Elite Triathletes Seek to Extend Win Streaks

Tri-California Events announced today that Jesse Thomas and Heather Jackson will participate in the 32nd Wildflower Triathlons on May 2-4, 2014. The triathletes have won consecutive race titles and will seek to extend their respective win streaks this year.

Throughout its race history, the Wildflower Triathlons have attracted racing legends. This has included men and women who have not only won world championships at every distance but who have also helped define greatness on every continent. These are competitors who belong in the sport’s Hall of Fame.

Thomas, a former 3000-meter hurdler Stanford record holder, is seeking course history with a fourth straight win on the Wildflower long course. In 2012, his Wildflower winning time was the third-fastest ever at 3:58:54 and now this year, he will also look  to match four-time World champion Chris McCormack’s four wins (not consecutive).

In 2013, Thomas finished second at the Ironman 70.3 Oceanside, edged out by the five-time Oceanside champ (and one-time Wildflower winner) Andy Potts; this is one of many of Thomas’ accomplishments which places him as a premier half Ironman-distance triathlete in the world.

Jackson, a former NCAA Division 1 hockey player at Princeton, will seek a third straight Wildflower crown on the ever-challenging trails and winding roads of this race. In the 2012 competition, she scored a breakthrough win and then followed up last year with an even more decisive victory at the classic Lake San Antonio course.  She’s hoping third time is a charm and since 2010, Jackson has placed in the top five at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship contests and looks forward to filling a five-card straight in 2014 at the Mt. Tremblant 70.3 Worlds.

“The Wildflower long course with men’s and women’s elite fields traditionally bring some of the greatest triathletes on the planet to confront the daunting and beautiful course — perhaps the toughest and truest test of any Long Course event in the world,“ said Colleen Bousman, president of Tri-California Events.  “We’re very excited to have Jesse and Heather return to compete for their crowns but we’re also looking forward to another strong field of world-class triathletes to give them some competition.”

The 2014 list of elite racers include the following:

Men:  Luke McKenzie, Leon Griffin, Chris Legh, Andrew Starykowicz, Brandon Marsh, Matthew Russell, Paul Ambrose, Matt Lieto, Kyle Leto, Ken Rakestraw, Timothy Marr, AJ Baucco, Chris Bagg, Karl Bordine, Andrew Bauer, Andrew Drobeck and Matt Sheeks

Women: Charisa Wernick, Kathy Rakel, Emily Cocks, Suzanne Huse, Janelle Morrison, Jessica Smith, Cathleen Knutson, Caroline Gregory, Hana Sykorova, Jennifer Luebke and Trish Deim

Wildflower Triathlons’ classic long course race encompasses a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike leg and a cross-country and paved 13.1-mile run. The three-day triathlon festival also includes a mountain bike sprint race and an Olympic distance contest, which draws 7,500 competitors as well as legions of friends and family supporting the athletes.

To learn more about these triathlons, please visit the TriCalifornia website.