Latin American racing has always been known as hot and spicy, resulting in some blistering fast times. The 2015 edition of 70.3 Brasilia, the Latin American championships, did not disappoint on that front, as Helle Frederiksen and Tim Don smoked the competition.
Fifteen women toed the line with the opportunity to call themselves the Latin American 70.3 Regional Champion. From the get-go, it was a Frederiksen showcase.
Haley Chura (25:24) expectedly took the swim prime honors, but Frederiksen was tapping her toes the entire time, arriving to T1 three seconds behind Chura. Rachel Joyce, Ricarda Lisk and Valentina Carvalho came next in the running, all two and a half minutes behind the leaders.
As the race unfolded on the bike, Frederiksen soon began tapping out a rhythm that would make the BMC cycling team envious, as she put in enormous time on the field. By 39 km, she had opened up four and a half minutes on Chura. Sofie Goos had ridden herself to third position another two minutes arrears. Lisk and Ariane Monticeli rounded out the top 5. By bike end, Frederiksen had further blown out the lead to well over seven minutes.
With her 25:27 swim and 2:10:52 bike, the only question left remaining was, “Could she break the 4 hour barrier?” Alas, Frederiksen’s run was merely outstanding on the day, rather than a needed superhuman push. Her 1:24:24 half-marathon, second best of the day, propelled her to a finishing 4:04:16, winning the Latin American Regional Championship. Goos came second 12:59 back. Ruth Brennan Moorey was able to sneak her way into the final podium position with a race-best 1:22:27 run. Chura closed in fourth position, and Kristin Moeller finished fifth.
- Helle Frederiksen 4:04:16
- Sofie Goos 4:16:15
- Ruth Brennan Moorey 4:18:16
- Haley Chura 4:21:20
- Kristin Moeller 4:22:47
Thirty-two men began the day all hoping to fight for a share of the prize purse. With a larger swim pack versus the earlier in the day Putrajaya event, one would expect to see more swim packs so that cyclists could try to work legally in space together, sticking with the old axiom “bike for show, run for dough.”
Swim prime honors went to Almir Martins (24:15), who had to hold off the likes of Luiz Francisco Ferrera, Tim O’Donnell, Tim Don, and Igor Amorelli, all who were within ten seconds of the lead. Early season 70.3 stalwarts Tyler Butterfield and Richie Cunningham found themselves a minute down early in the day.
Hopping aboard the bikes, O’Donnell wasted little time moving himself to the front of the race. The margin remained small, as at the halfway point he had a little more than a minute over a chasing Don, Butterfield, Amorelli, and Santiago Ascenco. Continuing to push on the day, O’Donnell was able to stretch out his lead to 2:08 upon arrival at T2 via a 1:59:03 bike split. Butterfield came next with his 1:59:54 ride. Don, Asenco, and Amorelli all started the run another ten seconds behind Butterfield.
Don soon began running like a man with his hair on fire, erasing 50 seconds of O’Donnell’s lead in the opening 6.5 kilometers. Butterfield hung tough in 3rd position but was not making up time on the lead. Amorelli continued to hold on fourth. Ascenco continued running in fifth, but Mario de Elias was closing fast. At 10 km, Don had brought O’Donnell’s lead down to a mere 40 seconds. Could T.O. hold on?
No. Don made the pass with 4 km to go and threw on the afterburners, finishing in 3:41:47. O’Donnell finished second, just under a minute back. Butterfield got to bring third-place money back to Bermuda, closing with a 1:17:08 half-marathon. Amorelli continued his hot spring with a fourth here, running 1:19:22. Ascenco was able to hold of de Elias to finish fifth.
- Tim Don 3:41:47
- Tim O’Donnell 3:42:40
- Tyler Butterfield 3:45:48
- Igor Amorelli 3:47:53
- Santiago Ascenco 3:48:11
- Male Starters: 32
- Male Finishers: 27
- Time spread from first male to last male: 1:20:19
- Time spread from first male to last paid male position (10th): 9:03
- Female Starters: 15
- Female Finishers: 14
- Time spread from first female to last female: 35:52
- Time spread from first female to last paid female position (10th): 25:27
At this event, it appears the fields were a bit more balanced, with the exception of Frederiksen’s superhuman effort throwing off the scale for the female pros. The spread from 2nd to 10th at this event was 12:28, more in line with the male positions. Despite there being significantly more male pros, it did not appear to have an impact on the competitive depth.