Richie Cunningham (AUS) and Emma-Kate Lidbury (GB) celebrated victories at today’s Memorial Hermann IRONMAN 70.3 Texas crossing the finish line in 3:48:24 and 4:13:52 , respectively. This was the fifth IRONMAN 70.3 win in Lidbury’s career.
On paper this was Richie Cunningham’s race to lose and the veteran 70.3 specialist followed a near-perfect race plan to prove the pundits right. After trailing Allen Gardner (USA) by 44 seconds after the 1.2-mile swim, Cunningham was near the front by the 15-mile point of the 56-mile bike ride and never looked back. After posting the fastest bike split of the day, Cunningham led fellow Aussie Tim Berkel off the bike by 1:25. The fastest half-marathon run of the day assured Cunningham the win. He eventually finished over three minutes ahead of Berkel and almost five minutes up on yet another Australian, multiple IRONMAN champion Chris McDonald.
Top five professional men’s results are below:
1. Richie Cunningham AUS 3:48:24
2. Tim Berkel AUS 3:51:35
3. Chris McDonald AUS 3:53:15
4. Jose Jeuland FRA 3:54:31
5. Pedro Gomes PRT 3:54:50
Great Britain is amongst the leading nations when it comes to IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 champions and Emma-Kate Lidbury’s name needs to be added to that impressive list. After trailing former NCAA swimmer Haley Chura (USA) by over a minute after the swim, Lidbury flew through the early stages of the bike to quickly move to the front. By the 15-mile point of the ride she was over a minute ahead of Chura and opening up time on the two women she feared most on the run, speedsters Caitlin Snow (USA) and defending champion Kelly Williamson (USA).
By the end of the ride Lidbury was almost seven minutes up on American Jessica Jacobs and a shade under nine minutes ahead of Snow and Williamson. Williamson ripped through the run and made up all but 2:13 of the deficit, but that still left the American second across the line. Snow would run her way to third, while American Liz Lyles also managed to get passed Jacobs to get fourth.
Top five professional women’s results are below:
1. Emma-Kate Lidbury GB 4:13:52
2. Kelly Williamson USA 4:16:04
3. Caitlin Snow USA 4:17:38
4. Liz Lyles USA 4:17:48
5. Jessica Jacobs USA 4:20:19
One of nearly 60 events in the global IRONMAN 70.3 Series, Memorial Hermann IRONMAN 70.3 Texas led athletes along a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike and 13.1-mile run on a course that utilized a variety of Galveston’s scenic areas. The one-loop swim took place in the Offats Bayou and the bike and run course brought competitors through Galveston Island, along the Texas Gulf Coast and over San Luis pass. Spectators cheered on athletes as they made their way to the finish line, situated near Discovery Pyramid. The event offered a total prize purse of $15,000 and 50 coveted slots to the 2013 IRONMAN World Championship 70.3, taking place on Sept. 8 at Lake Las Vegas in Henderson, Nev.