July 19, 2015
Triathletes Starykowicz and Stanford back on the race podium
Recovering from injury can be a hard and frustrating road, and is one that unfortunately Orca athletes Andrew Starykowicz from the US and Non Stanford of Great Britain have both had to battle with lately. It really takes mental strength to come back from when you've been at the top of your game and then find yourself not being able to achieve how you know you're potentially able to.
This past weekend though saw a turning point for both of these athletes. At Ironman 70.3 Racine, Starykowicz finished the swim just over a minute down from the swim leader Italy's Davide Giardini, but quickly stormed to the front in the bike, leading by a third of the way through the course. Starky continued to exercise his dominance on the bike, finishing almost 7 minutes ahead of the next competitor in a time of 2:00:32. After disappointingly having to limp his way through the run last weekend at Challenge Roth after setting a new bike course record, Starykowicz was luckily able to keep going this time round to finish with what must've been a satisfying 3rd place on the podium behind the eventual winner Lionel Sanders and second place Matt Chrabot.
Meanwhile over in Hamburg, Germany at the World Triathlon Series, former ITU world champion Non Stanford toed the start line with fellow Orca athletes Sophia Saller of Germany and Sophie Corbidge of New Zealand. After Non missed the front bike pack from the non-wetsuit swim, she had to work hard with fellow strong biker Andrea Hewitt (NZL) in the chase pack to try and bridge the gap. And by the bell-lap they had done just that, with a 26-strong bike pack coming into T2. Gwen Jorgensen (USA) and Vicky Holland (GBR) had their own battle going on for 1st and 2nd place by the end of the run, with Jorgensen managing to burst away to claim her 11th consecutive victory! Just behind them came Non and USA's Sarah True stride for stride. Stanford was able to kick ahead to claim the 3rd place on the podium - beating True by just 1 second, so was an exciting finish! Non was able to carry on the good times in the mixed team relay, again claiming 3rd place on the podium alongside her fellow Brits. So a great weekend for Non!
Unfortunately for Sophie, it was not her day with the Kiwi having to DNF due to illness. Luckily she was able to come back the next day in the Tri Series mixed team relay and help the NZ side to 9th place! While Sophia Saller completed the race in a very credible 29th place.