2013 Ironman World Championship

Story and Photos By Kristen McFarland

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii — The Ironman World Championship results this year highlighted once again that the best triathletes in the world find Colorado the place to train. Athletes living in Boulder but representing many nations filled the top ranks.

Mirinda Carfrae

Mirinda Carfrae wins her second Ironman World Championship

Conditions were favorable today at the GoPro Ironman World Championship as Boulder’s Mirinda Carfrae (AUS) snagged her second win and Rachel Joyce (GBR), who also lives and trains in Boulder half the year, came in second. Boulder’s Tim O’Donnell and Ben Hoffman were the top two American men, placing fifth and fifteenth, respectively, and Tyler Butterfield (Bermuda) who also lives in Boulder, placed seventh.

Records Fall

The race started auspiciously with nice calm waters and a sweet little spinner dolphin that decided to join the swim. You could see it jumping and darting playfully alongside the outside edge of the field. This must have been good luck for Mirinda Carfrae who proceeded to have the race of her life as she broke both the run course record (her split: 2:50:35) and the full course record (8:52:14) on the way to her second victory here in Kona.

Not one of the better swimmers in the sport, she missed the lead group of ten or so women out of T1 by more than seven minutes and spent most of the bike leg riding alone. However, she didn’t feel like that hurt her much, mentioning that the lead groups tend to have a lot of surges instead of steady pacing. She also credited some tail winds on the bike and moderate cloud cover on the run for some of her speed.

Her run record is all the more amazing because only two men beat her on the run! She is also now the first woman ever to have finished under 9 hours three times.

Unlike Mirinda, Rachel Joyce was in the lead group on the bike and had quite a bit of trouble trying to break away but fina

Rachel Joyce

Rachel Joyce takes second

lly did around Kawaihae. After T2 she led the run for quite a while until Carfrae ran her down. She didn’t give up much, though, and stayed within a minute of Mirinda for several miles.

Carfrae credited Joyce’s tenacity as the main force pushing her to that record breaking pace. Joyce’s second place makes this her fourth top-ten in Kona.

In the men’s race, Belgian Frederik Van Lierde (unrelated to, but coached by former world champion Luc Van Lierde) captured the championship after placing third last year. Andrew Starykowicz played the rabbit and went off the front of the bike early and actually held position for the most part throughout the entire bike leg.

Second place finisher Luke Mckenzie (AUS) stayed with Starykowicz for much of the bike leg—trading passes a couple of times—but in the end had no intentions of joining him on what, at the press conference he called Starykowicz’s “suicide mission.”

Boulder’s Tim O’Donnell concurred that Starkowicz really broke up the field with his hard riding. “It was on right from the swim. It was carnage. Guys that are so consistent at this race were nowhere to be seen. I was left on my own half way down from Hawi and all the way back…I was able to ride my watts and stay pretty close to that second group. Last year I learned that you’re never out of this race so I kept plugging along and doing my thing.” O’Donnell moved up two spots from last year for a strong fifth place finish.

“We’re a Team Now”

O’Donnell and Carfrae are engaged to be married and that fact was a very entertaining part of the narrative of this year’s race. As Mirinda crossed the line, Tim was waiting and she leapt into his arms. O’Donnell later said he feared his spent quads would collapse and they would make a hilarious clip for the television footage falling to the ground.

Carfae and Tim O'Donnell

Carfae and Tim O’Donnell

“We’re a team now,” he commented at the press conference, “Watching her win was more exciting than me getting fifth.”

When Mike Reilly interviewed her at the finish she quipped, “We’re getting married in December so I think I’ll be able to pay for the wedding!”

At the men’s press conference reporter Timothy Carlson asked winner Frederik Van Lierde how he felt about the women’s winner beating his run split. Conference moderator Greg Welch interjected, “At least he doesn’t have to marry her in two months!”

