Britain’s Paul Amey takes HITS Triathlon Series titles in first HITS Lake Havasu City triathlon in Arizona.
British triathlete Paul Amey took home titles from both the middle-distance and Olympic-distance races at the inaugural HITS Triathlon Series race at Lake Havasu City in Arizona.
Amey, 39, who is based in 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.
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.
Amey said: “I started swimming at the age of 10 and it naturally progressed into triathlon. 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 offered five distances in Lake Havasu City, Arizona and welcomed athletes from across America’s 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.
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