Tommy Zaferes and Becky Lavelle win the second San Francisco Triathlon at Alcatraz
Zaferes has a career breakthrough at age 25; at age 37, Lavelle is back on top of the podium after the birth of her first child 14 months ago
Posted: Sunday, August 21, 2011
SAN FRANCISCO, California -- Second year pro Tommy Zaferes edged veteran Brian Fleischmann for a career breakthrough win and Becky Lavelle outlasted a fast-finishing Christie Sym at the second San Francisco Triathlon at Alcatraz.
Zaferes, the 4th-ranked US 200 butterfly swimmer in 2008 who turned to triathlon in 2010, combined a race-best 31:06 swim, rode an 11th-best 1:06:38 bike, and ran a race-best 43:17 for a 2:26:51 finish. Zaferes, 25, passed 31-year-old pro Fleischmann with a mile to go on the 7-mile run and crossed the line with a 15-seconds margin against a top field.
Fleischmann surrendered just 15 seconds to Zaferes' swim, then took charge with a 1:04:20 bike that put 2:18 on Zaferes and more on the rest of the field. Fleischmann held a significant lead far into the run as he hit the soft sand of Baker Beach, but veered into a smaller, off-course sand ladder before turning back and making the correct right turn.
Fleischmann lost an estimated 20 seconds during his excursion. "He was almost out of sight," said Zaferes, "but when I came to the sand ladder, I could see him halfway up and I had a target the rest of the way."
"It's bittersweet," said Fleischmann, who has won several Tri-California events including Treasure Island and Pacific Grove in an 11-year-pro career. "I felt strong all day and second place here is good. But I really wanted a win. It was my fault I went off course and Tommy Zaferes pushed me hard all day and earned the win."
"This is a really big win for me," said Zaferes, who praised his coach Victor Plata, a 2004 US Olympian for getting his entire swim-bike-run game in synch for this race. Zaferes said it was nice to break a string of bad luck. Back in 2009, he was leading the Santa Cruz Triathlon by two minutes when he was hit by a car, suffered severe bruises and did not finish. This year, he recalled, "When I went to a race in Monroe, Washington, my bike was smashed by the airline," he said. "I started the race, but my rear tire blew and I DNF'd." Last week he crossed the line first at the Santa Cruz Triathlon, but was relegated to 3rd after assessed a penalty for a position foul on the bike he steadfastly disputes.
"Today it was my turn to have good luck," he said.
Becky Lavelle trailed Lauren Brandon by 66 seconds fighting the strong currents in San Francisco Bay, but earning a significant 4:52 advantage over the woman who proved to be her toughest challenger, 27-year-old Australian pro Christie Sym. Lavelle surrendered 75 seconds to Sym with her 6:58 time for the half mile run from the swim finish to transition, then took the lead from Brandon 7 miles into the bike. Lavelle, 37, who has gradually returned to form 14-months after the birth of her daughter Caitlin, went on to record the second-fastest 1:13:42 cycling split, which Sym bested by 2:28.
With 69-seconds lead starting the run, Lavelle went on to post a 4th-best 51:01 run over hills of the Presidio, the soft sand at Baker Beach and the rugged 400-foot climb up the endless sand ladder at Mile 5. Although Sym pushed to within 100 yards at one point near the end, her 2nd-best 50:26 run only made up 35 seconds and left her precisely that far back of Lavelle at the finish.
Madeleine Oldfield, combined a 40:54 swim, a 1:15:19, and a women's best 49:03 run to finish 3rd, 1:57 back of fellow Australian Sym.
Lavelle, who had a her biggest competitive year in 2006 when she came back from career-threatening injuries to record wins at half Ironman-distance events at Wildflower, Vineman and Lake Stevens, plus Olympic-distance triumphs Alcatraz, Chicago and Los Angeles. has been making gradual progress returning to form after the birth of her daughter 14 months ago. Lavelle returned to competition in May with a 2nd place at an Olympic distance event in Kemah, Texas, then took 3rd place finishes at the Cap-Tex Triathlon in Austin, the 5150 race in Washington D.C, and at an IMG-sponsored race in northern California. The week before the San Francisco Triathlon at Alcatraz she broke into the win column with a triumph at the smaller Santa Cruz Triathlon near her home in Los Gatos, California.
"At this point in my career, it's nice to win a big one again," said Lavelle.
San Francisco Triathlon at Alcatraz
San Francisco, California
August 21, 2011
S 1.5 mi. / B 25 mi. / R 7 mi.
1. Tommy Zaferes (Aptos CA) 2:26:51 - $3,750
2. Brian Fleischmann (Colorado Springs CO) 2:27:06 -- $3,000
3. John Kenny (Bridgeport PA) 2:28:15 -- $2,250
4. John Dahlz (South San Francisco CA) 2:28:38 -- $1,500
5. Kyle Leto (Walnut Creek CA) 2:28:47 -- $1,200
6. Ethan Brown (Lowell MA) 2:29:46 -- $1,050
7. Brian Lavelle (Los Gatos CA) 2:30:58 - $900
8. Dustin McLarty (Irvine CA) -- $600
9. Bryan Rhodes (Rangiora, New Zealand) 2:33:37 -- $450
10. James Hadley (GBR / Boulder CO) 2:33:49 - $300
1. Becky Lavelle (Los Gatos CA) 2:29:14 -- $3,750
2. Christie Sym (Collaroy, Australia ) 2:49:49 -- $3,000
3. Madeleine Oldfield (AUS / Boulder CO) -- $2,250
4. Alexis Smith (Monterey CA) 2:52:38 -- $1,500
5. Lauren Brandon (San Mateo CA) 2:56:11 -- $1,200
6. Emily Cocks (Napa CA) 2:58:23 - $1,050
7. Julia Grant (Ashburton NZL) 3:01:33 -- $900
8. Courtenay Brown (Boulder CO) 3:06:53 -- $600
9. Kristin Iavarone (Santa Rosa CA) 3:09:12 -- $450
10. Kelly Dunleavy (San Rafael CA) 3:11:24 -- $300