Age ain’t nothing but a number, to quote the late R&B singer Aaliyah, but it’s a decent indicator of how fast world-class triathletes might swim, ride, and bike their way through any given course. Such is the allure behind the USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships.
This year’s event took place over the weekend in Milwaukee, and more than 4,300 triathletes competed in the Olympic and sprint distances, battling it out for the right to represent America in next year’s ITU World Championships, set for August 27−September 2, 2014, in Edmonton, Canada.
“With this unique format, with everyone in their own age group, you’ve really just got to go all out and see what happens the rest of the day,” said Colin Riley, who won both the overall and 25-29 age-group title in the men’s Olympic, according to USA Triathlon. The 25-year-old from Aurora, IL, finished the 1.5K swim-40K bike-10K run in 1:52:54.
“I felt good coming in and it was definitely one of my big races for the year,” he said of Saturday’s performance. “I just gave it my all and had a really great race.”
A 20-something also captured first in the women’s Olympic, as 29-year-old Heather Lendway from St. Paul, MN, finished in 2:05:37.
Sunday was devoted to sprint-distance races—750-meter swim-20K ride-5K run. This time, a teenager posted the fastest women’s time, as 16-year-old Malia Ellington of Davidson, NC, crossed the finish line in 1:06:07.
On the men’s side, a competitor who was twice Ellington’s age ruled the day: Matt Migonis, 33, bested all comers in both the 30-34 age group and general field, posting a time of 59:19.
Migonis—one of only two triathletes to break the hour barrier—took to the course having driven to Milwaukee from his hometown of Hamilton, NY, but the marathon drive apparently didn’t tucker him out for Sunday’s sprinting.
“To be honest, it was hillier than I thought it would be and that was a benefit to me on the bike. I actually felt really good on the bike. From the first mile I felt great and I knew it was going to be a good day,” Migonis said, according to USA Triathlon. “The finish is amazing, to come down on the red carpet like that is just a sweet feeling.”
Click here for the complete race results.
“Our races are to our sport what Wimbledon and the Australian, U.S., and French Opens are to tennis, and what the Masters, U.S., and British Opens and PGA Championship are to golf. Each race has the history, the tradition, the honor roll of legendary champions, and a special place in the eyes of all to make them stand apart from the other events.” Mary Wittenberg