From former college baseball player to triathlete, Matt Paz has only been competing in the sport of swimming, biking and running for roughly nine months. His career hit a peak this weekend, however, when he finished the HITS Triathlon Series - Napa Valley Full distance race first overall in a time of 11 hours and 42 minutes.
The 32 year old from Long Beach, California raced his first-ever triathlon in August of 2011. Paz found the sport of triathlon to replace a college baseball career and is well on his way to leaving a mark on endurance sports.
"I missed competing and this is a lifestyle that I really enjoy," said Paz. "This is a great sport with great people and you never know what the human body is capable of until you push it."
Paz raced HITS Triathlon Series - Palms Springs at the Half distance in December and added Napa Valley to his race schedule as his debut at the Full distance.
"I enjoyed my HITS experience in Palm Springs and set my Full goal for Napa," said Paz. "I was aiming at getting my nutrition down and finishing under 11 hours. Little did I know this would be one of the most difficult races I will ever do."
HITS Triathlon Series offered five distances in Napa Valley, California and welcomed over 800 athletes to Lake Berryessa for a weekend of racing. The event continued to grow the sport of triathlon as new competitors got hooked on swimming, biking and running in the HITS Open. Seasoned athletes, however, were welcomed to one of the most difficult courses in the country. With over 7,000 feet of climbing on the bike and run courses of the Full distance, HITS Triathlon Series - Napa Valley is primed to become a must for triathletes looking for a challenge.
2012 HITS Napa ValleyTriathlon Results:
Napa Valley, California - April 14-15, 2012
|Full Male Results||Time||
|Full Female Results||Time|
|Half Male Results||Half Female Results|
|Olympic Male Results||Olympic Female Results|
|Sprint Male Winner||Sprint Female Winner|
Click here to view complete results from HITS Triathlon Series - Napa Valley.
"I train the Ironman St. George course several times a year and this was harder," said James Lawrence of Lindon, Utah. "It was my slowest Full distance time, but it is the one that I am most proud of."
Lawrence placed second behind Paz in the Full in 12:23:10. Napa Valley was one stop on Lawrence's 2012 world record attempt to complete two full distance triathlons each month to raise $5 million for the Quiet Way Foundation, which is a nonprofit organization that helps to provide fresh water dams to people in Kenya.
Jessica Smith, a professional triathlete from Stanford, California also found success on the difficult courses in Napa Valley with a win in the Olympic distance race. She posted a 2:16:27 time and welcomed the challenge.
"I like hard courses," said Smith. "The courses were a challenge, but well-designed and we couldn't have asked for a better setting."
After next week's races in Marble Falls, Texas - April 28-29, HITS Triathlon Series will be back on the road in June to continue providing "A distance for everyone!TM" in Hunter Mountain, New York June 9-12, 2012. Marble Falls and Hunter Mountain will present qualifying opportunities across all distances for the HITS Athlete of the Year Awards, which will be announced at the HITS Championship in Palms Springs, California December 1-2. After Hunter Mountain, HITS Triathlon Series will again travel to Colorado for an event in Fort Collins July 28-29, followed by stops in Cooperstown, New York September 22-23 and Lake Havasu City, Arizona November 10-11.
To register for HITS Triathlon Series - Marble Falls or any other upcoming event, please visit www.HitsTriathlonSeries.com.
Source: HITS Triathlon
Photo Credits: Freeplay Magazine
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