Jason West threw down the fastest run split of the day to top the field at the Surf City Escape Triathlon in Huntington Beach, California this past Sunday with a mere 11-seconds separating the top 3.
West, formerly a USAT Collegiate National Champion who picked up three ITU Continental Cup wins in 2015 and 2017 and won an Escape Series race last year in Philadelphia, is starting the season off strong with a 3rd place showing at the ITU Continental Cup in Sarasota prior to his impressive win this past weekend at Surf City.
At 24 years old, West’s confidence has been building along with his fitness as he describes his progression over the last few years, “I had some tough injuries a couple years ago, and then got through last season completely injury free, so I think the consistent hard work I’ve been putting in over time is starting to add up. I’m taking some steps forward that I never have before and reaching a new level. I also decided to make the move and be self-coached this season. I’ve been really focusing on some of the weaknesses in my racing, and here in Surf City I think I saw some improvements in those areas, specifically staying stronger in the back half of the bike as well as being able to have the strength to finish the run all the way to the line. I clocked the 2nd fasted bike split and was really putting a lot of time into guys on the second half, and I’m pretty confident the fastest mile I ran in the race was the final mile. I needed to do both of those to win, so it was great to see some of the focal points in training be improved on race day.”
New to the First Endurance triathlon team this year, West outlined his nutrition during his Escape Series win, “I use the Pre-Race before every race, and then some EFS Liquid Shot Kona Mocha before the race begins. All of the nutrition I take on during the race is on the bike. I drink one bottle of the lemon lime EFS. It’s great because I can highly concentrate it to get enough calories for the whole race, but it still sits well in my stomach with no issues.”
Following a chaotic swim with some ‘legit’ big waves and strong currents, West had 1:26 to make up on fellow First Endurance teammate, Olympic Distance star Cam Dye, and Eric Lagerstrom.
Dye’s powerful riding over the fast and flat bike course stretched another 55 seconds on the young gun, West. After pulling back what proved to be precious seconds in transition, a skill well-honed from his ITU experience, West started the run 2:14 in arrears to Dye, with a little over a minute to pull back on Lagerstrom.
Lighting up the run with a 31:13 run split, West set the stage for an exciting finish. “The end of the run made for a really great finish. All three of us basically came together at the same time with about a kilometer to go. I was able to run away with it and get a decent gap, and then Cam took Eric in a sprint finish to the line for 2nd. The three of us were separated at the end by only about 10 seconds. It was a true race all the way to the line.”
“When I hit the carpet starting the finish chute I had gotten a decent gap so I knew I had it, but a race that goes down to the wire like that, I felt like I was able to enjoy only about 25 meters of it.”
“It was a true battle all the way to the line, one of the coolest finishes I’ve ever been a part of, and racing against so many amazing athletes, that makes it really special.”
With a week of recovery ahead, West looks to ready himself to try to do it all over again this coming Sunday at St. Anthony’s Triathlon.
Surf City Escape Triathlon
Huntington Beach, California
April 22, 2018
1. Jason West 1:46:10
2. Cameron Dye 1:46:18
3. Eric Lagerstrom 1:46:21
4. Matthew McElroy 1:48:26
5. Ryan Fisher 1:49.36