Van Berkel Sprints to Second in Philippines
Two Tims. Two triathletes. Two seconds. Too exciting!
This past weekend at Ironman 70.3 Philippines, Aussies Tim Reed and Tim Van Berkel duked it out from start to finish as Reed claimed victory over Van Berkel by a mere two seconds.
Van Berkel, who has been training in Boulder for quite some time now, was neck and neck with Reed all day as they hit each discipline. Thanks to his 22:58 swim, 2:03:15 bike, and 1:16:42 run, Van Berkel was able to contend for the win. In the end, a sprint finish determined which Aussie stood atop the podium, which was Reed by a mere two seconds. With this kind of finish, we are excited to see what Van Berkel will do in Kona this October!
Rounding out the last podium spot was Canadian Brent McMahon who finished the day with an overall time of 3:50:23. A few minutes back was another Aussie, Mitch Robins, who finished fourth overall with a time of 3:55:20.
Craig “Crowie” Alexander, who just left Boulder after some summer training, was the only other Coloradan to race here, finishing fifth with an overall time of 3:57:11. We know that Crowie is on the start list for 70.3 Worlds and look forward to seeing him challenge the rest of the field in Austria in September.
Duffy, Findlay Compete in Olympic Test Event
Two of the world’s fastest ITU athletes have been training and living in Boulder off and on all summer and it seems to be paying off. On August 2, the triathlon world watched as the top 8 competitors were guaranteed Olympic berths for Rio 2016 as they competed in the ITU World Olympic Qualification Event. Although neither one of our Colorado ladies cracked the top eight, they still displayed their athletic talent and proved they will be contenders for their country as the Olympic Games approach.
Finishing 11th on the day was Bermuda’s Flora Duffy, who has been in and out of Boulder this summer. Duffy turned in a speedy swim of 19:31, a bike of 1:03:45, and a run time of 36:39 for an overall time of 2:06:54.
Canada’s Paula Findlay, who competed in the 2012 London Olympic Games, clearly did not race to her full potential on this day, finishing 43rd overall. Findlay was only a minute back for a good portion of the bike, but could not bridge the gap to the second group, according to the online coverage. However, she turned in a solid swim time of 20:23 and a bike time of 1:04:59. We know the Boulder-based Findlay will be working hard as she sets her sights on Rio 2016.
Coloradans Shine at Ironman Boulder
One of the things I love the most about living in Colorado is the fact that our age-groupers could probably whoop an age-grouper from another area of the country and sometimes are mistaken for pros. Basically, Colorado’s age-groupers are not your average Joes!
Of the top eight men, seven of them are Colorado natives. On the women’s side, four of the top five finishers are from Colorado. Are you getting my point here?
Starting with the men’s race, it was actually a Texan, Clay Emge, who took the top honors of the day as he claimed Ironman Boulder’s crown in an overall time of 8:45:20. Emge started his day with a swim time of 58:00 and went on to turn in a blazing fast bike time of 4:29:50.
“The bike course was awesome, with just the right amount of climbing and some very smooth roads. I took the lead at mile 70, flatted at about mile 90, but was able to get it changed quickly and regained the lead before mile 100,” Emge said.
However, the flat tire did not detour his spirits for the rest of the day as he ended up turning in a run time of 3:09:30 and claim the title of Ironman Boulder Champion.
Emge told me that “the run started well, with me clipping off 6:35 miles, but my legs started getting heavier around mile 6 or 7. I’m still building my run back, after an injury that kept me from running for six months, so I knew I wouldn’t be able to run like I used to, but the volunteers and spectators were amazing, and helped me push through the pain while maintaining a decent pace. My lead-out biker was also great about pumping up the crowd as I was approaching and getting me splits on how far back second place was.”
The next seven athletes to finish were all Colorado residents. In second place with an overall time of 8:54:00 was Steve Mantell, third place went to Steve Johnson in 8:58:40, fourth was Curt Chesney in 9:03:40, fifth went to Rafeal Goncalves in 9:16:20, sixth was Billy Edwards in 9:17:50, seventh was Boulder’s bike-fitting guru Ivan O’Gorman in 9:33:50, and eighth place went to Eric Walker in 9:38:50.
In the women’s race, Italy’s Francesca Tibaldi, rode away with the victory thanks to a zippy bike leg of 5:00:30, the fastest women’s time of the day. Her final time of 9:53:40 gave her a 13-minute win over the next competitor and sealed her title as Ironman Boulder Champ.
The next four women to cross the finish line were Colorado residents Monica Folts in second place in a time of 10:06:10, Heather Gollnic in third place with a time of 10:17:50, Erin Kersten in fourth place in 10:36:20, and Amy Becker in fifth place in a time of 10:40:10. Congrats to all of the Colorado athletes who participated this past weekend in Ironman Boulder!
“The city of Boulder really embraced the Ironman and everyone I met was extremely friendly and hospitable. I hope to be back,” Emge, the Texan, said. We hope ya’ll come back, too!