WILTON, Conn. Amy Bevilacqua of Wilton has been a professional triathlete for just two years. Sunday, she picked up her first victory by winning the New York City Triathlon.
Bevilacqua, 38, covered the Olympic-distance event in 2:00:04. She won by 20 seconds over Elizabeth Blatchford of England. Bevilacqua made up a huge amount of ground on the 40-kilometer (24.8 mile) bike ride, and took the lead for good a little more than two miles into the 10k (6.2 mile) run. Bevilacqua was second to last out of the water in the first leg, a 1.5 mile swim, among the 11 professional triathletes. She had the fastest bike split (1:03:36) and the second fastest running split (36:24).
This was a good race for me because of the current in the Hudson, said Bevilacqua, the mother of four who trains out of the Wilton Family Y. I swam a smart race. Usually Im the last one out of the water (among pros). Swimming is not my strength. Swimming in the Hudson narrows the gap for me.
The victory is the most impressive accomplishment so far in Bevilacquas triathlon career. She finished third in the same race last year, and won the KIC It Triathlon in Stamford last year.
Bevilacqua pulled ahead for good in the run, and held off a late challenge by Blatchford. Around mile five, I thought, Oh boy, Im tired, she said. I asked people watching us and I said shes catching up, isnt she? I paced it well. I held back a little bit because its a tough course. I had just enough at the end.
Bevilacqua was the top American women of the Fairfield Half Marathon and a 5k race in Albany, N.Y. in early June. She was also former track standout at Staples High School. She was part of the 4 x 800 relay team that still holds the school record. She also ran at Williams College.
She now is planning to participate in the Green Mountain Stage Race, a cycling event beginning Aug. 28 in Vermont. She is also planning to compete in a half Ironman race in Florida in September.
New York City is a great event for me, but unless I put some serious effort into swimming, Im not going to place like this too often, Bevilacqua said. To continue professionally, Ill have to move up to the half Ironman where its less of a swimmers race. I love the New York race, though. Ill keep doing it as long as I can.
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