Articles by Jason Lentzke

Ironman Muskoka Video Recap by Antoine Desroches:

Igor Amorelli checks his lead as he clocks a 23 minute swim.

Igor Amorelli checks his lead as he clocks a 23 minute swim.

Early leader Igor Amorelli approaches T2.

Early leader Igor Amorelli approaches T2.

Amorelli did not look like himself as he left T2. He did not finish the run.

Amorelli did not look like himself as he left T2. He did not finish the run.

Sanders battled himself all day.

Sanders battled himself all day.

Jennifer Spieldenner led the women out of the water

Jennifer Spieldenner led the women out of the water.

Jennifer Spieldenner pushes the pace all the way to T2

Jennifer Spieldenner climbing in the bars.

Kirsty Jahn out of the saddle.

Kirsty Jahn out of the saddle.

Jennifer Lentzke approaches the end of her ride

Jennifer Lentzke approaches the end of her ride.

The run course is far from flat.

The run course is far from flat.

Caroline Martineau on her way to fourth place

Caroline Martineau on her way to fourth place.

Sue Huse running solo in third.

Sue Huse running solo in third.

Jennifer Spieldenner battles the final mile. Kirsty Jahn was charging hard just behind.

Jennifer Spieldenner battles the final mile. Kirsty Jahn was charging hard just behind.

Sue Huse working the downhill

Sue Huse working the downhill.

Kirsty Jahn attempts to run down first place

Kirsty Jahn attempts to run down first place.

 

1. Lionel Sanders CAN 27:50 2:16:08 1:15:39 4:02:54 $3,000
2. Alex Vanderlinden CAN 26:37 2:30:05 1:16:34 4:16:32 $2,000
3. Ian Boggs USA 23:26 2:30:45 1:21:57 4:19:35 $1,250
4. Jordan Monnink CAN 26:49 2:29:12 1:20:22 4:19:58 $750
5. Kyle Pawlaczyk USA 27:56 2:22:41 1:26:27 4:20:40 $500

 

 

1. Jennifer Spieldenner USA 25:25 3:44:28 1:25:59 4:39:27 $3,000
2. Kirsty Jahn CAN 29:18 2:44:29 1:22:07 4:40:07 $2,000
3. Sue Huse CAN 31:39 2:45:35 1:29:06 4:50:18 $1,250
4. Caroline Martineau CAN 31:43 2:50:34 1:42:59 5:11:23 $750
5. Jennifer Lentzke CAN 34:56 2:51:47 1:46:10 5:18:35 $500

All audio clips courtesy of Scott Dickie.

Articles by Jason Lentzke

The third edition of Ironman 70.3 Luxembourg takes place in the stunning eastern wine region, Mosel. The course is situated in the heart of Europe and offers regionally based athletes a chance to open up their legs to test their mid-season form before the regional Ironman championship event.

The race begins at 1PM local time with an in-water, one-loop swim in the Mosel River. Competitors should expect a marginal current during their 1.2-mile swim, but with two-turnaround buoys, any time banked should be offset.The one-loop 56-mile bike course takes athletes through the Luxembourg countryside and local vineyards of Remich. The course features some short but punchy climbs that take place from miles 20-40. With over 2600 feet of ascent, don’t expect blazing-fast times. Athletes will end their afternoon with a flat and fast four lap 13.1 mile run through the town of Remich. With temperatures forecasted to top out at just 63° F, expect fast run splits. Professionals will be competing for $15,000 in this P-500 points event.

Men

Swim

Swiss athlete and 70.3 Switzerland runner-up, Manuel Kueng, led the 20 professional men the entire swim and was first out of the water in a swift 21:31. The Mosel River’s current certainly didn’t slow his chasers, as a large second group was just 20 seconds back. Pre-race favorite, Andreas Raelert, was in that second pack.

Bike

Kueng was the first athlete to leave T2 as overcast conditions turned into sunny skies. Bas Diederen, Anrdeas Raelert and Denis Chevrot followed closely as they left T2. However, Kueng was clearly the strongest rider on the day. He powered his way along the Mosel River solo before approaching the hilly vineyards. Through 25 miles Kueng had a three-minute advantage on his chasers. At 40 miles, Raelert slipped into second behind Kueng who was five minutes down the road. A nice group formed behind Raelert that included Patrick Lange and Marcus Herbst. Despite the strong group, Kueng continued to pull away and hit T2 first. Kueng’s race-best 2:08 bike-split bested his closest competitor by over four minutes.

Run

Kueng stormed out of transition all alone but with Raelert lurking behind, he certainly couldn’t risk slowing down. Lange, Chevrot and Diederen chased the leader together but were still four minutes down. Raelert left T2 over five minutes down but was determined to run through the field. After four miles Chevrot and Lange were 3:20 down and Raelert ran his way into fourth. Bas Diederen was running well and yo-yoing with Chevrot after holding off Raelert. Up the road, Kueng hit the ten-mile mark three minutes up on Chevrot, but it was Diederen, not Raelert, who was charging hard behind. At twelve miles Diederen had ran into second place, but Kueng still maintained a two-minute advantage. Kueng’s dominant bike performance was enough to secure the win and he crossed the line first in 3:49:35. Bas Diederen ran a race-best 1:13:44 to finish second. Chevrot hung onto fourth with pre-race favorite Raelert in fifth. According to IM Live Updates, Raelert battled cramps on the run. However, he may have backed off to nurse an achilles issue as he makes his final preparations for the Ironman European Championship.

1. Manuel Kueng SUI 21:31 2:08:07 1:17:01 3:49:35 $3,000
2. Bas Diederen NED 21:52 2:12:42 1:13:44 3:51:03 $2,000
3. Denis Chevrot FRA 21:58 2:12:23 1:14:33 3:52:03 $1,250
4. Andreas Raelert GER 21:56 2:13:32 1:14:23 3:52:32 $750
5. Patrick Lange GER 21:53 2:12:37 1:16:02

3:53:18

$500

 

Women

Swim

Ten female professionals started their afternoon five minutes after the men. Julia Gajer, one of the fastest German Ironman athletes of all time, pushed the pace early with fellow German, Natascha Schmitt. Gajer would eventually separate from her fellow countrywoman and exit the water with a 90 second advantage over Schmitt and three minutes on Belgian, Sofie Goos.

Bike

Gajer was the first athlete on the bike course with Schmitt just 90 seconds behind as they left transition. Sofie Goos immediately began to make up ground as she rode time into the leaders. At 25 miles, Gajer had a 90 second advantage on Schmitt and three minutes on Goos. By 40 miles into the women’s ride, Gajer’s lead grew to 2 minutes on Schmitt and another 90 seconds behind rode Goos. Alexandra Tondeur and Rahel Bellinga chased hard, but were more than six minutes back. Gajer continued to maintain her pace and was the first back to T2. She rode a race-best 2:27:09, which gave her a 2:30 lead on Schmitt and four minutes on Goos.

Run

Gajer was the first female to start the flat, four loop run course. She was running well and gapped Schmitt by an additional 30 seconds by the three-mile mark. Behind Gajer and Schmitt, Goos was falling off pace but still running comfortably in third. At nine miles, Gajer had a 4:30 advantage on Schmitt and was clearly in control. The fast German hit the finish line first in 4:17:25. Her Frankfurt-fitness was on full display as she posted the fastest swim, bike and run split. Schmitt ran well to finish second three minutes down, with Sofie Goos in third another four minutes back.

 

1. Julia Gajer GER 23:50 2:27:09 1:23:12 4:17:25 $3,000
2. Natscha Schmitt GER 24:59 2:28:46 1:23:58 4:20:40 $2,000
3. Sofie Goos BEL 26:45 2:28:41 1:26:33 4:24:46 $1,250
4. Alexandra Tondeur BEL 26:40 2:33:04 1:30:07 4:32:52 $750
5. Anna Halasz HUN 31:33 2:30:36 1:29:32 4:35:05 $500

Articles by Jason Lentzke

It’s no secret that Boulder, CO is home to some of the world’s best professional triathletes. The altitude, phenomenal cycling routes and stellar trail running are just a few reasons why many endurance athletes flock to Boulder and make it their home. Fifty professional athletes will be competing for $60,000 in this P-750 event.

