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Monday, June 27, 2022
HomeNewsArchives12TH ANNUAL TRIATHLON: BIGGEST AND BEST EVER?

12TH ANNUAL TRIATHLON: BIGGEST AND BEST EVER?

There is no doubt: The 12th annual St. Croix International Triathlon will feature the most competitive group of professional triathletes ever.
"This is the strongest and largest field" with about 300 overall competitors, race director Tom Guthrie said. "I’m happy with the numbers and raring to go."
Fueling Guthrie’s enthusiasm is the fact that he just recently received a commitment from one of the strongest male triathletes currently competing, Belgium’s Luc Van Lierde. What makes the Belgian star special? He won the Hawaii Ironman in November.
"He’s got veins in his legs that look like rope," Guthrie said incredulously. "This guy is great. It’s his first trip [to St. Croix] and his first race of the year."
That means Jimmy Riccitello, winner of the 1998 and 1999 St. Croix events, will have his work cut out for him defending his title. Last year Riccitello completed the 1.2-mile swim, 35-mile bike race, and 7.4-mile run in 2:34:16. The course record for men is 2:30:03, set in 1995 by Greg Welch of Australia.
On the women’s side, last year’s winner at 2:53:07, Karen Smyers, will face challenges from Joanna Zeiger and Carol Montgomery. The women’s record was also set five years ago, by another Australian, Michellie Jones, at 2:44:06.
"I’m going to do the best I can," Zeiger said. "This race always draws a competitive crowd."
One reason is the $50,000 purse, one of the largest in the sport. There will be an equal distribution of the prize money to men and women through 10 places.
Couch potatoes the world over will be able to view the grueling triathlon, including the notorious hill on the bike section called "The Beast," when it is televised later in the year on a variety of cable networks, including the Outdoor Life Network, which claims 30 million viewers.

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There is no doubt: The 12th annual St. Croix International Triathlon will feature the most competitive group of professional triathletes ever.
"This is the strongest and largest field" with about 300 overall competitors, race director Tom Guthrie said. "I’m happy with the numbers and raring to go."
Fueling Guthrie’s enthusiasm is the fact that he just recently received a commitment from one of the strongest male triathletes currently competing, Belgium’s Luc Van Lierde. What makes the Belgian star special? He won the Hawaii Ironman in November.
"He’s got veins in his legs that look like rope," Guthrie said incredulously. "This guy is great. It’s his first trip [to St. Croix] and his first race of the year."
That means Jimmy Riccitello, winner of the 1998 and 1999 St. Croix events, will have his work cut out for him defending his title. Last year Riccitello completed the 1.2-mile swim, 35-mile bike race, and 7.4-mile run in 2:34:16. The course record for men is 2:30:03, set in 1995 by Greg Welch of Australia.
On the women’s side, last year’s winner at 2:53:07, Karen Smyers, will face challenges from Joanna Zeiger and Carol Montgomery. The women’s record was also set five years ago, by another Australian, Michellie Jones, at 2:44:06.
"I’m going to do the best I can," Zeiger said. "This race always draws a competitive crowd."
One reason is the $50,000 purse, one of the largest in the sport. There will be an equal distribution of the prize money to men and women through 10 places.
Couch potatoes the world over will be able to view the grueling triathlon, including the notorious hill on the bike section called "The Beast," when it is televised later in the year on a variety of cable networks, including the Outdoor Life Network, which claims 30 million viewers.