cartmell (SCO) 1:52:13
1. Lisa Norden (SWE) 1:57:16
2. Jodie Stimpson (GBR) 2:01:10
3. Jillian Petersen (USA) 2:01:27
4. Annabel Luxford (AUS) 2:02:12
5. Sara McLarty (USA) 2:03:00