Honoring Great American Performances from Great American Athletes
SAN DIEGO, CA (February 19, 2015) – The inaugural TRI-Palooza Awards Gala will take place Saturday night, February 21st at the Hilton San Diego Resort and Spa on Mission Bay. The 400 attendees will be celebrating the best in endurance sports as they enjoy cocktails, dinner, and the awards show, which will be emceed by Ironman Hall of Famers Bob Babbitt and Mike Reilly.
The theme for this year’s awards is Great American Performances from Great American Athletes, and the award winners are:
Meb Keflezighi, Endurance Athlete of the Year presented by Headsweats. Coming a year after the bombings in Boston, it was appropriate that an American win The 2014 Boston Marathon. Meb became the first American to win Boston since 1983 and his victory was hailed as one of the most important marathon wins in U.S. history.
Meredith Kessler, U.S. Long Distance Female Triathlete of the Year presented by EAS Sports Nutrition. Meredith had a great season winning the U.S. Pro Ironman 70.3 championship in St. George for the second year in a row while also winning both Ironman Arizona and Ironman New Zealand in 2014.
Ben Hoffman, Breakthrough Performance of the Year presented by FunctionSmart Physical Therapy. In 2014 Ben became the first American male to finish on the podium at the Ironman World Championship – he took second – since the great Tim DeBoom won in both 2001 and 2002.
Molly Huddle, Female Runner of the Year presented by Ashworth Awards. In 2014 Molly set personal bests in the mile (4:26.8), 5,000 meters (14:42.64), and 10,000 meters (30:47.59). She also won the U.S. outdoor National Championship in the 5,000 by outsprinting Shannon Rowbury (15:01.56 to 15:01.71) in one of the most exciting races of the year. And that race turned out to just be a warm-up for her 5000 at the Diamond League event in Monaco where she broke her own national record (4:26.8).
Taylor Phinney, U.S. Male Cyclist of the Year presented by Nytro Multisport. Taylor started his season with a huge win during Stage 5 of the Amgen Tour of California on May 15th. With temperatures reaching 106 degrees during the 107.4 mile Pismo Beach to Santa Barbara stage, Phinney attacked on a long downhill and soloed the rest of the way. He followed that up on May 24th when he went to Chattanooga, Tennessee and took home his second U.S. National Time Trial Championship, winning by a full 51 seconds.
Tim DeBoom, Triathlon Legend presented by MPA Event Graphics. Tim is the last American to win the Ironman World Championship, which he did in both 2001 and 2002. Ironically, when he won in 2001, it was only about a month after 9/11 and the Ironman was the first international sporting event since the bombings. As Tim ran to the win, the crowd on the side of the road was not chanting “Go Tim,” they were chanting “Go USA!” Tim was racing for the U.S. in 2001, just like Meb in Boston in 2014.
Celeste Corcoran, Challenged Athlete of the Year presented by Kaiser Permanente. Celeste lost both legs above the knee in the horrific Boston Marathon Bombings in 2013. With support from our official charity, The Challenged Athletes Foundation, she returned to the Boston Marathon in 2014 to run the last few hundred yards of the race with her sister, who ran the marathon in her honor. Her story is beyond inspiring. What is sure to be an emotional part of the evening, Celeste will be on stage to present Meb Keflezighi with his award.
ROC Race, Event of the Year presented by RACEPLACE. Steve Stoloff is the creator of the ROC Race that started out in in San Diego. They held 16 events around the country in 2014 and doubled their participation numbers over 2013, averaging over 10,000 people per event.
Tri Club Members of the Year presented by EAS Sports Nutrition: The region’s largest triathlon clubs – Los Angeles, Tri Club of San Diego, Orange County Tri Club, and California Triathlon – annually select their Tri Club Member of the Year. Those Tri Club Members of the Year will come on stage together and receive the same trophy as our other award winners and their trophies will be presented by six-time Ironman World Champion Dave Scott.