The flat and fast course offers a one-loop wetsuit swim that takes place in the Boulder Reservoir. It should be a calm swim that’s turbulence-free. Water quality was a concern less than 24 hours before the race. Fortunately, on Friday afternoon park officials announced that bacteria counts were at acceptable levels and the event’s swim portion was not in jeopardy. The bike course is flat and fast with just over 1000 feet of ascent over 56 miles. The one-loop course will prevent any congestion and the thin air will allow bikes to slice through the air very effectively. The 13.1 mile run course is a two-loop design that takes competitors around the Boulder Reservoir along a hard-packed dirt road and nearby trails. While it’s mostly flat, the course offers no protection from the forecasted 85° F heat and sun.

Men

Swim

Davide Giardini, Joe Umphenour and James Seear broke away from the other 21 professional men and formed a group at the front. The second group was less than a minute down and included Tim Don, Callum Millward, Richie Cunningham and a few other heavy hitters. Giardini, who’s no stranger to racing off the front, was first to T1 after clocking a 23:18 swim. The second group hit transition one minute down to the leaders.

Bike

Photo Courtesy of Sound Probiotics Twitter Feed

Photo Courtesy of Sound Probiotics Twitter Feed

Giardini pushed the pace from the moment he left transition. At Texas 70.3 he rode under 2 hours, so he’s capable of breaking up the field. However, at 12 miles a large group of contenders still sat less than a minute down. That dangerous group included Greg Bennett, Richie Cunningham, Tim Don, Callum Millward, Ben Hoffman and Mark Bowstead. Twenty miles in, Giardini was still in front with the group less than 40 seconds behind. At 35 miles Bowstead rode to the front of the race with Millward and Giardini 40 seconds back. With Bowstead on the front, things began to stretch out as Cunningham, Don and company faded to over a minute back. At fifty miles Bowstead had a 1:11 lead on Millward who was riding in second position and another 30 seconds on Giardini. The chasers who were once 40 seconds behind were now over 2 minutes down. Bowstead was first to T2 with a race-best 2:01:23 bike split. Millward entered transition just under 2 minutes down and Giardini another 30 seconds back. The fleet-footed Tim Don came off the bike over 3 minutes down but was certainly capable of running through the field.

Run

Bowstead stormed out of T2 first and maintained his lead through the first few miles. However, by mile 5 Millward and Don had run a minute into the leading Kiwi and sat just 1 and 2 minutes down.

Photo Courtesy of Josh Terwoord

Photo Courtesy of Josh Terwoord

By 6.5 miles Millward caught and passed his fellow countryman, Bowstead, to take the lead. At 10 miles, Tim Don was still pressing and made the pass on Bowstead to slip into second position. Cunningham was running well in fourth position with Ben Hoffman another 2 minutes down. In front, Millward wasn’t fading and he was protecting a 90 second lead on Don through 11 miles. Don was running well but was running out of real estate. Callum Millward broke the tape first in 3:46:37 with a 1:16:30 run. Don, who’s had a very successful early season, finished second 1:25 back with a race-best 1:16:25 half marathon.

Photo Courtesy of Quintana Roo Twitter Feed

Photo Courtesy of Quintana Roo Twitter Feed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want to see how Callum Millward trained for the win? Check out “Training with Callum Millward

 

 

 

 

1. Callum Millward NZL  24:19 2:03:53 1:16:30 3:46:47 $12,000
2. Tim Don GBR 24:12 2:05:25 1:16:25 3:48:11 $6,000
3. Mark Bowstead NZL 24:47 2:01:23 1:20:07 3:48:34 $4,000
4. Richie Cunningham AUS 24:14 2:05:14 1:19:10 3:50:57 $3,000
5. Ben Hoffman USA 24:42 2:05:16 1:21:15 3:53:23 $2,000
6. Matt Russell USA 29:22 2:03:56 1:18:08 3:53:55 $1,500
7. Paul Ambrose AUS 24:48 2:07:11  1:21:28 3:55:34 $1,000
8. Davide Giardini ITA 23:18 2:05:20  1:26:30 3:57:29 $500
Photo Courtesy of Josh Terwoord

Photo Courtesy of Josh Terwoord

Women

Swim

Jodie Swallow swims to the front of every race she enters and today was no exception. She led the pro women around the one-loop course but had Camille Donat, Alicia Kaye and Katy Blakemore on her feet.Laura Bennett was just behind less than a minute down but seemed to be working solo after falling off pace. Swallow was first to transition after her 25:06 swim with Kaye and Donat just four seconds behind.

Photo Courtesy of Sound Probiotics Twitter Feed

Photo Courtesy of Sound Probiotics Twitter Feed

Photo Courtesy of @niccollerae

Photo Courtesy of @niccollerae

Bike

The first group of women had a good gap on the rest of the field as they left transition. Swallow was first out but had some fast company. Former short-course specialist and Lifetime Series Champ, Alicia Kaye, rode to the front and gapped Blakemore and Swallow by over a minute by the time they hit 10 miles. At 25 miles Kaye stretched her lead to over 3 minutes on Swallow and 4 minutes on Blakemore. Jeanni Seymour, who made up serious ground after her swim, also rode 4 minutes just behind Blakemore. Forty-five miles in, the remainder of the women’s field was 10 minutes off Kaye’s pace with Swallow, Blakemore and Seymour riding between 4-6 minutes back. Kaye would be first to T2 after a race-best 2:15:40 ride. Swallow was second, 4:45 back, and Seymour and Blakemore came in another 2 minutes back.

 

 

Run

Kaye left T2 with a comfortable 4.5-minute lead but certainly didn’t take her foot off the gas. Kaye’s short-course-proven leg speed allowed her to stretch the lead on Swallow to over 6 minutes at 5 miles and 7 minutes on Blakemore and Seymour.

Photo Courtesy of Josh Terwoord

Photo Courtesy of Josh Terwoord

At the halfway point, Kaye continued to lead by over 6 minutes as Blakemore ran her way into second position to overtake Swallow. Ten miles into the half marathon Lesley Smith charged past a fading Swallow to claim third position, 9 minutes down to Kaye who was clearly in control. Alicia Kaye crossed the line first after nearly leading wire-to-wire, in 4:13:10. Blakemore would hang on for second and Lesley Smith would close with a race-best 1:25:40 run for third.

Photo Courtesy of Roka Sports Twitter Feed

Photo Courtesy of Roka Sports Twitter Feed

1. Alicia Kaye USA  25:10 2:15:40 1:29:53  4:13:10 $12,000
2. Katy Blakemore USA  25:13 2:22:32 1:28:17  4:18:33 $6,000
3. Lesley Smith USA  28:37 2:23:36 1:25:40  4:20:47 $4,000
4. Danielle Mack USA  29:05 2:21:25  1:30:51 4:23:58 $3,000
5. Jodie Swallow GBR  25:06 2:20:12  1:38:00 4:25:53 $2,000
6. Jeanni Seymour RSA  26:38  2:20:57  1:38:40  4:28:30 $1,500
7. Uli Bromme USA  31:06  2:22:43 1:39:28  4:36:11 $1,000
8. Camille Donat FRA  25:09  2:29:59  1:38:48  4:36:26 $500
Photo Courtesy of Josh Terwoord

Photo Courtesy of Josh Terwoord

Articles by Jason Lentzke

The stunning capital city of Florianopolis, Brazil is the host of the inaugural Ironman Latin American Championship. This is the third of five regional championship Ironman events in 2015. Professional men and women have an opportunity to take advantage of southern Brazil’s fast course as they compete for an automatic entry into the Ironman World Championships, $150,000 and 4000 points.

Competitors will swim the uniquely shaped 2.4-mile swim course in the calm ocean waters at El Divino beach. The swim course is well protected and wetsuit legal.

The mostly flat, 2-loop bike course offers four moderate climbs, but is still considered a relatively fast course. The high quality road surface and mild temperatures should bode well for strong cyclists over the 112-mile course.