Colorado Veteran Ironmen Have Strong Showing

Familiar names dotted the Colorado age group results. The first age grouper across the line for Colorado was Colorado Springs’ Kevin Dessart, who placed eighth in the 45-49 age group in 9:23.

Ellen Hart of Denver was second in the 55-59 age group with a truly amazing 10:52 performance.

Diane Ridgeway of Arvada delivered yet another great performance with a 13:04 finish for second in the 65-69 division.

Diana Hassell of Fort Collins came in third int the 45-49 category with an outstanding 10:14.

Coping with Floods

Unlike some of the top male contenders that live in Boulder that fled to Kona as soon as the floods hit, both Carfrae and Joyce decided to stay despite some obstacles to training. Neither’s residence actually flooded but Joyce’s building was definitely in the danger zone.

“Luckily we live on the second floor in a condo but we have a dry creek that we overlook off our balcony that became a river, so that was a bit scary.”

They had to do some extra trainer work but mostly it was business as usual. Mary Beth Ellis was in Vail having surgery during the floods but her basement did fill up with water pretty significantly.

Carfae’s coach, Siri Lindley, moved back to Boulder just this past June to be close to her mom who is a long-time Boulder resident. She was thankful that she did as her mom was displaced by the flood and had to stay with her.

Injuries Took their Toll

Colorado contenders Andy Potts and Mary Beth Ellis both had to pull out of the race. Potts did not start due to what he described as “nerve damage” in his foot, but vowed to return healthy next year. Mary Beth Ellis, who was recovering from a very recent clavicle fracture and subsequent surgery, had a good swim and bike but apparently decided she was not up to the run and pulled out in T2.

