Javier Gomez Noya Continues Where He Left Off Last Season: On Top Of The Podium
Spain’s Javier Gomez Noya is a triathlon force to be reckoned with. He proved so by his lack of time off between wins from one season to the next. Capping off his 2012 season with wins in the ITU Grand Final in Auckland and X-Terra World Championships in Maui, Hawaii, Gomez Noya began his 2013 season in similar fashion. The 2012 London Olympic silver medalist won the 2013 Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon in San Francisco, CA by over a minute.
While Gomez Noya makes winning races look easy, there was nothing easy about this year’s Escape From Alcatraz race. In fact, there never is. Known as one of the toughest races out there, the athletes take to the frigid, rocky waters of the San Francisco Bay. The 2013 edition was moved up on the calendar to an earlier event date, causing the Northern California waters to be extra chilly. There is a stark difference in temperatures from June in California to early March. Although the conditions weren’t going to be ideal, the race still attracted both reigning Ironman World Champions, Leanda Cave and Pete Jacobs, along with a star-studded field, including Gomez Noya.
Gomez Noya exited the water just behind the leaders, which is generally all he needs for a solid race effort. Taking advantage of his bike and run skills, the Spaniard threw down the fastest bike split of the day (47:11) following that effort up with a 45:12 run, putting him on top of the podium for yet another time in his illustrious career.
“If you have any weakness in the three sports, you’re not going to win,” Gomez Noya said. “I was pretty consistent the whole way, and I think that was key.”
In the women’s race, Oakley’s Heather Jackson of Carlsbad, CA took the victory over her struggling countrywoman, Sarah Groff. With a cycling background, Jackson was expected to be able to take down Groff on the bike, but that didn’t happen. Groff entered T2 in the lead, but citing stomach issues, she relinquished the first position to Jackson during the run, ultimately finishing in the runner up position by just 29 seconds.
“I’m in shock right now,” Jackson said. “This isn’t necessarily my distance; it was more just kind of ‘bucket list.’ I’ve always wanted to do it. It was a blast and I can’t believe I won.”
On a lighter note, current Ironman World Champion, Leanda Cave summed up the less than favorable conditions in San Francisco in one tweet:
“It was literally criminal to race in this years @EscapeAlcatraz conditions. We are now all convicts!!!”
Escape From Alcatraz
March 3, 2013 – San Francisco, Calif.
1.5-mile swim, 18-mile bike, 8-mile run
1. Javier Gomez (ESP) 2:04:27 OAKLEY
2. Graham O’Grady (NZL) 2:05:39 OAKLEY
3. Jesse Thomas (USA) 2:06:40
4. Pete Jacobs (AUS) 2:08:33
5. Jason Pederson (USA) 2:09:32
1. Heather Jackson (USA) 2:18:08 OAKLEY
2. Sarah Groff (USA) 2:18:37 OAKLEY
3. Ricarda Lisk (GER) 2:23:36
4. Emma-Kate Lidbury (GBR) 2:25:34
5. Lauren Goss (USA) 2:25:41