Competitors will end their day with a 26.2-mile run. The run course consists of one 13-mile loop with one moderate climb and ends with two mostly flat 6.4-mile loops. Predicted temperatures during the run are to be nearly perfect at 72 F.

Men

Swim

The calm, wetsuit-legal swim was led by a group of about eleven. Last year’s champion, Igor Amorelli, was the first man to hit the halfway point, but he had a chase group of 10 on his feet. That group included Paul Matthews, Brent McMahon and Tim O’Donnell. The front group would remain unchanged and Matthews led the men out of the water in 46:58. Less than ninety seconds behind those first four were over 15 contenders including: Marino Vanhoenacker, Tyler Butterfield and Mike Aigroz.

Image Courtesy of Triamax.com @triamax

Image Courtesy of Triamax.com @triamax

Bike

Brent McMahon led the tight group of men through the 10-mile mark. However, the strong Belgian who goes by “Bink“, was lurking 90 seconds behind. At 25 miles McMahon was still off the front, but Amorelli, Matthews and O’Donnell were less that 14 seconds back and shared the work. Tyler Butterfield and Vanhoenacker rode just under 2 minutes back.

At 50 miles the front group remained in tact, but the gap to Vanhoenacker and Butterfield grew to 2:35. However, just a few miles later that pair of strong cyclists would begin to put time into the leaders. At 56 miles their deficit was reduced to 1:15. By mile 80, Butterfield and Vanhoenacker had bridged to the front group and were now mixing it up.

At 100 miles, Marino Vanhoenacker hit the gas and managed to extend his lead to over 2.5 minutes over O’Donnell, McMahon, Butterfield and Amorelli. To no one’s chagrin, Vanhoenacker was first into T2 and posted a scorching 4:11:22 bike split. The Belgian is known for racing extremely fast in mild conditions and his day was playing out well. McMahon, O’Donnell, Amorelli and Butterfield, who rode in with a flat, hit T2 together over six minutes back.

Image Courtesy of Mundo Tri @mundotri

Image Courtesy of Mundo Tri @mundotri

Run

Three miles into the run, O’Donnell and McMahon were running significantly faster than the leader, Vanhoenacker. Ten miles in, they managed to reduce the big Belgian’s lead to less than 90 seconds and were running comfortably. However, Vanhoenacker dug in his heels and at fifteen miles, the lead remained at 90 seconds over O’Donnell and McMahon.

Temperate conditions put all three men on pace to break eight hours. Through 19 miles, O’Donnell surged and reduced the lead to under a minute. McMahon fell two minutes back with Amorelli another four minutes behind. Butterfield, who was forced to serve a penalty before he left transition for unknown reasons at this time, ran ten minutes back. With six miles to go, the second fastest 140.6-distance athlete of all time flexed his muscles again by putting more time into his chasers.

At 25 miles Vanhoenacker’s lead was back to 90 seconds and he would cross the line first in an impressive 7:53:44. O’Donnell would finish second in 7:55:56 (34 seconds off American record) and McMahon third in 7:56:55. Last years champion, Igor Amorelli also slipped under eight hours in fourth. With his win, Marino Vanhoenacker receives an automatic entry into the Ironman World Championships.

1. Marino Vanhoenacker BEL 48:31 4:11:23 2:49:28 7:53:44 CR $30,000
2. Tim O’Donnell USA 47:03 4:19:26 2:45:52 7:55:56 $15,000
3. Brent McMahon CAN 47:02 4:19:01 2:47:08 7:56:55 $8,000
4. Igor Amorelli BRA 47:01 4:19:23 2:49:05 7:59:36 $6,500
5. Tyler Butterfield BMU 48:17 4:18:05 2:48:54 8:05:22 $5,000
6. Matt Trautman RSA 52:21 4:25:19 2:44:31 8:06:29 $3,500
7. Kyle Buckingham RSA 48:29 4:26:05 2:50:30 8:09:33 $2,500
8. Mike Aigroz CHE 48:17 4:26:17 2:54:42 8:13:22 $2,000
9. Guilherme Manocchio BRA 50:29 4:22:39 2:58:18 8:17:02 $1,500
10. Frank Souza BRA 48:16 4:29:46 2:56:22 8:20:07 $1,000

 

Women

Swim

2013 Ironman Brazil champion, Dr. Amanda Stevens and Haley Chura led the women from the sound of the cannon. The two Americans immediately separated from the rest of the field and as the pair hit the halfway point they had close to a minute lead on their closest chasers. Chura put in a small surge and exited the water first in 49:35 with Stevens roughly 90 seconds back. The next group of women exited the water another 90 seconds later. That group of contenders included Lucie Zelenkova, Laurel Wassner and Karen Thibodeau.

Bike

Haley Chura was the first to leave transition and she didn’t waste any time putting time into her competition. Fifteen miles into her ride she built a four-minute lead on Stevens, Zelenkova and Wassner. Behind the leaders Tine Deckers and Karen Thibodeau rode 6-8 minutes back. Through 25 miles Chura still had over four minutes on the two women in closest pursuit. By 40 miles her lead ballooned to five minutes over Wassner, Deckers and Stevens.

50 miles into the ride Zelenkova began to fade while Asa Lundstrom and Liz Lyles overtook her as they rode seven minutes behind Chura. Meanwhile Deckers, Wassner and Stevens closed the gap to Chura to under 5 minutes by the 56-mile mark. Bad news struck Chura a few moments later as she was forced to deal with a puncture. Consequently, at 65 miles Chura’s gap shrunk to 2:50 over Deckers. Although, through 80 miles Chura was still comfortably in front as the field began to bunch up behind her.

Stevens, Deckers, Lundstrom and Lyles were all less than 4 minutes apart as they began to make their way toward T2. At the century mark, Amanda Stevens, Tina Deckers and Asa Lundstrom cut Chura’s lead to less than a minute. Chura would be first to transition, but her competition was closing fast. Deckers entered T2 roughly one minute down, with Lundstrom and Stevens just 7 seconds back.  Lundstrom posted the fastest ride on the day with a 4:48:36.

Run

Just over one mile into the run, Lundstrom and Deckers passed Chura together. At 3 miles into the marathon Lundstrom led with Deckers just behind and Stevens 50 seconds back. Upon completing the first batch of hills on the run course, Amanda Stevens took the lead but Deckers was on her heels. Stevens’ lead would grow to 45 seconds over Deckers through seven miles. At 10 miles, Lyles sat in second over a minute back with Deckers in third.

Image Couresty of trifosfato.fisiologia

Image Couresty of trifosfato.fisiologia

Halfway through the run, Brazilian Ariane Monticeli slid into fourth position just 4 minutes back and was running very well. Fifteen miles in, Stevens still led Lyles by close to two minutes and Deckers by over three. However, Monticeli was charging hard and had her home crowd behind her. At nineteen miles, Stevens’ lead was reduced to one minute with Monticeli moving past Lyles for second position. The pass was inevitable. At 21 miles into her marathon, Monticeli passed Stevens for the lead.

Monticelli would cross the finish line first in an impressive sub-9 performance, 8:59:08. She closed with a race best, 2:56 marathon and made up more than 10 minutes during her run. Lyles finished in second less than a minute behind while Stevens would hang on for third, just one minute behind second. With her win, Ariane Monticeli receives an automatic entry into the Ironman World Championships.

Image courtesy of Mundo Tri @mundotri

Image courtesy of Mundo Tri @mundotri

1. Ariane Monticeli BRA 1:00:18 4:57:59 2:56:28 8:59:08 $30,000
2. Elizabeth Lyles USA 57:49 4:54:31 3:03:04 9:00:31 $15,000
3. Amanda Stevens USA 51:15 4:57:32 3:05:47 9:01:27 $8,000
4. Tine Deckers BEL 59:15 4:50:19 3:14:03 9:08:29 $6,500
5. Laurel Wassner USA 52:51 5:03:11 3:07:27 9:09:47 $5,000
6. Haley Chura USA 49:35 4:58:29 3:20:47 9:14:03 $3,500
7. Mareen Hufe DEU 1:00:27 4:51:32 3:17:09 9:14:50 $2,500
8. Karen Thibodeau CAN 53:03 5:05:09 3:11:47 9:15:08 $2,000
9. Asa Lundstrom SWE 1:01:12 4:48:36 3:29:08 9:23:35 $1,500
10. Ana Borba BRA 1:01:08 5:11:49 3:23:44 9:42:27 $1,000

 

 

 

 

Articles by Jason Lentzke

The Canary Islands showcase challenging terrain, extreme heat and wind that can punish even the fittest athletes on the planet. Because of this, Lanzarote is arguably the most popular training destination for European triathletes. It also makes Ironman Lanzarote one of the most grueling races on the Ironman circuit. Professionals will be competing for $25,000 in this P-2000 event.

