CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (February 22, 2012) – What a homecoming it was for Austin Saylor as he entered the finish shute in the lead to win the first ever HITS Triathlon Series – Corpus Christi full distance triathlon on Sunday. Saylor grew up in Corpus Christi and now hails from Dallas, Texas, but wouldn’t have missed a chance to race in his hometown and welcome long distance triathlons to the area.
“I was planning on doing Cozumel and then I knocked a magazine over one day, it opened to the HITS [Triathlon Series] ad for a full in Corpus Christi and I figured it was fate,” said Saylor. “This was a very well run race in a challenging location and it was great to race in my hometown on a course that I knew.”
Saylor, an athlete from Brian Loncar Racing, finished the 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run in an impressive 9:29:19 to complete his third-ever full distance race.
“The course was windy, but I have put in a lot of training hours in the wind, so I was ready,” he said. “The course support out there was great and the Corpus Christi Police went above and beyond.”
Roughly 500 athletes joined Saylor this weekend for HITS Triathlon Series – Corpus Christi and swam, biked and ran across five distances in the Gulf of Mexico and along the picturesque coastline of Padre Island. Saturday’s Open, Sprint and Olympic distance welcomed first time triathletes as well as elite amateur racers, while Sunday’s longer distances gave some their first Half and Full distance finisher medals.
Deborah Battaglia of Salt Lake City, Utah was the first female to cross the finish line in Sunday’s Full distance with a time of 11:44:33 to bag three HITS races in a row. She also was the first overall female at the Full distance HITS Triathlon Series events in Palm Springs, California and Naples. Florida.
Like many triathletes who raced in Corpus Christi, father-son duo Frank and Randall Sarosdy were looking for an early season race. They decided to give HITS in Corpus Christi a try, which turned out to be well worth it as Frank was first overall and Randall won his age group in the Sprint distance.
“This was a great season opener for me – fast and flat out-and-back courses are my favorite,” said Sarosdy, 24, of Austin, Texas. “I have raced all over the country and podiumed nationally and, although HITS is new, this race is on par with all those other national races.”
Sarosdy finished the 750 meter swim, 12.4 mile bike and 3.1 mile run courses in a final time of 1:04:18.
Six-time Ironman World Champion and HITS Spokesperson Dave Scott was also part of HITS Triathlon Series – Corpus Christi, shaking the hands of and delivering awards to all overall and age group winners across all five distances.
“It was an honor for me to be able to meet so many triathletes of varying levels during one weekend and welcome new athletes to the sport,” said Scott. “The excitement that this series is generating at the beginner, amateur and elite levels is encouraging and will help ensure that the sport that we love is going to be alive and well for a long time.”
HITS Triathlon Series will return to Corpus Christi, Texas February 16-17, 2013 and registration will open next Friday, March 2 for all five distances. Due to the popularity of other recently opened events, including Palm Springs and Napes, early registration for Corpus Christi is encouraged as the event is expected to fill up quickly and could sell out.
Next month, HITS Triathlon Series returns to Florida to offer "A distance for everyone!TM" in Ocala March 24-25, 2012. Ocala will present qualifying opportunities across all distances for the HITS Athlete of the Year Awards, which will be announced at the HITS Championship, scheduled for December 1-2, 2012 in Palm Springs, CA. After Ocala, HITS Triathlon Series will again travel to Texas for an event in Marble Falls April 28-29.
Austin Saylor completes the first half of his 112 mile bike ride at HITS Triathlon Series – Corpus Christi, Texas to later win the first-ever full distance triathlon in his hometown.
See below for male and female winners in all HITS Triathlon Series – Corpus Christi distances:
Full – Austin Saylor (Dallas, Texas) – 9:29:19
Half – Brian Shelden (Austin, Texas) – 4:54:37
Olympic – Albert Sustala (Houston, Texas) – 2:25:36
Sprint – Frank Sarosdy (Austin, Texas) – 1:04:18
Open – Eric Enriquez (Porland, Texas) – 23:21
Full – Deborah Battaglia (Salt Lake City, Utah) – 11:44:33
Half – Maggie Elder (Tacoma, Washington) – 5:24:02
Olympic – Eleanor Morales (Hickory, North Carolina) – 2:32:27
Sprint – Monserrat Morales Lopez (Metepec, Mexico) – 1:21:37
Open – Christina Tirado (Bellaire, Texas) – 24:45
Click here to view complete results from HITS Triathlon Series – Corpus Christi.
To register for HITS Triathlon Series – Ocala or any 2012 event, visit www.HitsTriathlonSeries.com.
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About HITS, Inc.
HITS, Inc. is a special events management company primarily focused on producing endurance sports events and hunter/jumper horse shows. Based in upstate New York in the village of Saugerties, HITS is dedicated to creating high-quality events in desirable destinations with unmatched, professional operations. For more information about the HITS Triathlon Series, please visit www.hitstriathlonseries.com.