Colorado Results

Place Time Bib Fname Lname Cnt Na Rep Divp Div Swim T1 Bike T2 Run
5 8:22 7 Tim O’Donnell USA CO USA 5 MPRO 51:04 2:05 4:35 2:32 2:51
7 8:24 44 Tyler Butterfield USA CO BMU 7 MPRO 51:24 1:46 4:30 2:28 2:58
15 8:36 42 Ben Hoffman USA CO USA 15 MPRO 51:12 1:51 4:40 2:27 3:00
23 8:43 5 Craig Alexander USA CO AUS 21 MPRO 51:14 2:02 4:40 2:20 3:07
32 8:52 111 Mirinda Carfrae USA CO AUS 1 WPRO 58:50 2:07 4:58 2:21 2:50
42 8:57 131 Rachel Joyce USA CO GBR 2 WPRO 54:09 2:03 4:55 2:16 3:03
53 9:01 51 Chris Legh USA CO AUS 28 MPRO 1:00 1:53 4:49 2:14 3:07
176 9:23 874 Kevin Dessart USA CO USA 8 M45-49 59:32 3:31 4:54 3:43 3:21
206 9:26 1855 Colin Laughery USA CO USA 50 M30-34 1:03 3:41 4:57 3:47 3:17
265 9:31 797 Mark Ryan USA CO USA 15 M45-49 1:03 4:02 5:02 3:19 3:18
321 9:36 1487 Steve Johnson USA CO USA 64 M35-39 1:03 3:10 4:52 5:29 3:32
425 9:44 1797 Andrew Knutsen USA CO USA 102 M30-34 1:07 4:39 5:08 4:07 3:19
537 9:54 1893 Sonja Wieck USA CO USA 6 F30-34 1:07 2:48 5:09 2:57 3:32
594 9:57 739 Scott Jones USA CO USA 57 M45-49 58:55 3:13 5:15 4:05 3:36
600 9:58 1186 Glenn Mengering USA CO USA 108 M40-44 1:04 4:09 5:02 3:22 3:43
608 9:59 791 Shawn Parsons USA CO USA 63 M45-49 1:09 3:17 4:58 3:57 3:43
677 10:06 1605 Mark Williams USA CO USA 128 M35-39 1:00 4:37 5:12 4:37 3:44
755 10:14 1756 Florian Mayer USA CO DEU 140 M30-34 1:07 3:14 5:03 6:29 3:53
760 10:14 980 Diana Hassel USA CO USA 3 F45-49 1:05 3:14 5:09 4:37 3:51
868 10:24 1232 Michael Breyer USA CO USA 167 M40-44 1:14 3:34 4:49 5:59 4:10
897 10:27 1777 Daryl Austin USA CO USA 145 M30-34 1:16 2:45 5:21 2:44 3:43
944 10:31 1096 Richard Byyny USA CO USA 180 M40-44 58:59 3:19 5:10 4:26 4:14
953 10:32 1950 Wylie Belasik USA CO USA 78 M25-29 1:21 6:13 5:15 4:23 3:45
985 10:37 1936 Nicole Callan USA CO USA 30 F30-34 1:08 3:19 5:27 2:45 3:54
999 10:38 1944 Ashley Niles USA CO USA 33 F30-34 1:08 3:12 5:35 2:58 3:48
1022 10:40 1134 Enrique Sanchez USA CO MEX 194 M40-44 1:06 4:48 5:16 3:28 4:09
1043 10:42 2034 Josh Kalb USA CO USA 79 M25-29 1:02 4:04 5:36 5:31 3:54
1096 10:48 1347 Kerrie Wlad USA CO CAN 19 F40-44 1:14 4:30 5:59 4:42 3:24
1129 10:52 468 Ellen Hart USA CO USA 2 F55-59 1:15 4:12 5:44 3:00 3:45
1191 10:58 850 Todd Mellinger USA CO USA 153 M45-49 1:03 3:29 5:10 6:19 4:35
1229 11:03 766 Brad Cooper USA CO USA 158 M45-49 1:03 4:14 5:02 8:18 4:44
1257 11:08 949 Traci Winterbottom USA CO USA 16 F45-49 1:07 3:23 6:00 3:40 3:53
1299 11:15 1569 Garrett Harvey USA CO USA 186 M35-39 1:04 2:41 5:08 7:02 4:52
1314 11:16 1379 Jennifer Mason USA CO USA 42 F40-44 1:02 4:31 5:35 4:55 4:29
1496 11:56 974 Stacia Wilkins USA CO USA 40 F45-49 1:14 5:31 6:16 6:55 4:13
1522 12:01 308 Don Orr USA CO USA 19 M60-64 1:14 4:11 6:04 5:51 4:32
1524 12:02 2160 Marleigh Hill USA CO USA 23 F18-24 1:12 3:20 6:09 4:12 4:32
1548 12:13 206 Simon Butterworth USA CO USA 7 M65-69 1:19 5:03 5:57 6:33 4:44
1617 12:42 518 Bill Martin USA CO USA 128 M50-54 1:10 5:36 6:26 6:28 4:54
1682 13:04 254 Diane Ridgway USA CO USA 2 F65-69 1:39 3:46 6:39 6:43 4:34
1691 13:09 499 David Stoll USA CO USA 138 M50-54 1:29 8:03 6:35 8:15 4:48
1742 13:29 1401 Kevin Houghton USA CO USA 207 M35-39 1:14 6:44 6:14 5:35 5:48
1787 13:53 411 Tom Gart USA CO USA 76 M55-59 1:29 11:14 6:38 8:24 5:26
1832 14:21 229 Rob Ladewig USA CO USA 20 M65-69 1:33 8:18 6:32 6:57 6:00
1942 15:58 328 Mary Peebles USA CO USA 20 F60-64 1:36 8:42 7:58 7:46 6:07
1983 102 Mary Beth Ellis USA CO USA WPRO 58:44 2:09 5:03 2:58
2029 107 Rebekah Keat USA CO AUS WPRO 54:08 1:57 5:21
2043 1461 Shane Niemeyer USA CO USA M35-39 1:00 2:41