Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Two Wins for Chicago at Long Course Nationals

Chicago's not exactly known for being an endurance sports mecca. Those titles are often saved for spots like Boulder, Colo., and San Diego, Calif. But even if Chicago doesn't have such a title--possibly because it's so darn flat unless we skip the rides that are right outside our front doors--the Windy City, and it suburbs, can lay claim to some of the country's fastest triathletes.

Take the USA Triathlon Long Course Championship held in Oklahoma City, Okla., held on September 22. The race, which included a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike and 13.1-mile run, was held at Lake Hefner in conjunction with the Redman Triathlon. Who finished first and second among the women? Two Chicago-area triathletes: Elizabeth Waterstraat and Jennifer Harrison.

Waterstraat, of Naperville, was crowned the long-course champion, winning the race in 4:48:16. Good for 37th place overall, Waterstraat was nine minutes ahead of her friend and runner-up Jennifer Harrison of West Dundee. Harrison grabbed the Masters title with her 4:57:37 second-place finish; she competes in the 40-44 age group while Waterstraat competes in the 35-39 age group. Along with men's winner Dave Slavinski of Point Pleasant, N.J., the trio proved that you don't need a year-round training climate, altitude or mountains to win national triathlon titles. Go ladies!

It's no surprise that this duo, who are also multisport coaches, went one-two. They're darn fast, they're super fit and they're just as good at leading their athletes to success. They already had great races at Nationals for the Olympic-distance held in August in Vermont, and now they'll get to compete on Team USA for the 2013 ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships in Belfort, France. They and the top 20 athletes in each age group earned spots on the team.

Um, do either of you have room in your bike box for a stowaway?

For more information and race results visit usatriathlon.org.

Photo grabbed from Stevie Rocco at flickr.

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