Britain’s Tim Don beat a very strong men’s field at the Ironman 70.3 North American Pro Championship in St. George, Utah last Saturday (2 May), making this his third win in three races so far in 2015.
Todd Skipworth (AUS) and Jon Bird (CAN) led out of the water after recording 23:15min swim times. A group of 11 men that contained the top contenders were less than minute off the pace and included Ben Collins (USA), Brent McMahon (CAN), Andreas Raelert (GER), Tim Don (GBR) and Andrew Yoder (USA).
Once on the bike Collins, McMahon, Don and Yoder worked together to put distance on the field. Thanks to the fastest bike split of the day, McMahon was off the bike first and was accompanied by Collins as the lead pair entered T2 within seconds of each other.
The pair managed to put Yoder and Don in the hole, as Maik Twelseiek (GER) powered towards the front of the race and dismounted the bike in fourth, looking at a 2:47 deficit to overcome.
Out on the run course, McMahon ramped up his speed, resulting in Collins, Don and Yoder slipping back in the early miles. During the closing half of the race, Raelert ran his way through the field and was gaining time on the leaders.
Don pulled away from the men in the end and went on to capture the 2015 Ironman 70.3 North American Pro Championship St. George title. McMahon took second while Raelert stormed the run course and worked his way into the final podium placing.
Top five pro men’s results:
1. Tim Don (GBR) – 03:51:56
2. Brent McMahon (CAN) – 03:53:22
3. Andreas Raelert (GER) –03:53:39
4. Tim Reed (AUS) – 03:56:07
5. Ben Hoffman (USA) – 03:56:21
Meredith Kessler (USA), Jodie Swallow (GBR), Mary Beth Ellis (USA), Annabel Luxford (AUS), Ricarda Lisk (DEU) and Alcia Kaye (USA) exited the water all within ten seconds of each other as they ran into T1 to start the women’s race.
Once on the bike course, Kessler, Swallow, Luxford and Ellis pulled away from their competition along with Wurtele who laid down a race best time of 2:25:29 for the bike. Swallow and Kessler dismounted their bikes together, with Luxford Kaye and Ellis all less than a minute off the pace. Wurtele’s impressive bike garnered her the fourth position entering T2.
On the run, Kessler put some distance on Swallow in the early stages as Wurtele picked up her pace to pass Luxford and Ellis. Nearing the halfway point of the course, Wurtele took the lead and crossed the finish line to claim the 2015 Ironman 70.3 North American Pro Championship St. George title with a time of 4:17:58.
Kessler was next across the line to take second with a 4:19:27 finish time, while Swallow rounded out the podium with a time of 4:21:32. Reigning Kona champion Mirinda Carfrae (AUS) finished eighth in a time of 4:27:31.
Top 5 pro women’s results:
1. Heather Wurtele (CAN) – 04:17:58
2. Meredith Kessler (USA) – 04:19:27
3. Jodie Swallow (GBR) – 04:21:32
4. Annabel Luxford (AUS) – 04:22:40
5. Alicia Kaye (USA) – 04:23:12
Full results can be found at www.ironman.com/st.george70.3.
(Images: Nils Nilsen/Ironman, St. George Tourism Office)
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