Cam Dye, a standout Olympic distance non-drafting specialist, has been notching wins at this distance for years. With the expansion of the Escape Series, the non drafting Olympic Distanace race has seen a resurgence and so has the competition. This year there has been a highly competitive 4-way battle between Dye, fellow First Endurance teammate Jason West, Olympian and 70.3 World Silver medalist Ben Kanute and Eric Lagerstrom, each taking turns on the top step.
Escape Philadelphia was no exception to this battle. After three Olympic distance races this year, where Dye was only a few seconds off the win but placed second twice along with a 3rd place, Dye put it all together for a hard fought and deserving win.
Regarding the high level of competition the Escape Series has attracted and with the added focus back to the Olympic distance non drafting races, Dye said “I am loving it! It’s been fun to battle with the same guys for a bit now to see how the strategies play out at different races. I know Ben and myself would always like to have as much time on Jason starting the run as possible knowing that he will have out split us most days. Ben and I have similar strategies and strengths, so we will always be swimming and riding as hard as possible and that will lead to a lot of head to head battles. They are both great guys and I have the upmost respect for their talents. They are both about a decade younger than me and I think the sport is in great hands with these two.”
With each race, the podium places have been separated by only a few seconds. In Philly, Dye made every second count with a huge effort, quick transitions, and the right tactics. “Today was actually one of those days where a plan actually works out. I knew Ben would swim well, my goal was to just stay with him in the water and try and get a bit of a gap to Jason before we jumped on the bikes. Then my plan was to just ride really hard, and knowing that’s Ben’s M.O. as well I figured we would more or less ride together and again try and really just pad our lead going into the run. I was hoping to make it a two-man race between myself and Ben but I felt really good on the bike and was able to put a bit of time into him starting the run. I ran hard but also tried to be smart knowing that he would most likely catch up and when he did I just tried to stay relaxed and run well. When Ben put in a surge at about mile 4 it took everything I had to just stay with him, but when he eased up I noticed he seemed to have hurt himself a bit and I just tried to capitalize by upping the pace just slightly. Luckily that was enough to snap the rubber band and I was able to get clear about mile 5 and just run tough through the finish. It was fun to have such a close race and to be in the middle of this little rivalry the three of us have had the last year or so.”
Matching Kanute’s swim, riding the fastest bike split and digging deep for the 2nd quickest run split of day behind Jason West, Dye found himself back on top winning Philadelphia Escape Tri in 1:48:42, 35-seconds ahead of 70.3 world medalist Kanute and 49-seconds ahead of running sensation Jason West who finished 3rd. Climbing to the top of the podium was extra special for Dye given he did it on his birthday, Dye said “Winning today was a lot of fun.”
“Twice this year I have been second place by less than 10 seconds, so it was nice to break the tape and finally get a win and to prove to myself even as I’m turning 34 that I still have what it takes to win races and beating some of the best in the sport was a good confidence booster for the rest of the season.”
Philadelphia Escape Tri
1. Cam Dye 1:48:42
2. Ben Kanute 1:49:17
3. Jaosn West 1:49:31
4. Davide Giardini 1:53:31
5. Timothy Winslow 1:53:56