Ironman 70.3 Vineman
Five weeks ago, Meredith Kessler lay unconscious in a trauma unit while doctors tended to the injuries she sustained in a cycling accident at Ironman 70.3 Eagleman.Today she stood atop of the podium as the winner of the Ironman 70.3 Vineman.
The resilient Kessler established a clear lead in the water. Race contenders Linsey Corbin (USA) and Heather Jackson (USA) were out of the water well over two-minutes off Kessler’s pace, which put them in the 10th and 12th positions, respectively. Kessler held a slim lead of 18-seconds over Emma-Kate Lidbury (GBR) as the women went through the halfway point of the ride. Jackson had worked her way into third, 1:36 off Kessler’s pace, while Amy Marsh (USA) was just over two minutes back.
As the women hit T2, Kessler was still in the lead, but the race behind her had tightened up as Lidbury entered T2 just 19-seconds later. Jackson was suddenly in striking distance just 40 seconds off the lead. Marsh was sitting 1:40 back and still hopeful of a podium spot.
Out on the run Kessler maintained her lead over the first 6.5 miles, but now had Jackson behind by only 30 seconds. Behind them Lidbury and Marsh were running shoulder-to-shoulder in a battle for third, 4:20 off Kessler’s pace. By eight-miles Kessler had padded her lead to a full minute over Jackson, with Lidbury and Marsh still duking it out five-minutes behind.
Kessler won the race with a 4:13:18 clocking, while Jackson crossed the line 1:51 later for a solid runner-up finish. Marsh outlasted Lidbury for the last position on the podium.
For the men, Bevan Docherty (NZL) quickly worked his way to the front of the race after emerging in the initial swim chase pack and methodically pulled away from the field during the bike. As the men reached the halfway point, Docherty had pedaled to a two-minute advantage on a chase group of eight that included Joe Gambles (AUS), Martin Jensen (DNK), Luke Bell, Tim Don, Terrenzo Bozzone, Tim Reed (AUS), Brandon Marsh and John Dahlz.
Heading into T2, Docherty had stretched his lead over the chase group that now included Reed, Bozzone, Jensen, Gambles and Don, who racked their bikes three minutes behind the Kiwi leader. The fleet-footed Reed and Bozzone closed the gap to Docherty and were less than a minute down with four miles to go, but that would be as close as the pair would get. Docherty put in a surge and started to pull away again. Meanwhile, the battle for second and third place heated up as Gambles bridged the gap to Reed and Bozzone in the final mile.
At the end of the day, Docherty took the 2013 Ironman 70.3 Vineman title in a course record time of 3:45:10. That put him over two minutes ahead of Reed, who’s finish time of 3:47:14 got him to the line seven seconds ahead of Bozzone.
Ironman 70.3 Muncie
In the men’s race, Andrew Starykowicz (USA) hit the shore of the Prairie Creek Reservoir with a four-second lead over New Zealand’s Callum Millward. Once out on the bike course, Starykowicz pushed the pace and opened up a 2:30 advantage on the chase group as they approached the 28-mile point of the ride. Over the closing half of the course Starykowicz, who set the fastest bike split in Ironman history with his 4:04 time in Florida last year, completely blew away the field. His race-best bike split put him over six minutes ahead.
Over the first 6.5 miles of the run, Starykowicz surrendered some of his advantage to eventual second-place finisher Tyler Butterfield, but the 2012 Olympian was still 4:45 behind. Starykowicz was never under any real pressure, though, and cruised to the line in a blistering time of 3:46:25. Butterfield’s fleet feet garnered him a second place finish in 3:49:22, 2:58 behind Starykowicz. Millward rounded out the podium with his 3:50:07 finish.
For the women, Magali Tisseyre (CAN) put the hammer down on the bike and opened up a four-minute buffer over the first 28-miles. Coming into T2, Tisseyre expanded her lead to six minutes. With a comfortable cushion, the French Canadian was able cruise through the run, paying strict attention to her hydration and fueling without any pressure from behind. Crossing the finish line in 4:12:59, Tisseyre captured her first Ironman 70.3 win of the season with a commanding 9:54 advantage over Kate Bevilaqua, who ran herself into second with her 4:22:52 finish time. Nina Kraft rounded out the podium in 4:25:44.
Life Time Tri Minneapolis
Cameron Dye and Alicia Kaye took the victories today at Life Time Tri Minneapolis on a shortened course. Due to flooding on the international-distance course, all pros and age groupers raced on the sprint course, which consisted of a 0.25-mile swim, 15-mile bike and 3.1-mile run.
In the men’s race, Dye used a second-best bike of 36:34 to take the lead into T2, while American Ben Collins used a race-best bike of 36:13 to pull into second place. On the run, Dye’s 16:20 5K gave him enough of an advantage to take the win in 1:03:12, while Kemper finished 19 seconds later with his 15:35 run.
For the women, Kaye used an 11th best overall 39:18 bike split to pull away from the field heading into T2. The finish wasn’t nearly so close as the men’s race, as Kaye used a second-best 5K time of 17:30 to take the win in 1:10:14, while American Lauren Goss used a race-best 15:10 run to take second more than a minute and a half back.
Katie Hursey (USA) and Mark Buckingham (GBR) each secured their first World Cup titles in Palamos, Spain. Hursey, in her rookie elite triathlon season, secured her win in 2:01:19 with a killer run leg, while Buckingham used a well-time breakaway on the bike to take the top spot in 1:48:50.