The day dawned hot and humid, with temperatures rising into the low 80s with 65% humidity. Luckily, though, the wind was quite calm. Water temperatures were also quite high, resulting in a non-wetsuit swim for professionals as they battled for their respective share of the $25,000 prize purse. Unfortunately, the local event team was also struck by significant issues with their timing equipment, that cropped up following the swim.
David Kahn paced the men through the 1.2 mile swim, wrapping up his water duties in 23:44. A small chase group of Frank Silvestrin Souza and Igor Amorelli popped up about a minute behind, with Justin Metzler leading the next pack back. Friend of the program AJ Baucco pulled himself out of the water in that chase group.
Patrick Evoe had a rough go of the swim, popping out in 28 minutes. Matt Russell barely snuck in under the 30 minute window with a fair bit of work cut out for him to make it into the money for the day.
Amorelli (BRA) then charged into the lead on the bike, putting in a hard effort over the hilly 56 miles. He arrived to T2 3+ minutes ahead of second place Chris Lieferman, who rode a 2:10:04. Silvestrin Souza (2:11:58) and Metzler (2:10:29) were part of a four man chase pack another minute down to begin the half-marathon, joined by Evoe (2:07:54) and Justin Daerr (2:10:40).
Halfway through the run, Amorelli doubled his lead over second place, stretching it out to well north of six minutes over Lieferman. Local pro Edgardo Valez moved himself into the money in fifth position, but soon faded.
Amorelli crossed in 3:54:57 to take home the win on the day and $5,000 for the win. Lieferman took home second in 4:00:27 in a breakthrough performance, calling it a highlight of his career after crossing the line. Cedric Boilly put together an excellent 4:02:23 for third in his professional debut. Fourth place went to Silvestrin Souza a little less than a minute behind. Matt Russell managed to cross in 5th with an excellent sub-1:22 run at 4:03:53. The final money place went to Daerr (4:04:53). Metzler had the unfortunate distinction of being the first male to cross without a paycheck waiting for him. Evoe, Mike Hermanson, and Rodrigo Acevedo rounded out the Top 10.
From the start of the day, this was Sarah Haskins’ race to lose; she expectedly popped out of the water first, taking a 35 second lead on Laurel Wassner (26:19). Dede Greisbauer was hot on their heels with her 26:33 effort. Kelly Williamson was a bit further back in fourth, starting her bike ride almost two minutes down on the lead. Jackie Hering rounded out the Top 5 with her 27:55 voyage.
Haskins held onto her early advantage through the bike, riding sub-2:22, putting an additional 30 seconds on Greisbauer (2:22:27) to stretch her lead to 1:30 to begin the run. Julie Patterson moved up through the field with her 2:26:07 to begin her run third. Wassner slipped backwards with her 2:32:24, and soon found herself in 7th place and out of the money. Williamson also had a less than stellar day aboard the bike, as she dismounted after a 2:39:25 effort.
Haskins continued to dominate on the run, building her lead to five minutes over Greisbauer at the run turn-around. The question, of course, is whether the Olympian and ITU standout would be able to hang on as it was her debut half-distance event.
Haskins took her 35th professional win, and first of her 70.3 career, in 4:21:31; an excellent set-up for her Ironman debut in May at Ironman Texas. Greisbauer came home in second place in 4:28:50. Jackie Hering got to bring 3rd place cash back home to Wisconsin, running herself home in 4:31:54. Maja Nielsen took down 4th place. Sarah Cameto came home fifth. Laurel Wassner brought home the final paycheck. Leslie Miller, Julie Patterson, Pamela Tastets, and Kate Bruck rounded out the Top 10.