The quiet hills of Northern California were not short of excitement this weekend as HITS Triathlon Series welcomed roughly 1,500 athletes to the Napa Valley region for the second-annual weekend of racing at Lake Berryessa’s Chaparral Cove.
“This is one of the most beautiful venues in our Series,” said Mark H. Wilson, race director with HITS Triathlon Series. “That, coupled with the recent traction that HITS has gained in the multisport world, registration numbers nearly doubled from last year.”
While the course was labeled one of the more difficult available in the United States last year, Wilson leveled the playing field this year and some modifications revealed a more welcoming race-experience. “The courses were slightly flatter this year and, as a result, it was still challenging, but better suited to all levels,” he said.
Chad Raugewitz, 45, of Ukiah, California brought home his first Full distance win in his second 140.6 ever. “I have trained and raced here before, so I knew exactly what to expect – there were no surprises out there,” he said. He was surprised, however, when he learned that he was in third during the second lap of his 112-mile bike ride. “My goal going in was just to finish, but I knew the guy in second wasn’t a runner, so when I came off the bike, I thought I might have a chance.”
Raugewitz, who is a cross-country coach by trade, found the sport of triathlon while at a cross-country camp in 1985. “There was a triathlon going on and I signed up that day. I didn’t have a wetsuit, so I just rubbed lard all over myself and did it. I love this sport,” he said. Known for their dedication to athlete satisfaction, Raugewitz admits that he “felt right at home” this weekend with HITS Triathlon Series.
With over 1,000 cars taking the usually calm roads to Lake Berryessa, local restaurants and businesses experienced a significant increase in business.“This is the busiest weekend we have had ever,” said Stefan Gusberti, chef and owner of local restaurant, Cucina Italiana. “It’s great to see this kind of buzz up here again.”
HITS Triathlon Series, which boasts an “a distance for everyone!”™ mantra, offered five distances in Napa Valley. The event continued to grow the sport of triathlon as new triathletes were born from the HITS Open – a 100 meter swim, 3 mile bike and 1 mile run. Seasoned athletes, however, were welcomed to a picture-perfect swim in Lake Berryessa, sweeping bike courses with plenty of climbing and a run with spectacular views during the Sprint, Olympic, Half and Full distance events.
See below for male and female winners from all the HITS Napa Valley distances:
Male Results Full – Chad Raugewitz (Ukiah, CA) – 11:18:21 Half – David Condon (San Francisco, CA) – 4:25:22 Olympic – Jake Shoemaker (Stow, MA) – 2:02:13 Sprint – Andreas Thallaug (Walnut Creek, CA) – 01:08:46 Open – Tony Pirc (Santa Rosa, CA) – 10:02
Female Results Full – Tracy Coughlin (San Francisco, CA) – 13:33:35 Half – Maggie Fournier (Palo Alto, CA) – 5:12:20 Olympic – Robin Pomeroy (Folsom, CA) – 2:20:32 Sprint – Karen Chequer-Pfeiffer (Windsor, CA) – 01:17:22 Open – Jordan Loftin (Woodacre, CA) – 10:43
Click here to view complete results from HITS Napa Valley 2013.
The 2013 HITS Triathlon Series schedule continues next weekend, April 27-28, with a weekend of racing in Marble Falls, Texas. The complete 2013 schedule is finalized and registration for all races is available at HitsTriathlonSeries.com. Due to the popular 2013 HITS pricing structure, it is expected that several of the five offered distances will sell out before each race day. As an incentive for early registration, all athletes who complete their registration more than four months out will receive 75% off the regular registration fee.
All upcoming events will offer qualifying opportunities for both HITS Athlete of the Year Awards and the HITS Championship in Palm Springs, CA Dec. 7-8, 2013. Registration for the HITS Championship is open to the first 500 athletes in each distance. Once 500 register, qualifying will be required. To register for HITS Marble Falls, the HITS Championship or any other upcoming event, please visit HitsTriathlonSeries.com.