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Teenage Elites and Team Zucco Take RAM Racing's Big Foot Triathlon
A pair of 19 year-old elite triathletes, Jennifer Howland and Reeven Nathan, were 2 of the winners at RAM Racing's 6th annual Big Foot Triathlon Sunday, June 24th.
Fresh off a 9 month stint volunteering for the Israeli army, 19 year-old Reevan Nathan won the male Olympic distance, finishing in 1:57:34. This was his first win since taking the International Elite Amateur Championship at the 2011 Chicago Triathlon. Sarah Sfezi won the woman’s Olympic Triathlon with a time of 2:14:26, repeating as female Olympic champion and improving on her 2:16:24 winning time from 2011.
Both Sfezi and Reevan are members of Team Zucco, an elite running team organized by Adam Zucco and other high profile coaches. Another teenage Team Zucco member, Jennifer Howland, was the first person to finish and winner of the woman's Sprint Triathlon distance. Her lightning quick time of 1:13:43 came despite sustaining an injury at Leon's Triathlon 2012 earlier in June. Howland finished second in the 2011 USA Triathlon Junior Elite National Rankings.
Zucco beamed about his athletes "They’re all very determined people, very goal oriented ... very good at setting their goals and achieving them ... nice to see them all achieve some success." He picked Big Foot tri with his juniors in mind "I like doing the RAM Racing events, because they're always well organized ... as a coach you don't have to worry about your athletes ... great positive environment for them to try out."
Setting an example for his pupils, Zucco participated in the event himself, finishing third overall in the men's Olympic distance. Speaking to his performance he noted "Fun to see younger guys coming up and getting faster ... not fun to get your butt kicked, [but it's] fun helping those kids to kick your butt."
Jeff Anders won the men's Sprint in 1:08:08. He was excited about his win noting “Getting harder for me to do well as I get older into my upper 40's here and it's not all the time that I win overall races anymore.” Anders has an impressive resume, including being the 2007 USAT Sprint National Champion for ages 45-49; he’s also writing: “in my free time trying to work on a book on endurance sports psychology, applying psychological principles to endurance sports.”
Anders also noted “triathletes don't need all the bells and whistles” RAM provides “what we need is a safe, well organized course and that's what RAM does really well for this race.” When Anders and the other hundreds of Big Foot triathletes dove into Geneva Lake’s course, start time water temperature was 73 degrees.
While triathlon races vary in distance, Big Foot supported both Sprint and Olympic courses sanctioned by USAT, the authority for more than 3,500 diverse events. "With 3 courses, triathlon logistics are always challenging and fun; we're very glad participants were able to enjoy themselves on an incredible day in one of America’s most pristine lakes," said RAM's USAT Certified Race Director Brandon Presern.
Olympic participant Aaron L also appreciated the courses and venue: writing via Facebook “As always thank you [RAM] for setting the standard by putting on a well run, well organized, fun and safe race today. Bigfoot is always on my must do list every season and it's easy to see why!"
A portion of triathlon proceeds were donated to the race’s 2 official charity partners: The Foundation for Retinal Research and The Water Safety Patrol.
About The Foundation for Retinal Research
The Foundation for Retinal Research was founded in 1998 at a time when very little was known or published about Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis (LCA), a rare and aggressive retinal degenerative disease affecting children. LCA results in severe visual impairments or blindness. Families affected by Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis had a difficult time acquiring information and making connections to help them understand the eye disorder. The Foundation for Retinal Research has bridged the gap between families and research. Visit http://www.tfrr.org/
About The Water Safety Patrol
The Water Safety Patrol is a private, non-profit organization founded in 1920 by Simeon B. Chapin. Its mission is to keep Geneva Lake safe and enjoyable for all. For more information see http://www.watersafetypatrol.org.
About RAM Racing
RAM Racing was co-founded in 2002 by Steve Ginsburg and Paul Rosenblum as a result of their passion for endurance sports. Since its beginning, RAM exploded onto the racing scene and now hosts 8 Chicagoland events with 7 more races in key markets across the country. RAM is committed to providing an excellent, safe race experience with award-winning goody bags and well organized and supported race courses.