Weekend Race Recap: Ironman 70.3 Racine, Lake Stevens, WTS Hamburg
Kessler wins once again 1 week after Vineman triumph, 6 weeks post-accidentJuly 21, 2013
Ironman 70.3 Lake Stevens
Craig Alexander used a race-best run split to help him capture Ironman 70.3 Lake Stevens in 3:55:23. Allen Gardner (USA) came out of the water in 22:29, which gave him a half-minute lead on Aussies Paul Mathews and Luke Bell. Following the leaders 1:30 back were Alexander (AUS), Guy Crawford (USA), Matt Lieto (USA) and Elliot Holtham (CAN).
Out on the bike, Alexander, Bell and Holtham rode together most of the way and entered T2 just seconds apart. Lieto was over four minutes down, while the rest of the field appeared to be out of contention for a possible podium finish.
On the run the cat-and-mouse game continued for the leaders as they ran together through the first half. Holtham was first to break and was 11 seconds down as they started the final 6.5 miles. Through 8.5 miles, Alexander had managed to open up a gap of 11 seconds on Bell, with Holtham just trying to hang onto third.
Alexander ultimately enjoyed a 35-second winning margin over Bell, who stopped the clock at 3:55:23. Holtham did hang on for third with a 3:59:40 finish time.
Six weeks after a severe in-race accident and just one week after winning at Ironman 70.3 Vineman, Meredith Kessler continues to surprise and amaze, leading from start to finish to win the women’s crown at Ironman 70.3 Lake Stevens. Coming out of the water, she enjoyed a 23-second lead over Tenille Hoogland (CAN) as the lead pair ran into T1. Mckenzie Madison (USA), Melanie McQuaid (CAN), Jeanni Seymour (ZAF), Caroline Gregory (USA) and Kate Bevilaqua (AUS) were just over two minutes back, but in a good position considering that the lead pair are amongst the best swimmers in the sport.
Kessler and McQuaid were the class of the field on the bike, entering T2 together with an 11-minute advantage over Bevilaqua, their closest rival.
Once on the run, Kessler gradually put distance between herself and McQuaid: She was 1:45 ahead by the halfway point and would eventually finish in 4:18, besting McQuaid by 5:18. Bevilaqua rounded out the podium with a 4:33:42 finish.
Ironman 70.3 Racine
Martin Jensen (DMK) showed the way out of the waters of Lake Michigan with his 24:01 swim time. Behind the Dane was a pack of nine men including former ITU stars Denis and Ivan Vasiliev (RUS), Paul Ambrose (AUS), Andrew Starykowicz (USA), Barret Brandon (USA), Brad Kahlefeldt (AUS), Bryan Rhodes (NZL), Leon Griffin (AUS) and Tim Reed (AUS). Riding through 30-miles, Starykowicz was leading the way with Jensen just seconds back. Ambrose, Reed, Griffin, Ivan Vasiliev and Rhodes were working together trying to limit the gap to Starykowicz out front, but were all between 2:30 and three minutes behind with 26 miles of biking ahead.
Starykowicz’s entered T2 with a 1:45 cushion on Jensen. Out on the run, Jensen was within 30 seconds of Starykowicz by 3.3 miles and had taken the lead by the halfway point. In the end Jensen took the title in 3:47:05 with a 1:29 winning margin over Starykowicz’s “never-say-die” effort. Ivan Vasiliev used the day’s fastest run split of 1:13:31 to grab the final place on the podium (3:51:22).
Leading the women’s race into T1 was first-year pro Haley Chura (USA), whose 25:40 swim was a minute faster than her closest rival, Jenna Parker (USA). Early in the bike Parker had the lead, but it was American Angela Naeth who was making the big move of the day. She quickly moved to second with some of the sport’s best riders not far behind: Cat Morrison was cycling fourth (2:01 back) with Mirinda Carfrae, the 2010 Ironman world champion, sitting sixth (2:23 off the pace).
Coming into T2 Naeth had worked her way into the lead with a 1:23 advantage over the fleet-footed Morrison. Three miles into the run, Naeth’s lead was down to just 30 seconds over Morrison. At the halfway point the gap was just four seconds. Naeth held on, though, and eventually pulled away from the speedy Scot to take the Ironman 70.3 Racine title in 4:15:00. That got her to the line 52-seconds ahead of Carfrae, who used the day’s best run of 1:20:13 to nip Morrison for second overall. Morrison rounded out the podium, coming to the finish line 13 seconds after Carfrae.
Jonathan Brownlee (GBR) produced a thrilling finish to pip brother Alistair Brownlee (GBR) to claim victory in the World Tour Series in Hamburg.
The Brownlee brothers and Javier Gomez (ESP) dominated throughout and were still shoulder to shoulder as the race entered the last kilometer of the 5km run. Gomez started to fall back as the Brownlees upped the pace and it looked like Alistair would claim his first victory in Hamburg, edging ahead of Jonathan in the closing stages.
But younger brother Jonathan found one final burst of energy on the blue mat to snatch victory in a blistering 51 minutes and five seconds. Alistair registered the same time to claim silver, while Gomez finished in 51:14 for bronze. In doing so Gomez maintain his position at the top of the rankings.