In strong pro fields, Australian Paul Matthews and now-American citizen Alicia Kaye took the titles at the Washington, D.C. Triathlon. Matthews is fresh off a win at Ironman 70.3 Kansas last weekend and a fourth-place finish two weeks ago at the Rev3 Quassy half-iron-distance race. Kaye, the wife of American Olympic hopeful Jarrod Shoemaker, was ranked as the sixth American in ITU at the end of 2010.
The DC Triathlon began this morning under cloudy skies and light drizzle. Now in its second year and part of the 5150 Triathlon Series, the race featured sprint and Olympic-distance races that wound through the monumental corridors. The race started in the Potomac River and finishes on Pennsylvania Avenue, near the Capitol Building.
In the men’s race, first out of the Potomac was American John Kenny, followed by Eric Limkemann, Stephen Hackett, and then a large chase pack that included Paul Matthews, Andrew Starykowicz and Andrew Yoder. On the bike, Matthews took the lead and never looked back. “As soon as I got on the bike, I felt pretty good from the start,” Matthews said. “I raced Rev3 Quassy and then Kansas last weekend, so I thought I might get a little tired toward the end of the race, so I just went all out, fingers crossed that I could hang onto it.” Australia’s Tim Reed finished in second, more than a minute later, and American David Thompson rounded out the podium.
In the women’s race, it was no surprise that American Sara McLarty was first out of the water, and even after the women started five minutes after the men, she passed some pro men in the Potomac. She had a lead of about a minute over a large chase pack that included Amanda Stevens, Pip Taylor, Becky Lavelle and Rebeccah Wassner.
McLarty maintained her lead through the bike, as Lavelle, who gave birth to her daughter just one year ago, and Kaye moved up through the pack. “I maybe strategically made a mistake in the swim and picked far right, McLarty went left … so I missed the train in the swim,” Kaye said. “So I had to ride really aggressively from the start to try and get into that elite group of girls.” About a mile into the 10K run, Kaye passed McLarty and held onto the lead through the finish.
The win was especially poignant for Canada-born Kaye, who recently became an American citizen, as the final miles of the run were in sight of the Capitol Building. “This concept of being an American, and then winning today, I knew that would be really special,” Kaye said. “So running down here, I was so close to tears.”
American Nicole Kelleher came in second, and Lavelle rounded out the podium. The New York-based Wassner twins, Laurel and Rebeccah, finished hand-in-hand for the fourth and fifth spots.
Washington, DC Triathlon – 5150
Washington, D.C. – June 19, 2011
1.5K swim, 40K bike, 10K run
1. Paul Matthews (AUS) 1:49:58
2. Tim Reed (AUS) 1:51:08
3. David Thompson (USA) 1:51:24
1. Alicia Kaye (USA) 2:02:22
2. Nicole Kelleher (USA) 2:02:52
3. Becky Lavelle (USA) 2:03:23