One would think that when visiting the world’s largest triathlon, top-5 finishes would be difficult to come by.
Not so for Grim Reaper Fitness Saturday and Sunday at the Chicago Triathlon, the world’s largest in terms of number of participants.
Fourteen Reapers traveled to Chicago to compete across three races, and they garnered an overall victory and four age-group victories.
Lisa Becharas led the way, placing 3rd overall in the 900+ competitor field in the women’s division of the sprint distance race, while Carey Weaver won his age group.
In the International (Olympic) race, Dave Quinn won his age group, while in the SuperSprint Matt Cuttell and Wendy Smith won their age groups.
In the weekend’s last race, Sprint distance competitors battled rising temperatures and humidity in the mid-morning start, as well as increasingly choppy waters in Lake Michigan. Lisa finished in 1:22:22, 41 seconds behind the winner and just 1 second behind the second-place finisher. Her 5K run of 21:49 and 22.0 mph pace on the 15.2-mile bike leg were second best.
Carey, competing in the 55-59 Age Group, posted a 1:22:56, 79 seconds in front of the runner-up. Carey had the best bike and run of the field, but transitions provided the winning margin as he was a total of 94 seconds faster in T1 & T2.
Also putting up strong finishes were Mike Seeborg, who placed 4th in 65-69 AG at 1:41:42; Curtis Preston, who was 9th in 35-39 at 1:27:48; and Lisa Kiley, who was 9th in women’s 50-54 at 1:46:37.
In the International distance, Dave placed 13th overall on his way to the AG victory at 2:16:42. Dave overcame the runner-up on the run leg, posting a 41:15 10K time, which was nearly 3 minutes better than the runner up and helped him to an 81-second margin of victory. It was Dave’s second “big” race victory of the year, pairing with is AG win at Rev3 Knoxville.
In the SuperSprint (375m swim, 10K bike, 2.5K run), Matt won the 30-34 AG in 36:27, which was also good for 8th overall. Matt’s swim time of 6:27 was good for 3rd overall.
Wendy posted a time of 44:29 to win the 40-44 AG. Her run time of 14:06 was best in the division. Bryan Heppe placed 3rd in 35-39 at a time of 37:55, just 1 second behind the second-place finisher.
Special mention goes to Erik Rankin and Jason Sturdyvin, who each completed the Triple Challenge – that is they competed in and finished all three races, including the Olympic and Sprint back-to-back on Sunday. Both had top 10 AG finishes in Saturday’s SuperSprint and Erik was 12th in Sunday’s International before the high heat and, for Erik, an allergic reaction to a bee sting, caught up to them in the Sprint.
The Chicago performance resulted in 200+ points for Grim Reaper Fitness in the USAT Mideast Region Club Series, increasing it’s sizable lead.
The performance by the Reapers also lifted the Club to 2nd Place in Division 4 as the Chicago Triathlon served as the USAT Club National Championships.
In Other Races:
In other races, Jeff Grabinski completed his first Ironman distance race at Ironman Louisville. Jeff’s overall time of 10:35:16 was good for 18th in his Age Group and 88th overall amongst 2000+ athletes.
Celeste Kudrys, who is prepping for a marathon, took 3rd (of 105) in her AG at the Peapod Half Marathon in Batavia, IL. Celeste ran a 1:40:51 for a 7:42 pace. Celeste time also placed her 24th overall of 500+ entrants.