Arizona's own Brian Folts dominates 140.6 miles to win the Full distance race
LAKE HAVASU CITY, AZ (November 13, 2012) -- A self-proclaimed redemption win, Paul Amey, 39, of San Diego, California swam, biked and ran his way to a 4:36:12 overall victory in Saturday's Half distance triathlon at HITS Lake Havasu City, Arizona. A professional triathlete racing for Great Britain, the 2012 season has been a tough one for Amey after illness upset the beginning of his race schedule. Victory, however, was sweeter than normal this weekend as he also crossed the line first in the Olympic distance race by a one second margin.
"I started swimming at the age of 10 and it naturally progressed into triathlon," said Amey of his entrée into the sport. "I have only been going long since 2008."
Amey, who has been racing professionally since 1996, made the 2004 British Olympic Team and boasts a long list of career highlights, including three UTI Duathlon Championships and the British Ironman record at eight hours and one minute.
HITS Triathlon Series, sponsored by HighTower Advisors offered five distances in Lake Havasu City, Arizona and welcomed athletes from across the Southwest and beyond to a weekend of swimming, biking and running. The event continued to grow the sport of triathlon as new triathletes were born from the HITS Open. Seasoned athletes, however, were welcomed to a picturesque open-water swim, challenging climbs on the bike and an island run, which included a trip over the renowned London Bridge.
"HITS offers so many options throughout the year -- Lake Havasu City and Palm Springs were perfect fits for my late-season schedule," said Amey. "The courses were good -- the lake is beautiful, the bike has some great climbs and it was awesome to run over the London Bridge."
Surprised that more triathlons don't find a home in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, Amey added, "As long as the community is supportive, I think we will see this race grow significantly over the next few years -- the setting is perfect."
Amey plans to again race the Half and Olympic at the HITS Championship in Palm Springs, California in December.
"This course offered such variety," said Half distance female winner Ashley Paulson, 31, of Orem, Utah. "From pavement to stairs, the run course was so much fun."
The first Full distance race ever to be held in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, this weekend's long course presented a win to Phoenix, Arizona's Brian Folts. The 26-year-old athlete took a hiatus from longer distances in 2010 and made his return on Sunday with a top podium spot and a PR in 10:10:18.
"My goal was to break 10 hours until I saw the elevation profile for the bike," joked Folts. "But to get my first overall win and a PR on a tough course is great."
From the humble beginnings of riding his bike to work and running marathons for fun, Folts will now check a Full distance win off his triathlon bucket list after leading the race start to finish.
Thanks to abundant support from local community groups and an overwhelming volunteer presence, HITS Triathlon Series views Lake Havasu City, Arizona as a prime location for its race weekends and is currently exploring plans for a 2013 event.
"The only way that we can do what we do is with the support of volunteers and organizations like HITS who are willing to take on the production of these events," said Full distance female winner Deborah Battaglia. She is currently the undefeated female at the HITS Full distance and boasts nine overall wins throughout the 2012 series.
See below for male and female winners from all HITS Triathlon Series -- Lake Havasu City, AZ distances:
Full -- Brian Folts (Phoenix, AZ) -- 10:10:18
Half -- Paul Amey (San Diego, CA) -- 4:36:12
Olympic -- Paul Amey (San Diego, CA) -- 2:01:32
Sprint -- Andreas Thallaug (Walnut Creek, CA) -- 1:11:06
Open -- Lee Schrank (Murrieta, CA) -- 15:27
Full -- Deborah Battaglia (Salt Lake City, UT) -- 12:20:05
Half -- Ashley Paulsen (Orem, UT) -- 5:13:12
Olympic -- Dora Branyan (Houston, TX) -- 2:36:48
Sprint -- Lara Ray (Camarillo, CA) -- 1:22:36
Open -- Sahana Bojorquez (Las Vegas, NV) -- 15:13
Click here to view complete results from HITS Triathlon Series -- Lake Havasu City, AZ.
HITS Triathlon Series will soon celebrate its one-year anniversary at the HITS Championship in Palm Springs, California December 1-2. Qualifying restrictions have been waived for the first annual championship and registration is now open. The 2012 HITS Championship will also mark the culmination of the HITS Athlete of the Year Awards. Athletes will soon be notified of their Athlete of the Year standings and awards will be announced in Palm Springs. To register for the HITS Championship in Palm Springs, California or any other upcoming event, please visit www.HitsTriathlonSeries.com.