Boulder Men Sweep Podium Spots
It’s only March and the male pros of Boulder came out swinging on race day at IRONMAN 70.3 Puerto Rico. The first two swimmers out of the water–in the same time of 24:15–were none other than uber-swimmer Cam Dye and 2015’s third place Kona finisher, Tim O’Donnell.
It’s no surprise the two came out of the water to lead the pack, but the big story was Aussie and Boulder-trainee Leon Griffin who was not far behind in 24:38. Griffin, who is a regular at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships, isn’t known as a swimmer, but he proved that his off-season work plus talent are setting him up as a force to be reckoned with in the water.
“I set myself up for a great race with a ‘better than usual swim,’” Griffin said. “I was excited because it allowed me to make the front group of three on the bike.”
The front group of O’Donnell, Dye, and Griffin didn’t take long to break up as one of the fastest cyclists in the sport, Andrew Starykowicz, went off the front and pushed the pace. Griffin remembers that as soon as “Starky” lifted the pace he began to suffer. Not only that, but he had only been riding his new Trek Speed Concept for the second week and his hamstrings began to seize.
“I had to let them go about two-thirds of the way through and do my best to minimize the damage in T2. The moment I set foot on the run, I felt amazing, which is usually a good indicator of how I will be able to push on the run,” Griffin stated.
Pushing hard is exactly what Griffin did as he began to pick off the pack of guys ahead of him. It took until mile 10 for Griffin to finally pass his training mate Dye and grab second place, which he would hold onto thanks to his second fastest run split of the day, 1:18:11.
One guy nobody would catch was O’Donnell, who turned in the fastest run split of the day in 1:17:47 and an overall winning time of 3:50:51. Griffin’s 3:54:22 and Dye’s 3:55:10 would help them round out the podium and cap off a successful day.
“I kept chugging along all day and Cam’s valiant effort didn’t make it easy for me to pass him for second place,” Griffin added. “I am very happy with the start to my U.S. season!”
Someone who is no stranger to having a great race in Puerto Rico is last year’s second place finisher, Chris Leiferman, who was a solid sixth on the day in 3:59:20. The newlywed was strong in all three disciplines and turned in a speedy 1:20:45 to hit the finish line early. Also finishing was Patrick Evoe 16th place with a time of 4:17:10 in. Great job to all of the Boulder men!