It may not have featured the glitz and glam of an ITU (International Triathlon Union) Continental Cup but the Tinonman Triathlon in San Diego, the spiritual home of triathlon, featured no less competitive a field.
Training in the area ahead of the start of the World Triathlon Series, Conor Murphy and Aileen Reid entered the sprint distance race as part of their preparation for Abu Dhabi WTS on March 7th.
The men’s field featured USA National Champion and World No 24, Joe Maloy along with Pan American, Central American and Caribbean Champion, Carlos Javier Quinchara Forero to name just two top competitors.
Ireland’s Conor Murphy posted 8min 15secs for the opening 750 meter swim to exit the water in 5th. Eric Lagerstrom and Joe Maloy were up ahead with a 10 second advantage but Murphy and his fellow chasers closed the gap within a few kilometres of the 20km bike section.
A quick dismount and second transition from Murphy saw him well placed going into the 5km run. The Armagh man clocked 3:09 kilometres off a hard bike for a 15min 44sec run split, good enough for 5th place.
USA’s Joe Maloy claimed the win in 55mins 15secs followed by Eric Lagerstrom (55:23) and Carlos Javier Quinchara Forero (55:39). Murphy is clearly in good form ahead of the opening round of the World Series as he finished ahead of Australia’s Cameron Good who currently lies 63 places ahead on the rankings at 41st in the world.
The women’s race featured an equally strong field but was won by the relatively unknown Summer Cook of the USA with her first elite victory.
“I have to thank everyone who helped me take big steps this winter.”
Cook, who is currently ranked outside the top 100 females in the world had the fastest swim and run of the field making her a major threat this season.
Second place went to Commonwealth Games Champion, Jodie Stimpson of Great Britain in a time of 59mins 26secs, just 18 seconds off the Cook, with World Number 24, Lindsey Jerdonek of the USA in 3rd.
Aileen Reid got off to a good start in the race with an 8min 37sec swim split, which saw her emerge from the water in 6th place. A poor first transition saw her lose time to the rest of the field but a strong bike leg, the quickest of the day made amends for that.
Onto the run and Reid clocked 17mins 16secs to come home in 5th place.