The Grand Rapids Triathlon, one of the premier triathlons in all the Midwest and beyond offers distances from sprint through half-ironman, duathlon and aquabike. It’s the perfect race to get you through the rough winter training. Even more importantly, this fast and beautiful course is designated as one of the National Championship qualifiers which means select winners earn the privilege to represent the USA in Sweden, at the next World Championships!
Heavy rains filled the hours before the race as anticipation mixed with anxious energy. Fortunately, the rain stopped as the racers readied at their transition area, leaving only wet roads and cloudy skies to keep the heat at bay. With 13 TEAM OAM NOW/ATHLETIC MENTORS racers covering all distances, there was an almost constant hum of cheers and announcements with “OAM NOW” heard throughout the race.
With the heat tempered, the 13 Team OAM NOW racers were ready and delivered an impressive showing, ensuring the crowd and announcer calls of “OAM NOW” will echo for quite some time in the ears of competitors and spectators alike.
The most impressive showing came from our pro triathlete, Raquel Tavares-Torres, who earned first place overall in the Olympic distance triathlon moving her further towards her goal of qualifying for the 2016 Olympics. Rounding out the Olympic distance, Robyn Kaiser finished 4th and Amy Kimber finished 9th in their respective age groups.
The Half-Ironman distance boasted the strongest representation from TEAM OAM NOW/ATHLETIC MENTORS with 10 racers completing the 70.3 mile race. For many of them, it was not just a matter of crossing the finish line.… they were seeking qualification into the World Championships.
Both Alex Vanias, who placed 3rd overall and Kaitlyn Patterson, who placed 1st in her age group earned National Championship status while Todd Anthes, Chuck Grzanka, and Cheryl Sherwood all earned themselves spots at the World Championships! Not only was their amazing Team OAM NOW representation at the podium for these events, but both Mark Olson and Mike Steele made an excellent showing in their age group.
Of course Grand Rapids Tri is an event with considerable depth, much like the OAM NOW Team. In addition to the triathlon wins and honors, our relay team of Cricket Howard and Erin Lumbard placed2nd overall in the relay and Kathy Kirk dominated the aqua bike again coming in 3rd overall.
All teams and all athletes go into an event like this hoping for great things, but Team OAM NOW was really able to deliver in Grand Rapids and show everyone we’re a team to watch. Congratulations to everyone who raced and congratulations to our Team OAM NOW members for making us all so proud to be a part of this amazing group.