Sunday, July 22, 2007

Snowsill, Bennett repeat in New York

By Rebecca Roozen

July 22, 2007 -- It was deja vu of last year for Aussies Greg Bennett and Emma Snowsill as they took golds again on a beautiful and unseasonably comfortable New York City summer morning. The professional field kicked off the seventh annual event at 5:50 a.m. with a quick tidal river swim in the Hudson. Aussie Craig Walton, who has been sidelined for a couple years because of chronic fatigue syndrome, was back in business as he lead the men's field out of the water. American Hunter Kemper followed, with Bennett close behind.

"The first 5K of bike was flat and I was trailing Walton," says Bennett, who won last week's Lifetime Fitness Triathlon in Minneapolis, Minn., "but I took advantage of the hills and downhills later on in the bike." Bennett says he felt like he won it with his swim and bike today. Kemper says the bike is where he lost it.

"I didn't have a good bike today; I just couldn't find a good rhythm," Kemper says. "I knew I could get second, and that was the best placing I felt I could get. It's hard to come to a race like this, race against these kind of guys when I'm not racing 100 percent. I have to be happy with this result."

For Bennett's mate Walton, it was good to be back out there competing after a two-year layoff. "Ultimately, it was just good to race," Walton says. "I want to get back to my normal self."

"I was glad to see Craig have a good race," Bennett says. "I'd like to see him win one, he's had a couple of tough years."

Snowsill runs to victory

Like the men's race, there was a trio that battled it out for two hours for the women. It was American Rebeccah Wassner who was first to dry land, with Snowsill and Dibens close behind. Snowsill made up some ground on her way to transition and lead Wassner out on the bike. But it was Great Britain's Julie Dibens that powered ahead on the bike and kept Snowsill about a minute back a mile into the run.

"The bike course is deceivingly hard with a lot of wide open spaces and undulating winds," says Snowsill. "It's a solid run though, and I really had to put my head down and push it to get ahead of Julie. She was really motoring along out there, and it took a lot for me to catch her."

"I knew it was always between Emma and me and the other top competitors," says Dibens. "And I knew I needed at least a few minutes lead if I was going to take her [Snowsill], but she caught me about mile two or three of the run."

It was Dibens first time competing at the New York City Triathlon, and she said she really enjoyed the run even though Snowsill got ahead of her. "Running through Central Park is pretty awesome," Dibens says.

Snowsill agrees, saying she always enjoys this course and New York. "It's a really well organized course, even with all the traffic," she says. "Everything was cleared away in time. I felt safe the whole time. I can't expect all of Columbus Avenue to clear away. It was very special to come back to New York to do it again today."

The Nautica New York City Triathlon is part of the five-race Lifetime Fitness Triathlon Series, also including the Lifetime Fitness Triathlon in Minneapolis, Minn., the Accenture Chicago Triathlon, the Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Triathlon and the inaugural Toyota U.S. Open Triathlon in Dallas.

The race will be shown on local New York station WNBC Channel 4 on various days starting Sunday, July 29 at 2 p.m. Check local listings or for more information.

1. Greg Bennett (AUS) 1:47:37
2. Hunter Kemper (USA) 1:48:41
3. Craig Walton (AUS) 1:49:05

1. Emma Snowsill (AUS) 2:00:23
2. Julie Dibens (GBR) 2:02:14
3. Rebeccah Wassner (USA) 2:03:21

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