The wetsuit-legal ocean swim is a counter-clockwise, two-lap course located at Playa Grande. The swim requires athletes to exit the water and dive back in to start their final lap.

The bike course has over 8,000 feet of climbing and takes competitors all over the exposed, wind-swept island. There are six major climbs over the 112 miles and athletes will need to stay on top of their nutrition intake to ensure a solid run performance after the challenging ride.

After completing the ride, athletes will take on the three-lap marathon. The run course sends athletes toward the airport and then back along the sea wall. The run is flat, but the sun and heat will be strong.

Swim Start

Photo Credit: Sands Beach Active Lanzarote

Men

Swim

A group of 9 men went to front as a second group chased just 20 meters behind. The front group included Christian Kramer, Guy Crawford, Bert Jammaer and Will Clarke, who was making his Ironman debut. At the halfway point, veteran Stephen Bayliss led the men as they started their second lap. The front group remained tight the rest of the way with Mark Oude Bennink out of the water first and a group of 9 contenders less than 40 seconds behind.

Photo Credit: @captaincymru via instagram

Photo Credit: @captaincymru via instagram

Bike

The top 10 men were tight as they left their first transition, but the punishing bike course would easily break them up. Jammaer and Kramer left T1 first with Konstantin Bachor 2 minutes back. At just 6 miles into the race, Bachor stormed to the front of a leading group of 3 that included Bayliss, Clarke and Kramer. As the men entered the Fire Mountains (30 miles), Kramer went to the front with Jammaer and Bachor close behind. Through 40 miles the front group remained the same as the wind began to pick up. As the morning went on the winds got progressively worse. Kramer was the first athlete to the summit of Mirador del Rio (75 miles) with Jammaer 3 minutes behind. At Tahiche (100 miles) Crawford was riding well in third, 5 minutes behind Jammaer. Two minutes behind sat Clarke and the most proven Ironman runner in the field, Italian Alessandro Degasperi. Just past the 100-mile mark, Konstantin Bachor was forced to drop for reasons unknown at this time. Swiss athlete, Mauro Baertsch, was quietly having a great ride and slid into third as the bike leg drew to a close. Kramer was first to T2 and Jammaer second, 3:32 back. Kramer’s 5:05 race-best bike split conveys the wrath of the harsh island conditions.

 

Photo Credit: @captaincymru via instagram

Photo Credit: @captaincymru via instagram

Run

Kramer left T2 and hit the steamy run course swiftly. Jammaer knew he had work to do and attempted to make up time from the moment he left transition. At the 6-mile mark, Jammaer took a minute out of Kramer’s lead. However, Degasperi was also a big mover and was now just 6:45 down to Kramer. At the 10-mile mark Kramer continued to press and he held a 3-minute advantage on Jammaer, but Degasperi was still eating into his lead, less than 5 minutes back. Sixteen miles into the run, Kramer still led, but Degasperi was stalking at 2:43 back. Bert Jammaer began to fade at 17 miles and Mauro Baertsch of Switzerland slid in front to capture third position. At 21 miles Kramer’s advantage to Degasperi was cut down to just 30 seconds and with less than 3 miles to go Degasperi made the pass. The Italian closed with an impressive 2:47 marathon to cross the line first. Kramer, who led for virtually the entire race, would finish in second just 2.5 minutes back.

1. Alessandro Degasperi ITA 51:11 5:12:13 2:47:16 8:56:50 $5,000
2. Christian Kramer GER 48:21 5:05:52 2:59:14 8:59:31 $2,750
3. Mauro Baertsch SUI 52:05 5:10:49 2:54:14 9:04:46 $1,750
4. Miquel Blanchart Tinto ESP 48:34 5:24:27 2:51:43 9:10:26 $1,250
5. Bert Jammaer BEL 48:26 5:09:28 3:08:18 9:12:06 $1,000
6. Daniel Herlbauer AUT 51:27 5:20:30 3:07:25 9:25:59 $750
7. Sergio Marques POR 54:42 5:29:57 2:56:58 9:27:58 NA
8. Will Clarke GBR 48:19 5:17:29 3:16:36 9:28:31 NA
9. Cedric Lassonde GBR 53:36 5:23:22 3:14:21 9:39:15 NA
10. Roman Deisenhofer GER 51:29 5:21:27 3:21:32 9:40:57 NA

 

Women

Swim

Michi Herlbauer led the women from the start with Saleta Castro and Kate Bevilaqua chasing less than 30 seconds back. Herlbauer was first to the halfway mark and reentered first. Diana Riesler was swimming in fourth position, just 23 seconds down to Castro. Herlbauer, Castro and Bevilaqua stayed in front the rest of the way and emerged as the first group out. Behind them were some strong bike/runners, but they had work to do.

 

Bike

Austrian Michi Herlbauer was the first female professional to her bike and left transition first. She led through the first 6 miles, but Riesler was lurking. Herlbauer continued to lead 2 hours into the race and spotters noted that she had opened up a gap on Riesler. The Austrian rode strong in front through 20 miles. However, at the race’s 3 hour mark, Riesler made the pass and settled in. Immediately she was comfortably in front of the now second place Herlbauer. Bevilaqua rode in third but she was more than 4 minutes down with Castro in fifth, 6 minutes down. Through the village of Arrieta (75 miles) Riesler began to ride away and at Tahiche (100 miles) she had a 13:30 lead over second place, Herlbauer. Meanwhile, Caroline Livesey rode in third, solo, 20 minutes behind the leader. Riesler was first off the bike with a race-best 5:37 ride. The German’s strong ride gave her an 18:50 lead over second place Herlbauer and 25 minutes on Livesey.

Michi Herlbauer leads the bike early

Photo Credit: Sands Beach Active Lanzarote

Run

Despite her comfortable lead, Riesler didn’t waste any time in her second transition. She was the first to the 10km mark and still had 18 minutes on Herlbauer and 27 minutes on Livesey. Riesler and Herlbauer were running virtually identical splits and the leader wasn’t surrendering much time to second place. Through the halfway mark it became clear that Riesler was putting her mark on the women’s race. Behind the top three women, Shio-Yu Li was having an impressive run. She was running through the field while holding a strong 7 minute-per-mile pace in extremely challenging conditions. At the front of the race Riesler and Herlbauer maintained their identical 7:30 pace and the gap remained virtually identical. Despite the strong run by Herlbauer, Riesler crossed the line first in an impressive 9:56:04 on very challenging day. Herlbauer would finish second in 10:13:50 and Livesey third, 10:31:57.

Photo Credit: Sands Beach Active Lanzarote

Photo Credit: Sands Beach Active Lanzarote

1. Diana Riesler GER 55:41 5:37:12 3:16:21 9:56:04 $5,000
2. Michi Herlbauer AUT 53:21 5:58:16 3:15:06 10:13:50 $2,750
3. Caroline Livesey GBR 58:48 5:59:26 3:25:53 10:31:57 $1,750
4. Shiao-Yu Li TPE 1:05:32 6:07:42 3:12:48 10:33:43 $1,250
5. Verena Walter GER 57:53 6:06:21 3:32:48 10:44:41 $1,000
6. Anne Jensen DEN 1:06:28 5:54:32 3:39:55 10:48:41 $750
7. Saleta Castro, ESP 53:42 6:09:27 3:41:01 10:52:23 NA
8. Alena Stevens GBR 57:52 6:22:27 3:27:16 10:54:59 NA
9. Kate Bevilaqua AUS 53:49 6:13:20 3:42:00 10:58:04 NA
10. Rebecca Fondermann GER 1:06:42 6:14:50 3:28:53 10:59:49 NA

Articles by Jason Lentzke

2015 Memorial Hermann Ironman North American Championship Texas

Some of the world’s most elite long course athletes head to the Woodlands, TX to compete for the third of five regional Ironman Championship races. The timing of the event is ideal for those looking to grab their KPR points early. The North American Championship race will be a terrific showdown featuring world champions and some of the fastest long course triathletes on the planet. Professionals will be competing for $150,000 in this P-4000 event.


