Irwin man wins Pittsburgh Triathlon; former CMU student takes women's race
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Chad Holderbaum is accustomed to racing long distances for hours at a time in Ironman events, so Sunday's Pittsburgh Triathlon required a slightly different approach.
The international distance race, consisting of a 1,500-meter swim in the Allegheny River, 40K bike on the I-279 HOV lane and 10K run along the North Shore, meant a faster pace throughout, but Holderbaum handled it with ease and won with a time of 1 hour, 59 minutes and 26 seconds. Holderbaum, who turned pro two years ago, also won in 2011 and finished second in 2012, the last time he raced at this short a distance, he said.
Alden Basmajian of Bloomfield, N.J., was second with a time of 2:00:18, and last year's champion, Eric Angstadt, was just behind him, finishing in 2:00:55.
“I've been coaching Eric the past two seasons, so it's exciting,” said Holderbaum, 34, of Irwin. “I think this is the first time I've had to race one of my athletes that I coach. I see the work he puts in day in and day out, and it really shows, too, being at the top of this field.”
Holderbaum and Angstadt are both members of the Pittsburgh Triathlon Club, as well as the Nos. 4 and 5 finishers, 2009 champ Colin Gundling and David Wirth. Gundling and Angstadt are both currently training for the Half-Ironman World Championship on Sept. 7 in Quebec.
Angstadt was leading the race coming out of the water, but Holderbaum caught him toward the top of the first hill on the bike, surged ahead and led from there on out.
“It's tough when you run into your pro triathlete coaches, but what are you going to do? You have to race who's there, and you're going to run into them at the world championships anyway,” said Angstadt, 29, of Ohio Township. “I have to get used to it sometime. It'll definitely give me motivation the next month during that last building block before worlds.”
There were 208 entrants in Sunday's race, many of whom had to finish in the downpour and thunderstorm that swept across the city in the morning. Last year's race had 345 entrants.
Jen Sung, a 24-year-old former Carnegie Mellon student who lives in Baltimore, was the women's champion, finishing in 2:29:25. She had to run the last half-mile through the torrential rain. A longtime swimmer, Sung only started competing in triathlons last year. She did last year's Pittsburgh race and finished ninth in 2:29:56.
“I was the first one after the swim but the bike is my worst leg and I was getting passed a lot,” she said.
Sung made up the ground on the run, however. Jeannette's Sara Gelder, 28, finished second in 2:31:55, followed by Jen Sober, 41, of McHenry, Md., with a time of 2:32:46.
While four of the top five men's finishers knew each other well, the second-place finisher was just in town for the weekend visiting his brother, who lives in Regent Square, and decided to jump into the race. He also is building up for the Half-Ironman World Championships.
“This is my last tuneup race for it,” said Basmajian, 31. “The swim was strong, and I had to pull some people on the bike. I tend to be a strong runner, so I came off the bike in good position and caught one more person on the run. I enjoyed it. It was great competition and a solid group of guys out front.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers not limiting themselves in free agency
- Coyotes proliferate despite year-round hunting
- Rossi: Pirates must pay for Mr. Right
- Under Rutherford, it’s been a sizeable shakeup for Penguins
- Greensburg pair jailed in convenience store robbery
- Against Wake Forest, Pitt looks to reverse fortunes on road
- Big names become available this week via free agency; will Steelers be tempted?
- McConnell’s 34 points fuel Chartiers Valley’s victory in Class AAAA title game
- Blaze rips through Salem house
- Scottdale costume shop not just for Halloween, Christmas
- Pirates notebook: Infield prospect Hanson used to playing elders