10 from area steely-eyed for Ironman TRIATHLON

October 14, 1994|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,Sun Staff Writer

He had a stress fracture of the tibia that is healing. Two weeks ago, he had to go to the hospital after suffering a rib injury in a car accident.

But Troy Jacobson of Towson isn't going to allow the injuries to stop him from competing in his third Gatorade Ironman Triathlon, a grueling combination of 2.4-mile ocean swim, 112-mile bicycle race and 26.2-mile marathon.

"I've had bad luck with injuries lately, but I'm definitely going," said Jacobson, 25, who was 35th overall and the 11th American finisher last year, completing the triathlon in 8 hours, 54 minutes.

Jacobson will be one of approximately 1,500 men and women from 49 countries who will participate in the 16th world championships Saturday on the Kona Coast in Hawaii.

Ten competitors will be from the Baltimore area. In addition to Jacobson, they are George Altieri of Columbia, Bea Marie Fritsch of Catonsville, Chuck Peppersack of Baltimore, Lynn Brooks of Baltimore, Nina Bingham of Cockeysville, Barbara Sullivan of Columbia, Chris Riley of Annapolis, Mark Dintino of Glen Burnie and Brooke Moore of Annapolis.

With triathlon superstar Mark Allen of Cardiff, Calif., sitting this one out to concentrate on marathoning, the men's race is considered wide open. Allen won his fifth straight Gatorade Ironman title last year in 8:07:45, breaking the course record by more than two minutes.

Altieri is ready for his fifth try at the event after finishing eighth in his age group (35-39) last year in 9:28.

"If you push too hard on the bike, you aren't able to run the way you should," said Altieri.

Hawaii is always hot and humid at this time of year. "We're getting into fall here, so you have to go there early to get acclimated," Altieri said. "The key is to stay hydrated and load up on calories beforehand."

"The run is the toughest because of the heat and humidity," said Jacobson. "But the biking can be bad, too, when you get headwinds. You can get stopped in your tracks."

The prize money is a big inducement. Men's and women's winners will receive $20,000 each, with $12,000 going to runners-up. There also will be bonuses for finishing first in individual events and in age groups, bringing the total offering to $160,000.

Dave Scott, a multiple winner of the event, is coming out of retirement to become the first competitor 40 or older.

In the women's division, defending champ Paula Newby-Fraser, a six-time winner from Encinitas, Calif., will compete. She holds the women's course record of 8:56.

For Fritsch, it will be her first world championship attempt, and she just wants the experience. "I've wanted to do this for 10 years. Just once. I won't be back," she said.

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