Salthouse Turns in Podium Performance
One Colorado triathlete we are getting used to seeing atop the podium these days is young gun Ellie Salthouse. The reigning Ironman 70.3 Boulder champ took on the heat and humidity at Ironman 70.3 Cozumel and slowly made her way to the front of the race with consistency and speed throughout the day.
After a solid swim (20:58), Salthouse found herself in the chase pack riding hard after swimming phenom Lauren Brandon. Salthouse used her strength on the bike to reel in the leaders, posting a 2:24:56 split, and setting herself up to duke it out for the top spots as she hit the pavement. As we saw in Boulder 70.3, Salthouse is an athlete that can run hard in the heat on race day and that’s exactly what she did in Cozumel.
Salthouse’s run split (1:30:20) was the second fastest of the day behind eventual winner Sue Huse (4:19:35). Brandon finished second (4:20:51) and Salthouse’s speedy run helped her grab the final spot on the podium (4:23:00).
After battling a shoulder injury earlier this year, Boulder-trainee Emma-Kate Lidbury found herself in the mix early thanks to a solid swim (22:02) and swift bike (2:23:55). Lidbury found herself in fourth off the bike and fell off a little on the run (1:50:01), but still held on for an 11th place overall finish in the women’s race. We’re glad to see “EK” is back racing and look forward to watching her continued success. Congrats to all of the ladies who raced in Cozumel!
Cunningham Crushes It in Cozumel
Anyone who has seen Boulder’s Richie Cunningham race knows that he fights until the bitter end and that’s exactly what he did at Ironman 70.3 Cozumel. Cunningham was in the mix from the beginning of the race thanks to a sound swim (20:32), which set him up to catch the leaders on the bike. Those leaders included Boulder’s 70.3 specialists James Hadley, Drew Scott, and Leon Griffin.
Cunningham, a Blue Bicycles athlete, threw down the hammer on the bike, turning in the fastest split of the day (2:05:20) and catapulting him to the front group as they exited T2. The run quickly turned into a battle of attrition as the heat and humidity became another factor to contend with on the course.
By the halfway mark, Hadley was running in second place with Cunningham in third and Griffin in fifth. Meanwhile, hometown boy Mauricio Mendez-Cruz was putting on a clinic as he blew through the field with the fastest run time of the day (1:14:33) to claim victory (3:43:43).
As the race drew near, the final podium spots came down to who could push through the heat in the final miles. Cunningham showed his toughness and picked it up enough to capture second place (3:50:08) while holding off Luis Knabl (3:50:35), who was breathing down Cunningham’s neck for much of the run.
Hadley was able to hang tough and hold onto fourth place (3:51:09), adding another successful 70.3 race to his year!
“This race takes the term ‘survival of the fittest’ to a whole new level. The sun, heat, and humidity were insane!” said Hadley.
Griffin gutted it out in the tough race conditions and earned fifth on the day (3:53:26). This was probably Griffin’s last race as a dad-of-one, as his wife, Merridee, is due with their second child at the end of October. Early congrats to you and your family, Leon!
Other Boulderites that fared well in Cozumel were Scott in eighth place (3:58:11), Will Jurkowski in 16th place (4:13:02), and Patrick McKeon in 20th (4:20:30). Congrats to all of the male pros who raced in Cozumel!