Andy Potts and Heather Jackson made it look easy in their wins at the inaugural IRONMAN 70.3 Coeur d’Alene.
By Shawn Skene / Ironman.com
Potts patience nets win
Josh Amberger (AUS) and Andy Potts (USA) were the first to scamper up the beach together with Christian Kemp (AUS), Mark Bowstead (NZL), and Luke Bell (AUS) following 30 seconds later.
It became evident early in the bike that Potts, Amberger, and Bowstead were the top class of the field on the day in Idaho, as the remainder of the field were going in reverse. Heading into T2, Amberger jumped off his bike first with Bowstead and Potts following him into the transition just seconds later.
Early into the run Potts moved to the front of race while Amberger and Bowstead continued to follow closely behind. Potts bumped his lead to over a minute on his two pursuers by the first half of the run. With Potts’ familiar race strategy of keeping the field close on the bike, surging to the front early on the run, then putting out enough effort to clinch the win in a comfortable fashion he was able execute this winning formula to a “T” in his victory over Amberger and Bowstead who both celebrated podium finishes on the day to the seasoned veteran.
Jackson impresses on the bike
Haley Chura (USA) returned to racing and showed she hasn’t lost anything with her usually strong swim. She had two minute leads over Ellie Salthouse (USA) and Kelly Williamson (USA). Race favorite Heather Jackson (USA) found herself three and a half minutes off the pace, however, she now had her two strong suits left to play in her favor.
By 20 miles, Jackson had eliminated her deficit and started to quickly pad her lead at an alarming rate to the rest. By the time she reached the 30 mile marker, Jackson had a three-minute lead on Salthouse and stretched that advantage to over six minutes at the completion of the 56 miles.
Putting her race in cruise-control, Jackson clicked off the miles with a smile on her face for the spectators that lined the course. At the completion of the 13.1 mile run Jackson had built up an eight-minute winning advantage on Salthouse, as Malindi Elmore (CAN) snagged the best run on the day and was rewarded with a third place finish.
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