Ironman 70.3 Worlds Gets Best of Colorado Pros
Let’s be honest. As a non-professional triathlete, many of us view going to a world championships as pretty remarkable in itself. However, if you know, or have a partner or spouse, who’s a pro, you know very well that there’s no such thing as “being happy just to be there!” Even though our Colorado pros put up quite a fight, I am guessing many of them may not have gotten the results they wanted, but we are proud of them regardless and know it was a tough day, on a tough course, against the best in the sport. The absolute definition of a 70.3 World Championship race!
Butterfield Breaks into Top 10
On the men’s side, Boulderite Tyler Butterfield turned in a monster day, finishing eighth overall in a time of 3:58:44 Thanks to a solid effort all day, and a quick run of 1:17:19, Butterfield was able to stay in striking distance of the top ten all day.
The rest of the Colorado crew began coming in not too far after Butterfield. Joe Gambles, who’s been in Gerona, Spain this year, finished in 16th with a time of 4:04:50. Leon Griffin finished only 11 seconds behind him in 17th. Finishing in 26th was Boulder-trainee Sam Appleton, who was viewed as someone to challenge the strong field after a year of 70.3 wins and podium finishes. However, we all know every day cannot always be your best and we know he’ll be looking to get back on track soon as will Gambles and Griffin, who are two of the best 70.3 specialists around.
Rounding out the Colorado pros were Chris Leiferman who finished 29th, 4:14:36, Kevin Collington in 34th, 4:22:46, and Justin Metzler who finished 35th in 4:27:03. Unable to finish his bike was last year’s third place finisher, and multiple 70.3 winner, Tim Don, who dealt with a nasty flat tire that ended his day. We look forward to Don racing his first Ironman World Championships in Kona this October and know he will be ready for redemption. Another Boulderite who didn’t finish out the race was Ventum Bike’s owner Jimmy Seear. We wish him the best and hope to see him out racing soon. Congrats to all of our pros and good luck with the rest of your season!
For someone who didn’t have Ironman 70.3 Worlds on their race calendar at the beginning of the year, Alicia Kaye has been nothing but a natural at the half distance this year and turned in a fifth place overall finish in 4:27:39. Thanks to a swift swim, 24:03, a charging bike split, 2:28:58, and solid run, 1:30:35, Kaye was able to crack the top five in her first 70.3 World Championship race.
I got to talk to Kaye a few weeks ago and it was easy to see that she was hungry for a top placement amongst the world’s best in Austria. Kaye, who transitioned into 70.3 races this year, has had an outstanding year, which included many podiums and wins. As I watched her win Boulder, it was apparent she was something special and she definitely showed up to work this past weekend.
Boulderite Nikki Butterfield finished 17th overall in 4:42:07 thanks to a 27:45 swim, 2:30:25 bike, and a 1:39:55 run to top it off. We are so impressed with Butterfield who not only trains at a high level, but is also an extremely busy mom of two little ones. Congrats to all of the female pros who are probably multi-tasking and taking care of triathlon business too!
Giardini, Smith Podium in Penticton
David Giardini continues to prove he can swim with the best of them as he led the men out of the water at Challenge Penticton this weekend in a zippy time of 22:02. He was able to follow that up with the third fastest bike split of the day, 2:14:22, and a run split of 1:21:00, allowing him to top the final podium spot in an overall time of 3:57:23.
Also grabbing the third spot on the podium was Boulder’s Lesley Smith, who turned in the fastest run time in the women’s field in 1:21:56. After watching Smith run herself into third at 70.3 Boulder, I am not surprised one bit that she was able to climb onto the podium as the gal can run. Smith’s overall time on the day, 4:27:44, was only one minute back from second place.
For Ellie Salthouse, Penticton was her first-ever 70.3 race and she came out guns blazing with a sixth place overall finish. Salthouse, who is a mainstay in the ITU world, turned in an overall time of 4:32:07. And I am sure she will only keep improving as she proves she is capable of placing in 70.3 events. Congrats on finishing strong, Ellie!
Kathy Rakel of Boulder also competed in Penticton, finishing 15th overall in a time of 4:45:32. We are always happy to see Rakel around and, through Facebook, learned that she had a personal best in her power numbers on the bike. Congrats, Kathy, and to all of the female pros!
Baucco Bummed in Vichy
I don’t have all of the details, but through Facebook, A.J. Baucco reported that he had a tough day in France due to a flat that he couldn’t get to hold air. He used a pit stop and two CO2 cartridges, but still kept losing air. He finally called it a day at mile 70, but he told me he is planning to race Ironman Wales on September 13th. Hopefully tires behave, A.J.!