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September, 2016

What an incredible week it has been!  After working through a mid-season injury and managing the doubts that face us all, the victory at the WTS race in Edmonton felt like a dream. To stand atop the podium in the third ever US podium sweep at a WTS race with Sarah True and Katie Zafares was surreal! Triathlon challenges our belief, determination, and sometimes even our ability to stay tough in the cold. There have been several wonderful articles recapping the race (links below) and I've included my own perspective on the lead-up to the race and the race itself in my blog (see " How to Make Your Coach Jump "). Here's the highlight video from the race:

Thank you so much to everyone for the kind messages following the race. I tried to reply to or at least acknowledge everyone who reached out, but I was really overwhelmed and I'm sure I missed some - please don't take it personally! I appreciate the support and well wishes so much! I'm massively grateful for the team behind me who helped make my race in Edmonton - and all of my progress - possible: my family, Ian, Paulo for the real coaching and for putting up with me and believing in me, The Triathlon Squad, my friends, USA Triathlon, fortynine group, ROKA Sports, Off the Front Multisport, Team Psycho, and Alii Sport. Also, a huge thank you to Chula Vista OTC Sports Med and Function Smart Physical Therapy for helping me get healthy and fit again this summer. This wouldn't be possible without all of your support.  I'll be back in action in Cozumel, one of my favorite places, on  September 17, and Salinas, Ecuador, on  September 25!

~ Summer

from  U.S. Women Sweep World Triathlon Edmonton, Led By First-Time Medalist Summer Cook
by Brandon Penny, USA Triathlon, September 4, 2016

The U.S. once again proved it is the most dominant nation in women's triathlon, sweeping the World Triathlon Series podium on Sunday in Edmonton, Alberta. This sweep, however, came without 17-time World Triathlon Series champion Gwen Jorgensen competing, who last month became the first American triathlete to win Olympic gold.

Instead, it was Summer Cook who led Team USA with the gold. Cook finished the sprint-distance course in 56 minutes, 49 seconds, to earn her first WTS podium finish. Her previous best performance on the sport's most elite circuit was 14th at the Yokohama, Japan, stop in May. The 25-year-old also claimed her first world cup win earlier this year.

"For me, a lot of today was just finding the mental willpower to keep myself in the race and put myself in the position to have a strong result," Cook said after the race, according to International Triathlon Union. "I DNF'd last year with hypothermia. I knew I had to come in today extra prepared for the conditions. I didn't think I had a chance at all on the last curve on the last lap and then I started to believe that I had a chance."

Joining Cook was podium regulars and 2016 Olympians Sarah True and Katie Zaferes. True crossed three seconds behind Cook in 56:52 for silver, with Zaferes finishing in 56:56 and earning bronze.

above photos by Viviane Sloniewicz

US Podium Sweep: Summer Cook, Sarah True, Katie Zafares
U.S. women 1-2-3 at Edmonton
by Timothy Carlson
September 4, 2016

Summer Cook, Sarah True and Katie Zaferes scored the third-ever World Triathlon Series podium sweep for U.S. women at the sprint distance event in Edmonton, Canada.

Cook came from behind with a race-best 16:38 5k run to pick off countrywoman Sarah True with 500 meters to go, finishing in 56:49 with a winning margin of 3 seconds. Katie Zaferes finished 4 seconds later to complete the trifecta, 15 seconds ahead of Columbia Threadneedle WTS rankings leader Flora Duffy of Bermuda.

"A lot of today was just finding the mental willpower to keep myself in the race and put myself in the position to have a strong result," Cook told ITU media. "I dnf'd here last year with hypothermia. I didn't think I had a chance at all on the last curve on the last lap and then I started to believe that I had a chance." 

Cook's previous best result was a 1st at the Chengdu World Cup earlier this year, where she closed with a race-best 34:27 10k run. 

