History made in Birthplace of Triathlon at 2013 World Triathlon San Diego

ITU World Triathlon Series

ITU Triathlon News

April 24, 2013, San Diego (ITU) – The 2013 ITU Triathlon season touched down where it all started last weekend in the birthplace of triathlon.

Nearly 2,000 age-group athletes turned out to test the course, which covered sections of the very first triathlon ever. While Jonathan Brownlee took the elite title last year in San Diego, brother Alistair kept it in the family this season, while Gwen Jorgensen made history as the first US female to win a WTS race.

The birthplace of triathlon was host to competitors drawn to the sunny skies and the stand-out venue of the 2013 Omegawave World Triathlon San Diego, which welcomed more than 1,800 age-groupers from 15 countries to Mission Beach on Saturday.

The age-group event was again held in conjunction with the second stop of the 2013 International Triathlon Union World Triathlon Series circuit.

Many athletes, like Sean McLean, 24, of Staten Island, N.Y., made the trip to the mecca for multisport simply for the experience. “I love it here,” McLean said. “I chose the race because of the ITU competition and beautiful scenery.”

Cam Loos, 41, is a local San Diegan and participated in the race last year, winning the men’s military division as a member of the U.S. Navy. He has been participating in triathlon for 18 years but says this particular event will be one he won’t forget. “Certainly when you PR on an Olympic-distance course it’s going to be one of your favorites,” he said. “I’ll remember this one for a long, long time.”

New to the event this year was the Fiesta Island World Record Contest, allowing athletes with the fastest times on the Fiesta Island loop to call themselves “world record holders” in defined age categories.

“If you’re really competitive the bike course is great because you can always keep track and see if people are going to catch you,” said Erin Hunter (27, San Diego, Calif.). “It was flat and fast and entertaining. There were a lot of turns, so you always had to stay engaged.”

Another new addition is aquabike, a growing swim-bike race format for those who want to participate in multisport events without a run portion. “I’m so happy that you had the aquabike this year,” said Rose Thompson (68, Santa Barbara, Calif.), who volunteered at this race last year. “I loved it; the course was well-marked and the volunteers were great.”

The volunteers were an essential part of the race weekend, from the elite women’s race on Friday throughout the day on Saturday.

“The biggest thing was I was impressed with the volunteers all across the board … spectators that didn’t know me but cheered me on,” said Jeanne Reincke (51, Long Beach, Calif.).

Though the athletes flocked to Mission Beach in part for the chance to challenge themselves against an international field, the race also provided families with a chance to race together, or against each other. Derek (45) and Zack (19) Emge didn’t have to travel far from their home in Mission Beach to race, and the goal was to try to best the other.

“I couldn’t catch him this year,” Derek said in reference to his son. “He’s faster… last year I caught him, but this year I couldn’t catch him.” The pair agreed that it was a “great day, great race and great organization.”

Saturday’s swim-bike-run contest also served as the USA Triathlon Club National Championships. Club members could earn points for their teams in the Olympic-distance, sprint and aquabike races based on their finish positions, with titles up for grabs in five club categories.

Hometown team Triathlon Club of San Diego won the club championship in Division I. Other club champions include Nova/Multisports Orange County (Division II), Newport Coast Triathlon Team (Division III), TriLaVie (Division IV) and Revolution/HERevolution (Division V).

Following an exciting finish in the elite women’s race on Friday with the elite men still to come on Saturday afternoon, age-group triathletes could celebrate the day knowing they have raced in a historic venue approaching the 40-year anniversary of the sport they love.

“This is a great race, everything is well-organized,” said Daniel Atic, 37, of Mexico City, Mexico. “I was inspired by seeing the elite women yesterday, and finishing on that blue carpet was one of my dreams.”

2013 USA Triathlon Club National Championships

Club National Champions

Division I (250-plus members): Triathlon Club of San Diego, 1,327 points

Division II (130-249 members): Nova/Multisports Orange County, 152 points

Division III (80-129 members): Newport Coast Triathlon Team, 200 points

Division IV (30-79 members): TriLaVie, 43 points

Division V (29 members or less): Revolution/HERevolution, 78 points