The Course

Temperatures at the event are almost always Kona-like and the non-wetsuit swim is almost always a given. The warm, fresh water swim takes place in a fairly constricted body of water. The swim is an out and back, followed by a right hand turn into a fairly narrow canal.

The bike course consists of a one-loop ride that takes athletes west through the Woodlands before heading north to the rural and rolling farmland of this region of Texas. The course usually has a bit of a tailwind on the first half and can be feel deceptively easy. The bike course doesn’t have any sustainable climbs. However, the heat, humidity second-half wind and rough roads can make it a challenging ride.

The flat three loop run course takes athletes around a canal, into neighborhoods and a few paved trails. It’s fairly densely populated with spectators and fans. Expect a party atmosphere and incredible support every time you run under the Moxie Bridge on each lap. Runners must tackle heat, humidity, and unforgiving concrete with minimal shade for 26.2 miles.

Men

Swim

Todd Skipworth, Barrett Brandon and Ben Hoffman were off the front early and led the men early. Soon that group of 3 would become 5 as Faris Al-Sultan and Jeremy Jerkowicz bridged ahead to join the front pack roughly 20 minutes into the swim. As the men made the final turn into the canal, Skipworth and Brandon stretched their lead to string out the front group on their way to T1.

Bike

Jeremy Jurkiewicz took the lead early with Skipworth and Al-Sultan sitting in second and third. Ben Hoffman and Andreas Raelert, who raced St. George 2 weeks ago, rode well together to eliminate their swim deficit. At mile 20, Matt Hanson led a chase group that was 5 minutes down to leader, Barrett Brandon. A bit further back, Lionel Sanders drove the third pack of riders that included Jordan Rapp and Chris McDonald. Unfortunately, a broken chain would end McDonald’s race and Rapp withdrew due to reasons unknown at this time. By the 60-mile mark, Hoffman was in front with five sitting behind. That group included Andreas Raelert and Ronnie Schildknecht who were both given drafting penalties. At this time, we don’t know where the penalties were given.  At mile 75, Lionel Sanders bridged to the leaders and continued to press with new leader, Joe Skipper, who was riding incredibly hard but looked smooth. Through the century mark, Joe Skipper surged to the front with Lionel Sanders roughly 40 seconds behind and Hoffman a minute back. As the men hit T2, Skipper led posting a race best 4:10 bike split.

Run

Joe Skipper was first onto the now steamy run course with a charging Lionel Sanders 2 minutes back and Hoffmann 3:30 back. Through 2 miles, Skipworth, David Plese and run course record holder, Matt Hanson sat 9 minutes behind race leader, Skipper. Hanson ran a sizzling 2:41 last year in similar conditions and he’ll need to tap into that speed to take the win. At the 6-mile mark, Sanders was just 40 seconds behind Skipper, but he was working hard and the effort showed on his face. Ben Hoffman began to fade slightly as Hansen was gaining time by the time they hit mile 9. Through 10 miles Hansen cut his deficit on Skipper from over 9 minutes to 5 minutes. Ronnie Schildknecht, who served his bike penalty, ran 10 minutes behind the leaders and the dangerous Andreas Raelert fell to eighth, 17 minutes back. Through 13 miles Skipper still ran in front with Sanders 3 minutes behind and hanging tough. However, a storming Matt Hanson was running strong just behind. A few minutes back, Pedro Gomes was running well and moved into eighth position. Seven hours into the race, Matt Hanson took the lead and looked impressively strong as he made the pass. By 17 miles, Schildknecht ran his way into fourth position as Hoffman dealt with the effects of a nosebleed, according to spotters. Through 21 miles Hanson was in control and his lead ballooned to over four minutes on his closest competitor, Skipper. Schildknecht ran well and passed a fading Sanders late to slip into third. Meanwhile, Pedro Gomes continued to press and run toward fifth place. Hanson crossed the line first to take his second Ironman title in an impressive 8:07:03 and set a new Ironman Texas course record.

Photo Credit: Joe Feaga

Photo Credit: Joe Feaga

1. Matt Hanson USA 55:02 4:21:25 2:45:47 8:07:03 $30,000
2. Joe Skipper GBR 55:09 4:10:07 3:04:35 8:16:26 $15,000
3. Ronnie Schildknecht CHE 55:07 4:24:27 2:55:54 8:21:03 $8,000
4. Lionel Sanders CAN 57:19 4:11:25 3:11:22 8:24:54 $6,500
5. Pedro Gomez PRT 54:48 4:32:02 2:54:43 8:26:42 $5,000
6. Jeremy Jurkiewicz FRA 48:45 4:31:34 3:05:45 8:31:30 $3,500
7. Matthew Russell USA 59:35 4:27:01 3:00:51 8:33:28 $2,500
8. Ben Hoffman USA 49:29 4:20:38 3:18:30 8:33:55 $2,000
9. David Plese SVN 54:59 4:21:20 3:14:37 8:36:32 $1,500
10. Jarmo Hast FIN 52:57 4:37:12 3:03:41 8:39:48 $1,000

 

Women

Swim

Rachel Joyce and Leanda Cave took to the front of the women’s race early. At 500 meters they had roughly a 20 second gap on Katy Blakemore, Tami Ritchie and Kelly Williamson. However, there was a group of contenders two minutes back who were working well together. As the leaders made the final right turn into the canal opening, Joyce continued to lead with Cave and Blakemore on her feet.

Bike

2013 Ironman Texas champion, Rachel Joyce was first on the bike course with Cave just 7 seconds back. The two would yo-yo for much of the ride early on. As the professional women hit mile 10, Cave took the lead with Bree Wee and Kelly Williamson sitting third and fourth. By the 20-mile mark, Joyce led, with Cave sitting 5 seconds back and Katy Blakemore 23 seconds behind. Heather Wuertele made up over a minute from her swim and moved up to 1:50 back. Angela Naeth and Heather Jackson also began to reel in leaders as the miles clicked off. At mile 40, the front of the race remained the same but Naeth was moving well as she made up 2 minutes in her last 10 miles. By mile 50, Naeth slipped into second just behind Cave eliminating more than a 6-minute deficit and by 56, she was sharing the lead. 70 miles in, Naeth moved to the front with Cave just behind. Heather Jackson and Corinne Abraham rode well just 5:45 back, while Joyce fell to 2 minutes back of Naeth and Cave. Naeth and Cave rode first and second in the closing miles of the ride as they headed toward T2. The biggest mover over the 112 had to be U-Place BMC athlete, Corinne Abraham, who posted the fastest bike split on the day, clocking a 4:40. She was third into T2.

Run

Naeth was first off the bike and onto the run course but Cave was just behind and looking strong. Corinne Abraham ran out of T2 roughly 3:30 behind the leaders and fellow Brit, Joyce was about a minute back. Heather Wurtele came off her bike 2 minutes back with Katy Blakemore in pursuit as well. Early on in the run, Cave ran just behind Naeth, but she didn’t enjoy the company and separated herself. Kelly Williamson came off the bike with quite a bit of work to do on the run course, but that is what she does; exceptionally well. Through 5 miles Naeth began to separate from Cave and she gapped the 2012 Ironman World Champion by 15 seconds. Abraham ran in third 5 minutes back and Joyce sat in fourth, just 4 seconds behind her fellow countrywoman. At the 10-mile mark, Naeth’s lead on Cave grew to 40 seconds and Joyce moved into third, passing Abraham. Meanwhile, Williamson was running her way through the field. Halfway through the marathon, Naeth’s gap on Cave grew to 1:15 and to over 2:30 minutes by mile 18. She was beginning to close the door on her challengers. By mile 19, Cave and Joyce remained in second and third, but Kelly Williamson flew into fourth. At mille 25, Naeth had 3 minutes on Cave and had now been leading the race since mile 56 on the bike course. After backing up her strong 4:41 ride with a 3:09 marathon, Naeth crossed the line first in an impressive 8:55:19. Cave and Joyce maintained their positions and finished in second and third respectively. Williamson ran a race best 3:01 marathon and ended up fourth.

