We're really looking forward to following the European Championships over the ironman distance this weekend in Germany. A great field, fast course, thousands of spectators and an electric atmosphere. At both events. Eh? 'Both events'?! Yes, that's correct. Or, is it?
That's the situation that arises this weekend and while the events themselves are a credit to the sport, both arguably one of triathlon's unofficial 'majors', is this multiple 'title' situation good for all?
Challenge Roth is holding the ETU (European Triathlon Union) Long Distance Triathlon Championship event, as for the first time in many a year the ETU have hosted a 'Middle' (Challenge Kraichgau) and a 'Long' European Championship event as part of their 2012 schedule.
Not too far away in Frankfurt, its WTC Ironman event also carries the title from the WTC (World Triathlon Corporation) of Ironman European Championship, one of it's 'second only to Kona' ranked races alongside the US (New York) and Asia-Pacific (Melbourne) Championships. With Caroline Steffen, Andreas Raelert, Marino Vanhoenacker and Sebastian Kienle racing, it has also attracted the sort of quality field to reflect its status.
Is this an issue at all? Does it matter? Perhaps not, but I've felt for many years that our sport does seem to have an excess of 'championship' races. Does that increase potential, or decrease exposure for those who win? The European Athletics Championships recently switched from its historic four year cycle to every two years. It was held just over a week ago in Helsinki... apparently! I'm not sure if athletics year can adequately cope with a European Championship every two years. Does it make sense for triathlon to have two on one day?
The sport of boxing has largely fallen out of public awareness in part due to the 'alphabet' world title situation of the WBC/WBA/IBF/WBO/IBO A.N.Other sanctioning bodies awarding 'world' championships.
Time for some clarity in the world of swim, bike, run I believe.
There was iron-distance racing at home and abroad this past weekend.
The ever popular Karnten Ironman Austria saw British athletes Tom Lowe and Philip Graves looking for top places in the stunning setting of Klagenfurt, but neither had their best day. Philip exited with the lead swimmers, reached T2 alone and clear but withdraw at around the midpoint of the run, while Tom had a solid day, but would have hoped for better than sixth.
We have a full report from the race HERE, a brilliant video highlights package HERE and a report from top British Age Group athlete Caroline Livesey (who finished eighth overall), HERE.
Faris Al-Sultan (GER) 8:11:31
Linsey Corbin (USA) 9:09:58
Daniel Fontana (ITA) 8:20:37
Erica Csomor (HUN) 9:12:09
Pedro Gomes (POR) 8:26:31
Michaela Rudolf (AUT) 9:44:37
Franz Höfer (AUT) 8:28:41
Dana Wagner (GER) 9:46:10
David Plese (SLO) 8:30:47
Elisabeth Gruber (AUT) 9:57:41
Tom Lowe (GBR) 8:31:15
Constance Mochar (AUT) 10:01:02
Balas Csoke (HUN) 8:39:57
Simone Fämkranz (AUT) 10:09:53
Michael Göhner (GER) 8:42:42
Caroline Livesey (GBR) 10:21:00
Patrick Jaberg (SUI) 8:43:09
Elizabeth Nyitray (DOM) 10:24:09
Georg Swoboda (AUT) 8:43:58
Astrid Rogl (AUT) 10:26:17
The big UK full distance event was The Outlaw in Nottingham, where 'Dirty Harry' Wiltshire showed that you can enter and ironman at (very) late notice, little specific training, and still win. He even won the 5km swim on the Saturday too! Full report HERE, Age Group results HERE and gallery HERE. Click the results links below for the Speedo Swim results which featured triathletes such as Sophie Coldwell, Lucy Gossage, Eimear Mullan and Andy Tarry at or near the top of the various distances on offer. Mullan and Gossage returned on Sunday to ride the 112 miles as part of Outlaw relay teams too, to make it an excellent training weekend.
Harry Wiltshire 9:06:16
Emma Rand 11:00:15
Chris Goodfellow 9:11:18
Claire Smith 11:09:08
Nathan Bradford 9:26:00
Nicola King 11:19:54
John Whitworth 9:26:58
Jennifer Moffat 11:23:57
Phil Whitehead 9:39:47
Nicky Brinkmann 11:28:08
There was international racing 'at home' at the Liverpool Triathlon, the 5i50 European Championship. Clark Ellice (NZL) and Daniela Ryf (SUI) took home the spoils in a race that saw Chris McCormack return to UK shores. Full report is HERE and our video highlights montage is HERE. Check out the links below for results of all of the events from Liverpool.
There was also a weekend of swim and triathlon action at the Northumberland Festival - a full roundup report and results on that one thanks to Gary Wright is HERE.
The World Championship qualifying Deva Triathlon saw Paul Ryman and Eleanor Haresign take top honours, with Saturday's Deva Divas ladies only race dominated by Dominique Searle.
There are LOTS (!) of other results in the UK's number one triathlon results database - click below to find yours. Remember, where you see the triVIEWER icon, you can replay your race in graphic simulation form.
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