It’s going down. We’re yelling timber…
Andy Potts, Tim O’Donnell, Richie Cunningham, Trevor Wurtele, Leon Griffin, Drew Scott, Paul Matthews, Cam Dye, Rachel Joyce, Heather Jackson, Angela Naeth, Beth Shutt
Placing your bets? Leon Griffin returns as the defending champion, but Andy Potts has won this race 4 times. With a field this stacked – and many using it as their last race before Kona – neither Potts nor Griffin is safe. On the women’s side, many are expecting a Joyce/Jackson/Naeth showdown.
Gilford, NH: Timberman 70.3 has been quietly growing in size since its inception 15 years ago, attracting 2,000 triathletes to the small town of Gilford, New Hampshire, nestled amidst New England’s White Mountains. Lake Winnipesaukee serves as the hub of the action, and the northern latitude keeps this swim wetsuit-legal late in the summer. Athletes will hit some hills on the out-and-back bike course, with grades ranging from 3-9%. Stunning mountain views await on the closed run course, which rolls back around Lake Winnipesaukee.
Ironman Timberman 70.3 is a P-750 race with a $50,000 prize purse.
The Women’s Race…
No surprises here – Rachel Joyce led the swim in 27:20, although American Katy Blakemore – a former Stanford swimmer who was also one of the first out of the water at Ironman Texas & Coeur D’Alene this year – was right on her feet, coming out just 6 seconds behind Joyce in 27:26. The chase pack followed a minute back, including Kaitlin Anelauskas, Jeanni Seymour, Kristen Marchant, Amber Ferreira, and Angela Naeth (28:29-28:44).
Start time gaps (or lack thereof) once again appeared to be an issue for the women, as per Rachel Joyce’s initial post-race comment:
— Rachel Joyce (@RJoyce09) August 16, 2015
Just shy of the halfway mark, Naeth had overtaken Joyce, holding almost a 2 minute lead. After trailing on the swim, Heather Jackson had also moved up substantially, now a minute in back of Joyce in 3rd place. Naeth came off the bike in 1st position with a split of 2:48:34, while Jackson overtook Joyce and came into T2 in 2nd with a 2:53:45 split. Moving way up after the swim was Beth Shutt – returning to fine form after a bike crash in the spring. Shutt came into T2 in 3rd, under 4 minutes back from Jackson. Jeanni Seymour was also holding on valiantly after setting herself up in good position after the swim; Seymour also got by Joyce before the end of the bike, entering T2 8 seconds back from Shutt in 4th place.
Naeth and Jackson held onto 1st and 2nd as they hit the run course; Jackson posted a faster 13.1 split than Naeth by 30 seconds, but it wasn’t enough to make up Naeth’s lead off the bike – Angela Naeth took the top slot handily, by nearly a 4 minute margin. Meanwhile, Rachel Joyce powered her way back up into 3rd place after coming off the bike in 5th with a strong 1:25:22 run. Beth Shutt’s 1:31:23 was enough to keep her ahead of Jeannie Seymour for a 4th place finish amongst some of the best.
— Beth Shutt (@bethshutt) August 16, 2015
Meanwhile, Angela Naeth was looking forward to some celebratory lobster rolls.
@SeeSpondyRun great race and venue. Love the folk up here! The lake is awesome! Lobster rolls … 😉
— Angela (Duncan)Naeth (@AngelaNaeth) August 17, 2015
Video courtesy of Antoine Desroches:
The Men’s Race…
Dylan McNeice crushed the swim, coming out in 23:24, just about 30 seconds ahead of Cam Dye (23:53), who was followed in succession by Tim O’Donnell (24:03), Jake Montgomery (24:05), and Andy Potts (24:08). A minute-plus off the lead but still in contention were Paul Matthews (24:31), Drew Scott (25:14), Tom Eickelberg (25:15), and favorite Leon Griffin (25:16).
Cam Dye took over the show on the bike, riding his way up to a 2 minute lead at the 27.5 mile mark over O’Donnell, Montgomery, Potts, and McNeice. Leon Griffin still lagged – now 4 minutes off the lead and 2 minutes off the chase pack. Dye held onto his lead, coming off the bike first in 2:31:05. 3 minutes later, Potts, O’Donnell, and Montgomery all hit T2 with only 8 seconds separating 2nd-4th place.
Potts apparently didn’t want to be out-sprinted at the finish line in any more races this year – his 1:15:30 run powered him past all his competitors, assuring him the win by over a minute in 3:50:24. Tim O’Donnell followed Potts in to grab 2nd place, while Cam Dye hung on for third –he appeared to suffer on the run (1:21:33) after posting the fastest bike split of the day. Trevor Wurtele and Leon Griffin ran past Montgomery and McNeice off the bike en route to 4th and 5th place finishes.