• U.S. Veteran, Newcomer Win Age Group Du World Titles


    ALPHARETTA, Ga. (Oct. 19, 2002) – Veteran duathlete Amanda Gillam and newcomer Thomas Jeffrey, both of the United States, won the overall age group titles at the 2002 International Triathlon Union (ITU) Dannon Duathlon World Championship on Saturday.

    The United States, which brought the largest team by far to the championship, took 13 individual age group gold medals, two gold medals in the demonstration Clydesdale categories and one in the demonstration Athena category.

    Gillam (30-34; Boulder, Colo.), a 1999 world duathlon gold medalist in the 25-29 age group, completed the 10k run, 40k bike and 5k run in 2 hours, 9 minutes, 56 seconds.

    Jeffrey (25-29; Charlottesville, Va.), competing in his second duathlon ever, won the men’s title in 1:54:37.

    Jeffrey did his first duathlon in July when he finished second in the 25-29 age group at the Dannon U.S. National Duathlon Championship in July in Carlsbad, Calif. Jeffrey is a former marathon runner who placed 19th at the 2000 Olympic marathon trials. Injuries led him to back off distance running and add cycling to his training.

    Jeffrey said the race was fun but admitted, “The last mile I thought, ‘This is way too painful.’ I’m hoping in a few hours I’ll recover and forget that part.”

    Gillam is also a triathlete and won the overall title at the USA Triathlon Mrs. T’s Age Group World Triathlon Qualifier in Lake Placid, N.Y. this year. However, Gillam wasn’t feeling confident heading into Saturday’s race.

    “I went into this race not feeling that fit,” said Gillam, who had been working 40 hours a week at her job at a women’s fitness clothing store. “I never felt confident that I was going to win until the finish line.”

    Gillam trailed Annie Oliver of New Zealand in the first 10k run, but passed Oliver on the first lap of the bike. Oliver went on to place second overall, and first in the 25-29 age group.

    David Walters (Lisle, Ill.), who won the men’s 45-49 age group, said the course’s long rolling hills played to his strengths.

    “I worked a lot on hills, running and hiking,” Walters said of his race preparation. “Apparently it paid off.”

    The junior elite, under-23 and elite competitions get started Sunday at 7:30 a.m.

    Courtesy: 3athlete