Trevor Wurtele (CAN) and Uli Bromme (USA) both came-from-behind to capture their first Ironman titles in the postcard beautiful setting of Ironman Canada. Wurtele, a British Columbia native, won in front of his home crowd with a finish time of 8:39:33 while Bromme earned her first win with a time of 9:28:13.

In the men’s race, Wurtele was looking at 5:42  to make up early into the race. Out on the bike, swim leader Bryan Rhodes rode hard but paid for it dearly as he later cracked from the effort, but not before he won the Timex Bike Course prime. Meanwhile, Dominick Berger (AUT) was the recipient of Rhodes misfortune during the opening half of the ride and laid claim to the lead while Andy Russell worked his way into third.  Lieto and Paul Amey (GBR) were just under five minutes biking in fourth and fifth, with Wurtele and Matt Russell fading back to more than seven minutes out of the lead.

Over the final 50 miles, Matt Russell found his legs and hastily made his way towards the front of the race as did Wurtele and Lieto. Coming into T2, Lieto, Matt Russell and Wurtele dismounted their bikes together and headed out on the run to settle the battle.

It was apparent from the beginning of the run that the race would come down to either Russell or Wurtele, as Lieto fell off the pace. The lead pair ran together for five miles when Wurtele methodically inched away from the 2012 Ironman Canada champion. By seven miles, the elastic had snapped as Wurtele had stretched his lead to almost a minute. He continued to extend his lead until he reached the finish line with a 5:42 winning margin over Matt Russell. Amey (8:53:27) had an amazing race, considering he raced last weekend at Ironman North American Championship Mount-Tremblant.

In the women’s race, race favorites Uli Bromme (USA) and Lisa Ribes (USA) dug themselves an early hole as both were sitting almost eight minutes back of the leading trio of women.

Early on the bike, Bromme stormed towards the front of the race. Bromme powered her way to the lead before the first half of the bike was completed and managed to carry a seven-minute advantage over Anderson and Fletcher at the conclusion of the 112-mile ride.

Out on the run, Bromme dominated the field as she was never pressured over the 26 miles en route to finishing in 9:28:13. Ribes ran her way into second and recorded a 09:38:34 finish time, while Gillian Moody (USA) finished on the podium with a 9:49:09 clocking.

Ironman Louisville

Australians Chris McDonald and Kate Bevilaqua earned impressive wins yesterday in Kentucky at the seventh running of Ironman Louisville. After a second-place finish last year, McDonald grabbed his third Ironman Louisville championship with a course record time of 8:21:34. Bevilaqua maintained a solid lead coming away with her third Ironman win finishing at 9:29:02.

It was on the bike where McDonald’s future victory began to solidify. As the miles ticked by, the Austin-based veteran with 36 previous Ironman triathlons under his belt, used experience and patience to put serious time on the men behind him. By mile 20 he had secured a 4:30 lead, only to extend it to an eventual eight-minutes plus over defending champion Patrick Evoe (USA) and Tucson-based Thomas Gerlach (USA). He held that buffer throughout the day—along the rolling hills, through the historic town of LaGrange, and back into transition over 10 minutes ahead of the rest of the field.

McDonald’s confident lead left the drama to the women’s field as places two through 10 in the men’s race barely shifted through the marathon. Defending champion Evoe matched training partner and friend McDonald’s pace close to 10 minutes behind him finishing in second place. Gerlach rounded out the podium with a third place finish.

In the women’s race, it was clear that Bevilaqua would have to manage a much tighter competition. For the majority of the bike, Bevilaqua, 36, pedaled in very close contention with her senior of almost 10 years, Nina Kraft. It wasn’t until mile 90 of the bike that the German began to slip, losing ground to Boulder’s third-year pro (and fastest biker of the day), Whitney Garcia. Bevilaqua biked a 5:13:32, which was good for third after Canada’s Brooke Brown, who would come to haunt the women later in the run.

