Rockwall, Texas - A cold, damp, and windy morning combined with a hilly run course tested the mettle and speed of 1,500 athletes in the seventh annual Lifetime Fitness US Open Triathlon. The race featured a choice of distances; the International consisting of a 1,500-meter (.93-mile) swim, a 40-kilometer (24.85-mile) bike, and 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) run; and the Sprint contest consisting of half of the distances of the International race.
Dye sets the men's international standard
Dylan McNeice, 27, of Christchurch, New Zealand, lead the professional men out of water in 18:38 but his two second lead over second place finishing swimmer, Cameron Dye, 28, of Boulder, Colo., was short lived. Dye, known for his strong cycling skills gave everyone a lesson on how to ride a bike with the fastest split of 58:24 (25.5 mph). Once off the bike, he continued to press the pace over the rolling hills of the banks of The Harbor Rockwall. Dye took the win in a total time of 1:50:04. McNeice finished in 11th place.
Ben Collins, 29, of Chicago, Ill., kept the race interesting by coming off the bike less than a minute behind Dye but deficit was too much to overcome despite running 10 seconds faster than the leader. Collins would finish second in a time of 1:50:48.
Four-time USA Olympian, Hunter Kemper, 36, of Colorado Springs, Colo., use a fast sub-33 minute run to move from sixth place after the bike leg to finish third overall in a time of 1:52:28.
"My coach and I pride ourselves on constancy of training and in racing," said Dye after breaking the tape. "After a couple of 4th-place finishes in the series I knew I had to win last week in Los Angeles to give myself a shot to win the series here today."
Haskins battles for her win
American international distance powerhouse, Sarah Haskins, 31, of Clermont, Fla., as expected was first out of the water in a time of 23:44, but just two seconds ahead of local favorite, Lauren Brandon, 27, of Ft. Worth. Alicia Kaye, 29, of Clermont, Fla. finished her swim about a minute later and in short order caught Brandon before mile 5 of the bike leg. By mile 20, the hard charging Kaye caught Haskins and increased her lead to 15 seconds coming into T-2.
But Haskins would not be deterred and used a race second-best run of 36:57 to retake the lead by mile three. The former Olympian would stretch her lead to cross the finish line in 2:05:17, some thirty seconds ahead of Kaye. Lauren Goss, 24, of Mt. Pleasant, SC, charged from 5th place after the bike to move up two positions and finish third. Brandon finished seventh.
"Today was hard, especially the run after a cold bike," said Haskins. "This is a great way to end the season, with a win but I'm ready for the off season."
Taking home The Cup
In addition to their $15,000 pay day for winning the US Open, Dye and Haskins, took home and additional $60,000 for each for accumulating the most points over in the seven-race Toyota Cup Challenge Series.
Top 10 Results and winnings
1. Cameron Dye (USA) 1:50:04 - $15,000
2. Ben Collins (USA) 1:50:48 - $7,500
3. Hunter Kemper (USA) 1:52:28 - $3,000
4. Bevan Docherty (NZL) 1:52:46 - $1,500
5. Chris Foster (USA) 1:52:51 - $750
6. James Seear (AUS) 1:53:28 - $600
7. Kevin Everett (USA) 1:55:05 - $540
8. Kaleb Vanort (USA) 1:55:26 - $450
9. Cameron Good (AUS) 1:56:16 - $390
10. Michael Poole (USA) 1:56:41 - $270
1. Sarah Haskins (USA) 2:05:17 - $15,000
2. Alicia Kaye (USA) 2:05:34 - $7,500
3. Lauren Goss (USA) 2:07:59 - $3,000
4. Annabel Luxford (AUS) 2:08:51 - $1,500
5. Jillian Petersen (USA) 2:10:52 - $750
6. Jenna Parker (USA) 2:11:37 - $600
7. Lauren Brandon (USA) 2:12:22 - $540
8. Abby Geurink (USA) 2:13:53 - $450
9. Erin Jones (USA) 2:14:39 - $390
10. Lesley Smith (USA) 2:18:47 - $270
Toyota Cup Series Final
1. Cameron Dye (USA) 69.5 points - $60,000
2. Ben Collins (USA) 63 points - $20,000
3. Hunter Kemper (USA) 54.5 points - $10,000
4. Chris Foster (USA) 35.5 points - $8,000
1. Sarah Haskins (USA) 73 points - $60,000
2. Alicia Kaye (USA) 62 points - $20,000
3. Annabel Luxford (AUS) 52 points - $10,000
4. Lauren Goss (USA) 45.5 points - $8,000
Full results including the ameratur elites and age group athletes are found HERE.