Latest update from the VO2 Multisport Elite Team

Latest update from the VO2 Multisport Elite Team

Congratulations to the VO2 Multisport Elite Team for a strong start to their racing season. Ben Bigglestone gave us the update below:

Locally we had three of our team members race the Spring Classic Duathlon on March 26th in Portland OR.  This race represents a season opener for multisport athletes in the Pacific Northwest and so it was great to get out there and represent so strongly.  In the men’s race we took 1st (Gerry Marvin), 3rd (Charles Rivers) and 4th (Graeme Roche) overall.  Nearly a clean sweep of the men’s podium and I believe the outcome gives a little insight into how the season will progress for these talented individuals.

Next stop for the team was the Wildflower Multisport Festival.  Six of our athletes raced, four competing in the Long Course event on Saturday and two in the Olympic distance race on Sunday.  The race represented the first open water swim of the year for most of the athletes and they were all very excited to put their new TYR Hurricane wetsuits to the test!  Saturday arrived with some strong winds and cool dry conditions early that progressed to warmer weather later on in the day.  The girls led the way in emphatic style with Kara Nielsen winning the 30-34 AG on her way to the overall amateur female title.  A solid all-around performance saw her running shoulder to shoulder with the 2nd place female until late in the run where she was able to run the descent into the finish strongly and pull away from her AG and overall rival.  Lilia Paradis also had a very solid day and on her way tothe AG win (25-29) posting the fastest amateur run time and taking 5th overall amateur female.  Both Lilia and Kara are preparing for Ironman Coeur d’Alene in June and seem to be on track for strong performances.

Lilia and Kara AG wins at Wildflower

In the men’s race we had somewhat mixed fortunes!  Both Gerry and Graeme started their day with excellent swims, Gerry came out of the water 2nd in his wave and Graeme, in his first swim over the Half Ironman distance surprised himself with a great time.  Once on the bike however the guys encountered some challenges.  Gerry crashed early losing his salt caps and some of his invaluable GU nutrition, this would prove costly later in the race.  He was for the most part okay and continued in the race riding to one of the fastest AG men’s bike splits.  Graeme had a rather more serious crash being blown off his bike (along with several other athletes) by a convoy of military trucks on the course.  Graeme suffered lots of road rash and a broken collarbone in the accident although true to form his spirits remain high and he hopes to be back racing as early as July.  Despite a below par run Gerry still managed to hold onto 6th place in the competitive 25-29 AG.  As with the girls Gerry’s ‘A’ race is Ironman Coeur d’Alene and confidence is high going into the final preparation phase before the late June race.

Gerry at Wildflower - With steep uphills come flying downhills

The Olympic Distance race saw Charles Rivers and Eddie Switaj compete in their first triathlon of the season.  Not an ‘A’ race for either athlete, expectations were still high and both athletes were looking to place high in the overall race.  Eddie got off to a great start with an as expected very fast swim (Eddie comes from a swim background).  He was leading his wave along with one other athlete and despite losing him in traffic (while passing swimmers from an earlier wave) exited the water only seconds behind posting the 2nd fastest swim split of the day.  His swim partner went on to win the overall race.  After a solid bike and run on what is a challenging course for a solidly built athlete like Eddie he managed to hang on to finish 17th Overall.  Charles had a decent swim exiting the water at just over 20 minutes and then posted one of the fastest AG bike splits to put himself in contention for a high finish.  He ran well although suffered through a painful side stitch that slowed him down a little, despite that he went on to finish 9th overall.  Both athletes were pragmatic about their season opener knowing what they need to work on going forward and feeling good about the rest of the season.

Eddie Switaj
Eddie Switaj

Next stop for most of the long course athletes is Ironman Coeur d’Alene and for the short course guys Tri Monroe (USAT Nationals) and 70.3 Honu.

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