Timothy O’Donnell’s impressive 8:01 finish was more than enough to garner his first Ironman win this weekend, while Dr. Amanda Stevens finally broke through with a win, despite an uncharacteristic second-place finish out of the water.
O’Donnell’s powerful bike and run splits were too much for the rest of the men’s field, while Stevens’ solid performance in all three disciplines was rewarded with her first full-distance win.
For the women, once the race hit the two-loop bike course, Stevens made quick work of getting to the front. Coming into T2, Stevens’ lead was down to 5:30. On the run course, American Jessie Donavan worked her way into second, but could never manage to get closer than seven minutes. Canadian Sarah Gross was the big mover during the marathon and, with seven km to go, was only 3:20 behind Stevens. Stevens was able to gauge the distance on the out-and-back section of the course, though, and ran hard to the end to win in a course-record time of 09:05:53. Gross’s 3:09:49 race-best run time got her across the line in second in 9:08:38. Donavan finished off the podium in 9:10:29.
For the men, O’Donnell came out of the water with the leaders, then dominated the bike thanks to a 4:22:23 bike split. That got him to T2 with a 14-minute lead on Brazilian Igor Amorelli (BRA). Another Brazilian, Luis Francisco, trailed by over 17 minutes in third.
O’Donnell had the fastest run of the day, which easily secured him his first Ironman title in a record-setting 8:01:32. Competing in only his second Ironman, Amorelli took the runner-up position in 8:19:40, while Germany’s Stefan Schmid rounded out the podium in 8:25:02.
Ironman 70.3 St. Polten
Belgium’s Bart Aernoets (3:22:35) and Austria’s own Lisa Hütthaler (3:49:55) took the swimless Ironman 70.3 St. Polten this past weekend. Aernouts, the Belgian European duathlon champion, took advantage of the cancelled swim due to cold air and water temperatures in St. Pölten to avenge his close runner-up finish in Mallorca a few weeks ago, while Hütthaler made it two in a row to take the win in her home country.
Aernouts and Germany’s Andi Böcherer rode away from the rest of the field and held their leads through the run to finish one-two, while Ironman 70.3 Mallorca (and the Ironman Asia-Pacific Melbourne champion) Eneko Llanos finished third. In the women’s race it was Hütthaler and Yvonne van Vlerken who rode clear of the rest of the women in the race. Van Vlerken led through the first half of the run, but was passed by Hütthaler before the 15 km mark and in the last few meters of the race by Sweden’s Eva Nystrom.