WTS Edmonton
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 
September 4, 2016
S 750m / B 20k / R 5k

Results -  Women

1. Summer Cook (USA) 56:49
2. Sarah True (USA) 56:52
3. Katie Zaferes (USA) 56:56
4. Flora Duffy (BER) 57:10
5. Vicky Holland (GBR) 57:15
6. Kirsten Kasper (USA) 57:19
7. Non Stanford (GBR) 57:30
8. Emma Jackson (AUS) 57:36
9. Gillian Sanders (RSA) 57:37
10. Jolanda Annen (SUI) 57:41
How to Make Your Coach Jump

After my catastrophic race in Edmonton last year, I was convinced that I would never return. In May, Paulo mentioned that it would likely be a good opportunity given its timing after the Olympics, but I still didn't want to come back. I wasn't sold on racing Edmonton until I was forced to withdraw from Tiszy and Hamburg in July and I wanted more race opportunities. I've struggled on and off since about mid-June. I would say I was at my best fitness (and skill) level ever before my injury and it just straight up sucked to not be able to race in July. I wanted to go back to Tiszy and redeem myself from my performance last year. I've heard amazing things about Hamburg and I wanted to try to rise to the challenge of that race. As I began to build back, I would have phases where I was really excited to get back into it and other phases where I had no motivation. I was mad at myself for getting hurt and losing the gains I had made running and biking in May and June. Once you lose your momentum its hard to get rolling again. My result in Montreal was because I victimized myself and raced without heart instead of taking control of what I could control. I was much more motivated after Montreal, but I was still filled with a lot of doubt. I had about five conversations with Paulo about quitting triathlon over the summer including one the Sunday before Edmonton. I was starting to think that I wasn't cut out to be truly successful in the sport. I'm pretty glad I didn't quit or refuse to come back to Edmonton! I'm still in shock - I won a WTS race!

I never once believed that Edmonton would be significantly warmer than last year. It was maybe five degrees (F) warmer, but we did have the added benefit of dry conditions. As soon as I committed to the race, Paulo and I started working on a plan to manage potentially arctic conditions. We thought half tights and an elbow length top would work last year, and we were very wrong. We decided to go with... [Read full blog post at]


U.S. Women Sweep Podium At WTS Edmonton,, September 4, 2016.

U.S. women 1-2-3 at Edmonton, Timothy Carlson, Slowtwitch, September 4, 2016.

USA Sweeps Women's WTS Edmonton Podium,, September 4, 2016.

WTS Edmonton: Summer Cook claims first World Triathlon Series victory, Jack Sexty, 220 Triathlon, September 4, 2016.

Summer Cook surprises field at ITU World Triathlon Edmonton elite women's event, Derek Van Diest, Edmonton Journal, September 4, 2016.
Race Schedule

February 20 Tritonman Tri San Diego, CA
March 12 Mooloolaba World Cup Australia
April 2 New Plymouth World Cup New Zealand
April 16 Chengdu World Cup Chengdu, China
May 14 WTS Yokohama Yokohama, Japan
August 7 Montreal World Cup Montreal, Quebec
September 4 WTS Edmonton Edmonton, Alberta

September 18 Cozumel Grand Final Cozumel, Mexico

September 24 Salinas World Cup Ecuador

October 22 Tongyeong World Cup Korea

October 29 Miyazaki World Cup Japan
About Summer

In 2013 Cook was invited to join the USA Triathlon Collegiate Recruitment Program. Cook was a standout two-sport athlete for Villanova where she earned All-Big East honors in swimming, track, and cross country, was named All-Mid Atlantic Region in cross country, and qualified for NCAA regionals on the track in the 5000 meters. In the pool, Cook finished second in the Big East in the 1000 meter freestyle.
She has enjoyed a rapid ascent in the sport, this year winning the Chengdu World Cup, WTS Edmonton, and her second consecutive Tritonman Triathlon in San Diego. Last year she was on the ITU World Cup podium in Alanya, Turkey with a second place, enjoyed wins at the Sarasota American Cup and Catania European Cup, and was second at the Dallas American Cup (duathlon), and Clermont American Cup.

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