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Australian Alexander Leads Triathlon Field

September 09, 2006|Dan Arritt

Former champion Craig Alexander of Australia heads the list of world-class competitors entered in Sunday's seventh Los Angeles Triathlon.

The Olympic-distance pro men's race begins at 6:45 a.m. with a 1.5-kilometer ocean swim around Venice Beach. The race is scheduled to conclude approximately two hours later at Staples Center. Age-group and sprint-distance races will follow.

The course also includes a 40-kilometer bike leg through parts of Hollywood, followed by a 10-kilometer run that cuts through downtown L.A.

Alexander, 33, won the event two years ago and has five victories this year. He's expected to be pushed by fellow Australian Richie Cunningham, who was second in this event a year ago, and Brazilian Fabio Cazalho, who finished third.

David Thompson of St. Paul, Minn., and Brian Fleischmann of Jacksonville, Fla., are the top Americans.

On the women's side, Karen Smyers of Lincoln, Mass., finished runner-up last year and Julie Swail of Irvine was third. Swail, a former women's Olympic water polo player and coach at UC Irvine, has finished in the top four three straight years.

Australian Emma Snowsill, the 2004 winner, and Canadians Melanie McQuaid and Samantha McGlone are also among the favorites.

The pro women's race is scheduled to begin at 6:50 a.m.

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-- Dan Arritt

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)

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L.A. Triathlon

Start times and details for Sunday's race:

* When: Sunday.

* Start: Venice Beach.

* Finish: Staples Center.

* Start times by wave: Professionals, 6:45 a.m.; elite, 6:55 a.m.; Olympic, 7 a.m.; Sprint, 8:30 a.m.

* Olympic distance: 1.5 kilometer (.9 mile) swim, 40 kilometer (24 mile) bike, 10 kilometer (6.2 mile) run.

* Sprint distance: .64 kilometer (.4 mile) swim, 32 kilometer (20 mile) bike, 5 kilometer (3.1 mile) run.

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Source: www.latriathlon.com

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