Photo Credit: Joe Feaga

Photo Credit: Joe Feaga

1. Angela Naeth CAN 59:35 4:41:38 3:09:13 8:55:19 $30,000
2. Leanda Cave GBR 53:13 4:47:43 3:12:02 8:58:12 $15,000
3. Rachel Joyce GBR 53:08 4:52:35 3:14:00 9:05:02 $8,000
4. Kelly Williamson USA 55:17 5:06:43 3:01:02 9:08:34 $6,500
5. Corinne Abraham GBR 1:03:24 4:40:39 3:22:45 9:12:20 $5,000
6. Sarah Piampiano USA 1:04:04 4:49:52 3:13:54 9:13:47 $3,500
7. Heather Wurtele CAN 56:15 4:51:35 3:21:55 9:15:11 $2,500
8. Katy Blakemore USA 53:13 4:54:51 3:24:22 9:18:02 $2,000
9. Rebecca Preston AUS 59:45 4:58:36 3:22:11 9:26:22 $1,500
10. Sofie Goos BEL 59:37 4:55:50 3:26:44 9:27:58 $1,000

 

Articles by Jason Lentzke

Danang, Vietnam’s third-largest city, is filled with pristine resorts, beautiful beaches and cultural attractions that include three Unesco World Heritage sites. This inaugural edition of 70.3 Vietnam welcomes a strong professional field. Competitors include some of the southern hemisphere’s strongest and most dangerous long course triathletes. Danang offers a stunning and pristine tropical course that opens with a beach start, non-wetsuit, single-loop ocean swim. After completing the 1.2 mile swim and running up the beach to T1, competitors will embark on a relatively flat and fast multi loop 56-mile ride along the white, sandy beach-filled Danang coast. Athletes will cross over the Thuan Phuoc Bridge and encounter other historical landmarks on their ride. Upon dismounting their bikes, athletes will begin a flat, hot and sticky, out-and-back 13.1-mile run. Professionals will be competing for a $15,000 USD prize purse.

Men

Swim

A group of four seemed to form quickly with Clayton Fettell driving the pack early. That first group also included Sam Betten, Josh Amberger and Terenzo Bozzone who added a kiwi to the Australian swim party. Roughly 90 seconds back sat Tim Reed, James Cunnama and the rest of the men’s pro field. Betten ended up first out of the water in 22:52 but he had company as Amberger, Fettell and Bozzone were just seconds back. The second group, led by Victor Manuel Gonzales, still included Reed and Cunnama and they emerged 90 seconds back of the leaders.

Bike

Amberger, who’s bike didn’t arrive until just 10 hours before the gun went off, stormed to the front of the race, perhaps taking some frustration out on his pedals. Through 10 miles, Amberger led but Fettell, Betten, Bozzone, Reed and Cunnama were all less than 2 minutes back. At 20 miles the front group remained the same as Reed went to the front with Amberger, Bozzone, Fettell and Betten riding just seconds back. Cunnama was hanging tough roughly 2 minutes back. At the 40-mile mark Amberger, Reed, Bozzone and company continued to work well off of each other. The top 5 remained unchanged through 56 miles and the group hit T2 separated by just 9 seconds. Reed clocked the fastest split on the day with a 2:03:54.

 Run

Bozzone was first to the run course but he had swift company just behind. The group of 5 men who entered T2 together quickly broke apart as the steamy, humid conditions began to take their toll. Through 10k it was turning into a two-man race with Tim Reed in front and James Cunnama just 1-second back. Bozzone sat 2 minutes back with Amberger on his heels. Betten began to fade as he fell to sixth, 9 minutes back and Cyril Viennot jumped into the fifth spot, 5 minutes back. 10 miles into the run, Cunnama made his way to the front of the men’s race and gapped Tim Reed by close to 2 minutes. Terenzo was hanging onto third about 4 minutes back with Amberger another 90 seconds back. The heat and humidity couldn’t slow down Bahrain Endurance athlete, James Cunnama, as he hung on for the win, crossing the line in 3:51:29. The South African’s 1:17:57 run split bested his closest competition by over 5 minutes. Reed finished second with Bozzone hanging onto third. A charging Cyril Viennot came within 30 seconds of third place, but ran out of real estate.

1. James Cunnama (RSA) 24:27 2:05:34 1:17:57 3:51:29
2. Tim Reed (AUS) 24:27 2:03:54 1:23:43 3:55:44
3. Terenzo Bozzone (NZL) 22:59 2:05:29 1:25:23 3:57:07
4. Cyril Viennot (FRA) 25:45 2:07:10 1:21:46 3:57:39
5. Josh Amberger (AUS) 22:54 2:05:27 1:28:31 4:00:24
6. Frederik Croneborg (SWE) 25:50 2:12:08 1:22:39 4:04:14

 

Women

Swim

Liz Blatchford and Caroline Steffen hit the pace hard from the gun. They gapped the field early and ended up having close to 3 minutes on the second group by the time they hit the beach. Blatchford bested Steffen by 7 seconds and exited the water in 26:10. Belinda Granger came out with Kathryn Haesner 2:30 behind Blatchford, but the rest of the field was fairly broken up and they had plenty of work to do once they mounted their bikes.

Bike

Steffen and Blatchford continued to flex their muscles on the bike and rode away from their competitors. They rode though the first 10 miles together, but Granger was hanging tough just 2:15 back. Haesner began to lose time to Granger who rode strong and fell to fourth. At 20 miles Steffen and Blatchford continued to push the pace, while Granger dug her heels in and didn’t lose any more time to the leaders. Haesner fell to fifth as Dimity-Lee Duke slid into fourth, close to 3 minutes behind Granger. At the front of the race, nothing was new and Blatchford and Steffen worked off of each other to grow their lead. Through 56 miles Blatchford and Steffen were separated by just 2 seconds and came into T2 together. Belinda Granger was approximately 3 minutes back and rode a strong solo effort. Dimity-Lee Duke was fourth off the bike about a minute down with Haesner another 4 minutes back. Steffen had the fastest ride of the day with a 2:22:27.

Run

Blatchford and Steffen hit the run course just seconds apart with Blatchford barely out in front. A few miles in Blatchford would begin to put time into Steffen and by mile 10 her lead grew to 30 seconds on Steffen. However, Steffen wouldn’t go down without a fight. Meanwhile, Granger seemed to be losing time to Dimity-Lee Duke from the moment she left T2. Dimity-Lee Duke made the pass on Granger at some point before the 10-mile marker. At the front of the race, the two leaders continued to fight with Steffen putting in a surge. Steffen’s surge in the sauna-like conditions was enough to break Blatchford. Caroline Steffen of Bahrain Endurance outran Blatchford by a touch over 2 minutes and broke the tape first. Dimity-Lee Duke finished a strong third with Stef Puszka and Ange Castle taking the fourth and fifth spot. Granger may have left her run legs on the bike course as she faded to sixth.

1. Caroline Steffen (SUI) 26:17 2:22:27 1:28:33 4:21:40
2. Liz Blatchford (AUS) 26:10 2:23:06 1:30:42 4:23:48
3. Dimity-Lee Duke (AUS) 29:18 2:23:46 1:33:43 4:31:10
4. Stef Puszka (AUS) 34:36 2:25:05 1:35:07 4:39:08
5. Ange Castle (AUS) 33:12 2:29:29 1:37:53 4:44:47
6. Belinda Granger (AUS) 28:38 2:23:37 1:50:55 4:47:32

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Articles by Jason Lentzke

Bradley, CA–Wildflower Triathlon Festival is one of the most historic races in the sport’s history and one of the most incredible endurance events on the planet.  The 33rd edition boasted California’s rugged terrain and tested some of triathlon’s most versatile athletes. Jesse Thomas looked to make history by capturing an unprecedented five straight wins, while Heather Jackson was seeking a fourth consecutive title.

