Wildflower Triathlons- Lake San Antonio, CA – The 26th Anniversary of the AVIA Wildflower Triathlons, would bring the largest and deepest pro field in the history of the race known as the “woodstock of triathlon”. Over 35,000 competitors and spectators would gather for a weekend of racing and camping in location that has drawn top athletes for decades to try their hand at conquering the heat, Nasty Grade, and the trails that make Wildflower so unique. 2009 was no different.
In the women’s race, AVIA sponsored women- Erika Csomor of teamTBB, Tyler Stewart of Team LUNA, and Heather Wurtele would begin their pursuit after a less than perfect swim. Virginia Berasategui and Leanda Cave both stated they “expected” a win and would drop the hammer from the gun start. Berasategui would secure the win with a 1:26 half-marathon run to finish out the day. Csomor’s 3rd overall bike split would gain her 3rd place on the podium, despite some mechanical problems. Within hours of finishing the race, Csomor stated she’s capable of more, and will definitely be back next year. Stewart’s preserverance through a very tough day gained her 4th and Wurtele’s 3rd place run split would round out the top 5 women.
Additional AVIA athletes competing included: Alexis Smith (8th), Donna Phelan (10th), Rachel Sears-Casanta (15th).
In the long course age-group race, AVIA sponsored, Cherie Gruenfeld, set a new course record by over an hour in the 65-69 age group. She put up the fastest swim, bike and run splits in her age-group for a finish time of 6:12:51.
In the collegiate race, AVIA sponsored UCSD would finish in 1st place with Darlene Hunt finishing in 2nd and other teammates contributing to the score included Allison Johnston (4th), Sarah Kavaler (6th) and Lauren Chiodini (8th).