Published: July 20, 2013
Deja vu all over again.
That was a bad thing for Chris Athey, but a good thing for Philip Meyer.
Meyer caught Athey with less than a mile to go in the running portion of the Rocky Mountain State Games triathlon and pulled away for good to repeat as champion Saturday at Memorial Park.
Athey, the second person out of Prospect Lake, zoomed to first while cycling. But that's when Meyer started to reel in Athey. He'd cut the lead to less than 30 seconds by the time both were off the bikes and running the course that twice looped around Prospect Lake.
When Athey hit the midway point of the run, Meyer had cut the lead to 7 seconds. A little over half a mile later, Meyer passed Athey and crossed the finish line about 50 seconds ahead of Athey.
"I caught him last year around the same time," said Meyer, a 2012 Cheyenne Mountain graduate who won the race last year. "When I came off the bike I saw he was only ahead 200 yards or so, I was pretty sure I could catch him."
After pulling a hip flexor during the college track season, Meyer is almost back to full strength.
"I've been working out a lot with the run," said Meyer, who runs and swims at Wheaton (Ill.). "I've been doing track workouts ... I'm finally back into shape."
Recently, Athey found out his lung capacity had been reduced to 72 percent of normal due to asthma that evolved into a vocal chord disorder. He's been rehabbing and can feel himself returning to normal.
"I got back to 96 percent as of last Saturday," said the CU-Denver graduate. "I'm doing a lot better."
Kathrine Warren didn't take as long moving into first. She was the first competitor out of the water – male or female.
"This is a fun, little, local race," said Warren, a California-Santa Barbara graduate who calls Colorado Springs home. "Local racers, so people who maybe you go to swim practice with or you see on the roads, and finally you get to see what they're made of in a race. It's a good time."