The most recent winners showcased on the "Stairway of Champions"

The most recent winners showcased on the “Stairway of Champions”

Elizabeth Lyles passes CEC teammate and 3-time winner, Heather Jackson, to take the women's long course title

Elizabeth Lyles passes CEC teammate and 3-time winner, Heather Jackson, to take the women’s long course title

Reed closes with a fantastic run to finish 6th

Reed closes with a fantastic run to finish 6th

Derek Garcia with a strong 4th place

Derek Garcia with a strong 4th place

Thomas Gerlach fights to the finish

Thomas Gerlach fights to the finish

Matt Lieto begins to  celebrate a breakthrough second place finish

Matt Lieto begins to celebrate a breakthrough second place finish

Jesse Thomas enters the chute all alone

Jesse Thomas enters the chute all alone

Thomas secures 5-straight

Thomas secures 5-straight

Rapp finishing the bike

Rapp finishing the bike

Thomas was first off the bike

Thomas was first off the bike

Age group athletes tackle the 2.2 mile run from the water to their bikes

Age group athletes tackle the 2.2 mile run from the water to their bikes

Jennifer Lentzke begins her climb in T1 "A"

Jennifer Lentzke begins her climb in T1 “A”

Emily Cocks was the first pro female out of the water

Emily Cocks was the first pro female out of the water

D. Giardini off the front of the men's race early

D. Giardini off the front of the men’s race early

Davide Giardini was first out of the water for the pro men

Davide Giardini was first out of the water for the pro men

Pro women start their day in Harris Creek

Pro women start their day in Harris Creek

Pro men start their day in Harris Creek

Pro men start their day in Harris Creek

Matty Reed & Jenny Fletcher approach the water

Matty Reed & Jenny Fletcher approach the water

Jesse Thomas

Jesse Thomas

Pro's prep for the swim and setup their first transition

Pro’s prep for the swim and setup their first transition

Athletes make their final preparations along the boat ramp

Athletes make their final preparations along the boat ramp

 

 

1. Elizabeth Lyles 4:32:07
2. Heather Jackson 4:32:10
3. Rachel McBride 4:36:10
4. Carrie Lester 4:44:09
5. Laurel Wassner 4:44:44
6. Jillian Petersen 4:47:14
7. Emily Cocks 4:51:29
8. Mackenzie Madison 4:54:26
9. Jen Annett 4:55:01
10. Julie Patterson 4:56:00

 

1. Jesse Thomas 4:10:02
2. Matt Lieto 4:12:21
3. Chris Leiferman 4:12:58
4. Thomas Gerlach 4:14:01
5. Derek Garcia 4:14:31
6. Matt reed 4:14:47
7. Mark Bowstead 4:14:55
8. Nathan Killam 4:16:10
9. Jordan Rapp 4:19:55
10. Brian Fleischmann 4:20:01

Articles by Jason Lentzke

Photo Credit: JF @skydiveinva

Photo Credit: JF @skydiveinva

Many triathletes head to Ironman Texas 70.3 in Galveston, TX to assess their early season form and use the race as alitmus test for Ironman Texas and other early season events. The humid and mild air doesn’t deter athletes. The race is a regular sell out and showcases a stellar professional field eager to dust the cobwebs off.

The Course

Texas 70.3 provides athletes with a point-to-point ocean swim that begins near the pier at Moody Gardens. Swimmers will head west toward the Colonel Paddlewheel boat and make a quick left-hand turn to emerge from the water.

Once mounted on their bikes, athletes will head toward Seawall Boulevard and head 28 miles south along the Texas Gulf Coast. Winds are typically strong and an evenly paced ride can be quite challenging on the pancake-flat out and back course. As athletes manipulate their way through the end of the bike they’ll dismount and start the 3-loop run. The spectator-friendly run course is flat, but with a couple of rises, it can make you pay for outriding your fitness. The loaded professional field will be competing for 500 points and a $30,000 prize purse.

Men

Swim (Non-Wetsuit)

Andy Potts, David Giardini, Balazs Csoke, Barrett Brandon and Eric Limkemann made up the front pack of swimmers with Potts edging Giardini out of the water in 24:05. One of the winningest triathletes of all time, Greg Bennett, led the next group of chasers that included last year’s champion, Richie Cunningham, 2 minutes down from Potts. Lionel “Colonel” Sanders of Ontario, Canada had over 4 minutes to make up as he entered his first transition.

Photo Credit: JF @skydiveinva

Photo Credit: JF @skydiveinva

Bike

Giardini looked to set the tone early and stormed to the front. Through 10 miles Giardini stretched his lead over chasers that included Potts and Limkemann by 75 seconds. At 43 miles the Italian’s lead grew to 2 minutes. A group formed behind that included Potts, Cody Beals, Bennett and a storming Sanders.

By mile 50, the Italian was 3 miles in front of his competitors and his lead stretched to 7 minutes. Aboard his Aeroweenie-approved Shiv, Giardini would end up dipping under the 2 hour mark by stomping out a sensational 1:59:14. Bennett would lead the hungry Potts, Sanders, Beals and company back to transition toward the three-loop run.

Run

Giardini, who isn’t known for his running prowess, was losing time to his chasers from the moment he left T2. By the 4-mile mark, Giardini’s lead shrunk to 4:37 with Sanders, Potts and Beals chasing hard. The situation worsened for the Italian as Sanders made the pass near the 8-mile marker. Potts and Beals would follow closely just 17 seconds down, but Giardini’s gutsy bike effort seemed to be taking its toll as he continued to fade.

By mile 10 Sanders began to pull away and increased his lead on Potts to over 1 minute and over 2 minutes on Beals and Giardini.  With just a mile to go, Sanders proved to those watching that he rode much smarter than he did in Oceanside. The Colonel’s lead continued to grow and he broke the finishing tape first with an impressive 72 minute half marathon for a 3:45:39 finish time. Potts and Beals ran impressively well given their performances last weekend in New Orleans. Giardini would hang onto fourth after unleashing a lethal swim-bike combo.

Run Course Controversy

Photo by Ben Powell

Photo by Ben Powell

A group of men including Ritchie Cunningham, Matt Russell, Chris Baird and Pedro Gomes were led off course by volunteers. Ben Hobbs, TRStriathlon.com publisher, was there when the men realized what happened. They collectively slowed to a stop and pulled out of the race, knowing that they would be disqualified. The group was upset and according to Ben Powell later had a heated discussion with officials.

 

1. Lionel Sanders CAN 28:23 2:02:25 1:12:20 3:45:39 $6,000
2. Andy Potts USA 24:00 2:06:59 1:14:02 3:47:22 $3,000
3. Cody Beals CAN 26:22 2:04:30 1:15:02 3:48:21 $2,250
4. David Giardini ITA 24:00 1:59:14 1:25:46 3:51:29 $1,500
5. Barrett Brandon USA 24:06 2:09:37 1:19:04 3:55:19 $1,250
6. Greg Bennett AUS 25:48 2:05:03 1:23:15 3:56:41 $1,000

 

Women

Swim (Non-Wetsuit)

Photo Credit: JF @skydiveinva

Photo Credit: JF @skydiveinva

Lauren Brandon set the tone from the start and towed a small group of swimmers before breaking away. She emerged from the water solo in 25:06. Less than a minute down were chasers Helle Frederiksen and Brianna Baird.

The next pack of swimmers was over a minute down and included former Texas 70.3 champions Kelly Williamson and Emma-Kate Lidbury. Uber-cyclists Angela Naeth  & Sarah Piampiano had over 4 minutes to make up as they entered T1.

Bike

Lauren Brandon was first out of transition and rode her way to the sea wall first. As the professional women hit mile 10, the gaps tightened to 28 seconds with Frederiksen chasing the leader, Brandon, and Lidbury in third 2:20 off the lead. By mile 25, a charging Frederiksen overtook Brandon but she fought back valiantly.

