For Sean Austin and Joanna Hall, training has come second fiddle recently.
Both have been handling the life as parents to new babies. Austin’s is 11 months old and Hall gave birth to a 5-month old.
Neither looked out of shape Saturday at West Lake Park.
Hall cruised in the women’s field for her first triumph and Austin garnered his second consecutive Quad-Cities Triathlon victory, outlasting Sam Lundry and Jeff Paul in the 18th annual event.
“Come and race to see how I was feeling,” Hall said. “It was great weather. I got really lucky today.”
A new child hasn’t been the only thing in Austin’s way. Lack of sleep led to three occasions of a sinus infection and as of two weeks ago, the Ames native wasn’t sure if he’d come back.
A vacation to Lake Tahoe was in the works, but according to Austin, snow and the place they were staying not being in shape led to a decision not to go.
So Austin trained more than usual for 14 days before returning to Davenport looking to defend his title.
“The last few months of training went really well,” Austin said. “I stepped it up and I wanted to do well, took a couple days off to stay fresh and it paid off.”
The 2-mile swim opening had Austin over a minute behind Sam Lundry, who was first out of the water in under eight minutes. That deficit was cut on the bike, where Austin biked 15 miles in 36 minutes, 9 seconds, about a minute faster than Lundry.
“He (Lundry) just improved,” said Austin, who won in 1 hour, 6 minutes and 44 seconds. “I was pushing better power this year. I was reeling him pretty quick. He kept me honest.”
He concluded his back-to-back wins with a 19 minute, 40 second 5k. It’s his second time coming to Davenport and the 29-year old has enjoyed victory both times.
If Austin would like to return in 2018 for a chance at a three-peat, but life could be in the way again.
“We’ve got another one on the way due in December,” Austin said. “Anyone’s guess, so you never know. I’d really like to.”
Being pregnant took a dip in Hall’s training. She also wasn’t sure if she’d return to the Quad-Cities, where she took second place in 2015 but did not race last year.
“I swam about four times and biked some here and there,” Hall said. “I’m lucky that my fitness somehow maintained after having the baby.”
With no specific strategy, the Coralville, Iowa native just raced.
Hall wasn’t in the top-15 coming out of the water, but made up for it with the best bike time of all 174 women with a time of 41:22. It was three seconds quicker than 2016 champ Laura Moeller.
“I’m a strong cyclist,” Hall said. “My bike is my strongest, relative to the other two.”
Hall hopes to return next year for a repeat, especially now with a much more calmer life and her getting back to work and finding a daycare.
“I was really itching to get back,” Hall said. “Probably, but we’ll see what life brings.”