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Wednesday, August 8, 2012
A triathlon finale that can't be beat ...

By Jenny Fletcher

Triathlon biking

LONDON -- Such an amazing, amazing day!

I was so fortunate to be able to head to the women's triathlon event in Hyde Park this past Saturday and sit in the grand stands.

The amount of people who came to watch the event was out of this world. There were probably well over 100,000 spectators. The cheering was electric. Crowds lined the whole course. It was really incredible to see my sport get so much interest and attention, and everyone was about to see the race of the century!

I literally was on the edge of my bleacher seat. The swim was so fast, the pace was cut over a minute from the last Olympics. Wetsuits definitely played a factor, but I think there was hunger in this field. Talking to some of the athletes after the race, they were saying they thought they were way behind exiting the swim; but when they looked around at several familiar faces after exiting the water, they realized they weren't the only ones who thought that. The race was on ...

Laura Bennett was in the lead pack of five during the bike portion of the race. They were eventually caught by the first chase pack, which contained all the medalists.

This meant it was going to be a blistering fast run, and boy was it ever. The lead pack was flying.

Triathlon running

Lap 1 of 4 with eight runners was soon down to five ... then four ... then ...

Never before have I seen this caliber of a field where the race actually had to go to a photo finish after Lisa Norden and Nicola Spirig literally crossed the line together. It was crazy! We were all just waiting to hear who won, and they finally announced the winner. Spirig, Norden and Erin Densham (two seconds behind) were your podium winners, while American Sarah Groff was fourth overall (10 seconds behind).

That was the most exiting race I have ever seen. Nothing like a showdown at the Games!

As an athlete, you go through so much sacrifice, so many highs and lows, so much discipline and to achieve a dream. For these athletes, it was giving everything they had to make it to London. But we all know that without family, friends, sponsors and fans -- the support -- we couldn't make it to where we are. Without the support, it wouldn't be impossible. Sometimes we are more scared to let our support team down than ourselves. This was true at this event.

Congratulations to everyone who raced -- you made it to London! You inspire us all. I am a proud friend, triathlete, fan and behind-the-scenes photographer here at the Games. I am forever inspired and changed.

medal winner