At 38 miles Brandon and Frederiksen rode together as Lidbury hung tough in third. Through 45 miles, nothing changed at the front of the race, but Piampiano (who won New Orleans 70.3 a week ago) moved into fifth with Texan Lauren Barnett into fourth, 5 minutes down. Frederiksen would be first off the bike clocking a 2:19:49 but Brandon and Lidbury were less than a minute down.

Photo by Zach Miller

Photo by Zach Miller

Run

By the 1-mile mark, Helle Frederiksen’s lead grew to nearly 2 minutes over Lidbury and Brandon. Through 4 miles the Danish superstar’s lead continued to grow as Lidbury chased 3:30 down, Brandon 4:44 down and Naeth at 5:30 down. At 7 miles, Frederiksen was in control and her lead ballooned to over 5 minutes on Lidbury as Naeth ran into third position.

Nine miles into the half marathon Naeth overtook Lidbury for second, but both were now over 6 minutes down to Frederiksen who was clearly running away from the field. With a mile to go Helle Frederiksen still had over 6 minutes on her closest competitor and she crossed the line first in 4:07.

The consistently well-represented Uplace-BMC athlete used an impressive 1:19:39 half marathon run to secure her title. Naeth would finish strong in second and Lidbury third. Kelly Williamson would run her way into fourth with the fastest run split on the day.

1. Helle Frederiksen DNK 25:42 2:19:49 1:19:39 4:07:52 $6,000
2. Angela Naeth CAN 29:37 2:19:36 1:21:43 4:13:50 $3,000
3. Emma-Kate Lidbury GBR 27:11 2:19:24 1:28:31 4:17:58 $2,250
4. Kelly Williamson USA 27:14 2:29:35 1:19:08 4:18:39 $1,500
5. Sarah Piampiano USA 31:22 2:19:50 1:26:03 4:20:19 $1,250
6. Beth Shutt USA 31:18 2:19:33 1:27:04 4:21:03 $1,000

 

Articles by Jason Lentzke

Located on the east coast of Australia in southeastern Queensland, Gold Coast is the third stop for the 2015 ITU World Triathlon Series.   This might be the only Australian city to host a 2015 WTS race series this season, but that doesn’t mean the races weren’t filled with superstars.

WOMEN

In a fitting tribute to the late Jackie Fairweather, the number one race spot was reserved for the Australian triathlon legend who passed away in November. Gwen Jorgensen wore #2. The golden bike rack was also left open to salute the spectacular Fairweather who was a dominating and admired woman in the sport of triathlon.

Swim

The 2 loop swim was fairly uneventful and after 1 lap of the 2 lap swim all of the big hitters were still in the mix. Gwen Jorgensen, Flora Duffy and the rest of the strong American contingent were in striking distance hanging onto the front group after one lap. No major gaps opened up, and after the second lap Brit Jessica Learmonth exited the water first, with a big group of talent just seconds behind.

Delly Carr / ITU Media

Delly Carr / ITU Media

Bike

The technical eight lap, 5k bike course proved to be relatively flat and fast. A group of about a dozen quickly formed on the bike that included Jorgensen, Sarah True and Lucy Hall. Flora Duffy stormed to the front and was chewing her teeth from the moment she left T1. The Bermudan spent most of her ride with her nose in the wind driving the front group trying to break the running legs of  race favorite, Gwen Jorgensen. However, Jorgensen never looked too uncomfortable and patiently waited in the shadows.  The narrow and technical course ended up getting the better of more than a few talented athletes as seven athletes were taken out by a crash or bike-handling mishap of some kind. That didn’t stop the front group from pushing the pace and taking chances, though. By the eighth and final lap, the lead pack was reduced from twelve to seven and included a trio of Americans, including Jorgensen.

Run

Duffy was first off the bike followed by Lucy Hall and Gwen Jorgensen. Jorgensen may have been a bit too quick in T2 as her Specialized Amira fell over as she threw on her running shoes and darted out of T2. This would result in a 15 second penalty. In less than 2k, Katie Zaferes and Sarah True grabbed the second and third spots and ran uncontested to the finish. However, a surging Andrea Hewitt caught a fading Flora Duffy to grab the fourth spot. Gwen Jorgensen ran away with the race and was untouched, despite having to serve the 15-second penalty half way through the run. The pride of the midwest clocked a 1:56:59 and secured her eighth straight victory. Sarah True and Katie Zaferes rounded out the podium to make it an American sweep.

This was just the second time in WTS history that a country claimed the top 3 spots. After just three races, Jorgensen looks untouchable and the American women are the strongest they’ve ever been. “I don’t think you ever have a perfect race but I was certainly thrilled to come out of the water and be in the front pack right away. I mean one, two, three for Team USA, I don’t think you can get any better standing on the podium and looking over and seeing the other two girls and hearing the national anthem, we could not ask for anything more,” said Jorgensen.

“Last year in London, Gwen and I were one and two and I knew that Katie was a podium athlete so it was just a matter of time before we swept the podium,” said True. “But for those of us who are thirty-plus, it takes us a little bit longer to get warmed up in the season so I am just happy to be back up on the podium.”

Delly Carr / ITU Media

 

 

Gold Coast Top 10 Women

MEN

Swim

Richard Varga set the pace from the start of the swim and exited the 2-loop swim first. Other than the three men who received false start penalties, the swim was rather uneventful. Varga exited the water first, while one half of the Brownlee demolition crew, Jonny, and the Polyanskiy brothers were just seconds behind.

Bike

Photo by Brad Kahlefeldt

With his thick Yorkshire accent, Jonny Brownlee immediately began to bark orders at Varga and the Polyanskiy brothers as they mounted their bikes. The four set a blistering pace right out of transition. After the first of eight laps, the lead pack of four had a 35 second gap over the chase group that included Javier Gomez. Halfway through the bike, the gap from the first to second group grew to 47 seconds. With 15k to go, Igor Polyanskiy lost control on a round-a-bout and nearly took out the front group. Brownlee was forced to hop over the Russian but he and the rest of the pack came out unscathed. Unfortunately, Igor’s race was over.

Together, Varga, Brownlee and Dmitry Polyanskiy were first off the bike. The chase group came into T2 just 23 seconds down.

Run

With a lead of just 23 seconds, Jonny Brownlee set out on the 4 lap course at a scorching pace in an attempt to stretch his lead. Brownlee soon was alone in front, but the chase group included a dangerous bunch. That group included Mario Mola, Richard Murray, Javi Gomez, Pierre Le Corre and veteran Courtney Atkinson. At 5k, Mola would break away from the group and go after Brownlee, solo. But Brownlee wouldn’t surrender, and his lead only extended as the second half of the 10k run unfolded. Jonny Brownlee hit the line first in 1:46:53, followed by the Spanish Armada consisting of: Mario Mola, Javier Gomez and Vicente Hernandez.

As the other half of the Brownlee demolition crew is out dealing with the effects of a turned ankle, the younger and slightly more handsome Jonathan handled another deep field and made it two WTS wins in a row. “At the start of the season I had an awful race, it was a little bit of a shock really because I got a lot of things wrong so I knew I did not want to make those mistakes again. Today it started really well, had a great start in the swim, had to get around a few people to get on Richard Varga’s feet and then we had a gap, I saw the four of us and knew I just had to ride aggressive and on tempo,” said Brownlee.

“That is racing, we were in the third pack in the beginning, we could not close that gap but Jonny was amazing today he did a lot of work on the bike and then ran like a maniac so congratulations to him,” said Mola. “I am very happy with my performance, I think it has been a great race for all of the Spanish athletes, we are doing well.”

Gomez grabbed the bronze medal and the last spot on the podium when he also pushed in the last lap to break away from Hernandez. “It was very tough today. I felt better towards the end of the run but the first laps I struggled on the pace,” said Gomez. “It was kind of an average race out there for me, my swim was not great, it was not my best day but I secured a spot on the podium which is always good. Jonny was strong today and so was Mola.”

Delly Carr / ITU Media

Gold Coast Top 10 Men