Bevilaqua went out hard on the run, as if determined to put time between herself and Garcia. By mile 13, she had extended that lead from a minute to almost six minutes, where she managed to hold it until the finish line. Behind her, the women jostled for position. Brown used the fire lit under her by a flat tire to push her way through the field, chasing down Garcia, April Gellatly (USA), and Kraft for a second place finish in 9:33:46. Garcia held on for third less than one minute back.

Challenge Penticton

Penticton’s own Jeffrey Symonds made history today, winning the first Challenge Family event in North America with an 8:29:57.

Symonds was hot on the heels of Chris McCormack (AUS) out of the swim, only a second behind with 55:37. He hit the bike course hard to grind into a comfortable lead; but at the bottom of the steep Yellow Lake hill, his race took a dramatic turn. Symonds had a bad crash on the bike, but recovered quickly to maintain his lead and complete the bike in 4:43. Despite obvious injuries, he paced 15 km/h for a 2:47:31 marathon.

Wounded and bleeding, Symonds bounced through the chute on the crowd’s energy, high-fiving Penticton fans in the stands before crossing the finish line, giving a yell and throwing his arms in the air.

Second-place finisher Scott DeFillippis (USA) had a standout day with an 8:44:48 finish 12 minutes ahead of third-place finisher Jamie Whyte (NZL).

It was a fairy tale ending for Carrie Lester, who finished in eighth position overall and topped the women’s field with a time of 9:27:26. Within 12 seconds, Karen Thibodeau (CDN), Jennifer Luebke (USA) and Lester emerged from the swim, but the pack broke apart during the bike. Cycling being her second nature, Lester powered out in front to finish the 180 km in 5:07:53 and stayed strong on the run to remain well ahead of the pack. Thibodeau kept her momentum going through the bike, completing 5:29:12 and 12th overall.

Hometown favorite Jen Annett (CAN) was also behind the first 10 female swimmers, coming out of the water at 1:09:22. A fast transition and solid pace on the bike of 5:21:06 helped her climb up into third position heading into the marathon. She kept the pace for a 9:58:23 third-place title for the women and 14th place overall.

 

WTS Stockholm

He’s already one of the greatest triathletes in ITU history, but Great Britain’s Alistair Brownlee added yet another notch to his incredible record in Stockholm on Sunday with his 15th career World Triathlon Series win.

In yet another classic display of all-round Brownlee brilliance, he was one of the first out of the water and alongside younger brother Jonathan Brownlee and Javier Gomez, did the bulk of the work on the first seven laps of the bike. But like in Kitzbuehel earlier this year, he wasn’t content to stay with that group and in the eighth lap kicked off a solo break. He edged out a 20-second lead from T2 and held onto that across the 10km run for his third WTS victory this year, ahead of Spain’s Gomez and younger brother Jonathan, in a time of 1 hour 43 minutes and 13 seconds.  Gomez finished 14 seconds back, and 23 seconds ahead of Jonathan Brownlee.

The result also set up an all-out battle for the 2013 World Triathlon Series title at next month’s London Grand Final. Alistair Brownlee’s win put him at the top of the WTS rankings for the first time in 2013. Jonathan Brownlee is now in second and Javier Gomez in third, but they are so close that it means that the 2013 ITU World Championship title will be decided in the Grand Final race.

For the women, American Gwen Jorgensen rediscovered her early season form in scintillating fashion in Stockholm, making her third World Triathlon Series in 2013 win one of her best.

In yet another stellar run leg, where Jorgensen pulled back almost 40 seconds in about 3km to take the lead from Andrea Hewitt, she went on to win in 1:55:31, 49 seconds faster than Great Britain’s Non Stanford and 1:14 faster than Germany’s Anne Haug.

It was also a huge race in terms of the see-sawing battle for the 2013 World Triathlon Series title, and those who made the podium in Stockholm are now seemingly locked in a three-way battle with just 13 points separating them. Jorgensen leads Haug by eight, with Haug just five in front of Stanford. It means the 2013 World Triathlon Grand Final London race will decide the elite women’s champion for 2013 in a thrilling end to the season.