Americans Ben Collins and Amy Marsh took their share of a $20,000 prize purse by winning today’s Amica 19.7 Phoenix race at Lake Pleasant.
The men’s race started with Collins and fellow Americans Cameron Dye and Tommy Zaferes exiting the 750-meter swim together ahead of the chase pack. Collins managed to gain an early lead, but was quickly caught by Dye. Collins and Dye rode almost the entire 16.1 miles together, heading into T2 within seconds of each other. Collins gained the early edge out of transition and went on to dominate the hilly 5km run to cross the finish line in first in 1:07:36. Dye finished second in 1:08:14, with another American, Jordan Jones, crossing in third.
After the race Collins explained that the key to his victory was staying with Dye throughout the bike race.
“I thought my only chance here was to get out and try to stay with Cameron on the bike,” said Collins. “The whole ride I was out there thinking ‘just get out there and stay ahead of him or stay with him.’ The first turn around he caught up to me and we rode side-by-side for the rest of the bike. Every time we hit a hill I just put my head down and suffered with him. The whole ride was a slaughter fest.”
Although Dye narrowly missed the win, he managed to make the day a memorable one. Seconds after crossing the finish line he proposed to his girlfriend, Natalie, and she said yes.
“About halfway through the run I started to think about the end of the race because I had planned to propose the whole time,” Dye explained after the race. “I proposed to my girlfriend Natalie, so that’s the exciting part of the day for me. I actually stuck the ring in her bag before the race started, knowing it would be there in the end.”
The women’s race featured Marsh and Canada’s Tenille Hoogland. Hoogland led the women out of the swim with Marsh following close behind. Marsh overtook the Canadian for the lead at around the half-mile mark of the bike. She used her cycling skills to grow her lead. Marsh cruised through the run and crossed the finish line in 1:19:32 for the win. Hoogland finished second in 1:20:57, with American Jessica Broderick finishing in third.
Marsh is an Ironman specialist and rarely throws her name in the shorter-distance races. Post-race she commented on why she chose to line up here after competing in four Ironman-distance races so far this season.
“I did the Ironman World Championship and then my coach wanted me to pick a fun race to do after Hawaii,” Marsh explained. “I think his idea of short is a 70.3 or an Olympic-distance race. Brandon, my husband, found this race and I was so excited because I haven’t done a sprint race in probably two years. I was really excited to race.”
Amica 19.7 Phoenix
Phoenix, Ariz. – Nov. 7, 2010
750-meter swim, 16.1-mile bike, 5km run
1. Ben Collins (USA) 1:07:36
2. Cameron Dye (USA) 1:08:14
3. Jordan Jones (USA) 1:11:04
4. Lewis Elliot (USA) 1:13:40
5. Karl Bordine (USA) 1:13:56
1. Amy Marsh (USA) 1:19:32
2. Tenille Hoogland (CAN) 1:20:57
3. Jessica Broderick (USA) 1:21:48