By Siobhan McCarthy
The San Francisco Pan American Cup has seen Australians Lisa Marangon and Peter Schokman convincingly finish in the top 10. Whilst Australia is in the depths of a cold winter, things are just heating up for Aussie triathletes overseas, and the results at San Francisco including that of Michael Fox, shows Australia is not short of any talent as we have seen around the globe in the last weekend.
With cool water temperatures as low as 16 degrees and strong winds, made for interesting conditions for athletes to then taken on the challenging bike course.
The Canadians dominated taking out both the men’s and the women’s races. Sarah-Ann Braune won in a time of 2:05:04 and Matthew Sharpe took out the men’s in 1:56:42.
In the women’s, Lisa Marangon showed not only is she a force on the bike but is now running more confidently with some of the faster short course triathletes. With a few breaking away in the early stages of the swim, the chase pack, driven by Marangon didn’t let them hold on to this lead for long.
With Marangon the first out on to the run, a small group formed and ran together for the first kilometer. Marangon was able to hang on to 5th position to show that with her improving run, she is soon to be a forced to reckon with in the ITU races.
Three weeks ago Marangon finished 7th at the Munroe Pan American Cup in Washington along with Sophia Amor-Smith who was 11th.
Prior to turning her hand to Olympic distance Lisa Marangon had achieved some top results in long course triathlons. She won the 2010 Busselton half ironman, was 2nd behind Caroline Steffan at the 2010 Geelong half ironman and was 3rd last year at Ironman Lake Placid beating recent Ironman Korea winner Kate Bevilaqua who finished 4th. In Australia this year Lisa won the 2011 NSW triseries Olympic distance title.
Marangon has returned to Australia, before heading to Singapore at the end of the month, â€œI was happy with my result but now know what to really work on for Singapore.â€
Sophia Amor-Smith also took to the start line, but unfortunately was forced out half way through the bike leg. Amor Smith was with the lead pack in the swim, but after waking up on race day not feeling well, fatigue set in and pulled out to focus on her upcoming races in Europe.
The men’s field boasted a large number of American and Canadian athletes, and Australia’s Peter Schokman finished 7th despite struggling on the bike, â€œI struggled running, as the bike killed my legs. I was in survival mode for the run.â€ Schokman is looking to build on this for his next race and hopes to have a better swim to put him in the lead pack.
Schokman was 10th in Munroe recently and also came very close to the top spot at the Mooloolaba ITU Oceania Cup in March this year eventually finishing 4th after leading with a few hundred meters to go.
Schokman showed his class late last year in the longer course races winning Australia’s Yeppoon half ironman with a 1:13 half marathon. He is determined to succeed in Olympic distance though and considering he works full time is turning out some top results.
Cronulla’s Michael Fox concluded his American trip on a high with a 16th place. After battling the cooler water, and being stuck between the lead and chase packs was happy with his result, â€œIt is good to finish my trip with a more solid result and a very good idea of where to head.â€
Along with Marangon, Fox won the 2011 NSW triseries Olympic distance title. He has shown he has the potential at this distance.Fox performed well this year in Australia in a long course triathlon off a short course training base finishing 5th at the Huskisson long course triathlon with a very credible performance and the only thing between him and winner Pete Jacobs being 9 minutes in the run.