08 May Perfect Day for Racing at the 14th Annual Rookie Triathlon
Yesterday, nearly 900 Rookies and Veterans took part in the 14th Annual Rookie Triathlon at Walter E. Long Metropolitan Park in Austin, Texas. Mother Nature delivered ideal racing weather. Rookies, those who participated in their first or second triathlon, consisted of nearly half the field, which also featured professional triathletes Paul “Barny” Matthews, 4x IRONMAN 70.3 Champion, and Amy Marsh, 4x IRONMAN Champion and Acute Myeloid Leukemia survivor .
Paul “Barny” Williams took the overall victory with the time of 44:12. Second and third place went to Antonio Ferreira Da Silva Neto and Brendan Loehr, who crossed the finish line in 45:45 and 47:09 respectively. The women’s podium was topped by Natasha Van Der Merwe who had a winning time of 48:47. Second place finisher Margaret Finely (51:46) and third place finisher Amy Marsh (52:49) rounded out the women’s field.
The wetsuit-legal 300 meter swim took place in a 72 degree Decker Lake, the 11.2-mile bike course featured rolling hills, and the two mile run went through wooded area for a mostly off-road course. Participants received raglan baseball style shirts, custom water bottles, swim caps, beer, a post-race meal, and the signature swag toss. Professional timing and photography, as well as a great volunteer crew and hundreds of supportive spectators, made this triathlon memorable for rookies and veterans alike.
The Rookie Tri has three different divisions: Rookie (first or second triathlon), Veteran (completed more than two triathlons), and Open. Rookies and Veterans start the swim in their division based on their age group, with two participants entering the water every few seconds. The Open Division allows participants to begin regardless of age, with a mass swim start. This keeps the divisions friendly and competitive.
The beloved event is the first event of the Texas Tri Series, a series designed to start with a short sprint triathlon and finish with a half iron distance. To complete the series a person must participate in or volunteer for each of the events. Every finisher of the series is invited to the well-known and well-attended Finisher’s Party.
The Rookie Triathlon would like to thank all of the volunteers for coming out and making today’s event as great as it was. Their willingness to get up extra early to cheer on and support every participant truly made a difference in their experience. The Rookie Triathlon would also like to thank sponsors State Wheels, Little River Healthcare, Oskar Blues Brewery, Third Base Sports, nuun hydration, and Clif Bar.