O’Donnell, Butterfield Battle Inaugural IM Brazil Course
The inaugural Ironman Brazil lured in quite a lineup of competitors this past weekend in both the men’s and women’s race. Colorado was well represented on the men’s side with Tim O’Donnell, Tyler Butterfield, Paul “Barney” Matthews, and Kyle Buckingham bringing their talents to the starting line.
O’Donnell and Matthews wasted no time coming out of the water in front with Igor Amorelli and Brent McMahon just seconds apart. Less than two minutes back was Butterfield and eventual winner Marino Vanhoeknacker, who would cycle together, chasing down the lead pack of four.
With a final 50 kilometers to go, Vanhoeknacker hit the gas, passing the lead group and biking his way into T2 with a convincing lead after biking an impressive and blazing time of 4:11:23, the fastest time of the day by about seven minutes.
O’Donnell, McMahon, Amorelli, and Butterfield came into T2 together and hit the pavement with a fast and furious pace, hoping to run down the winged Vanhoeknacker. Unfortunately, Butterfield had to serve a penalty coming off his sizzling bike time of 4:18:05. But it didn’t seem to slow him down once on the run.
Boulderite O’Donnell seemed to have a fluid pace going and was able to get within 30 seconds of Vanhoenacker, but it would be Vanhoenacker’s day as his 2:49:39 marathon would get him to the finish line first with an overall time of an astonishing 7:53:44.
Not far behind was O’Donnell who would end his race day with an impressive sub-eight hour time of 7:55:56, thanks to clocking the second fastest marathon time of the day with a speedy 2:45:52.
Rounding out the podium in 7:56:55 was McMahon, followed by another impressive sub-eight performance of 7:59:36 by Brazil’s own Amorelli.
Hanging tough on the day was Butterfield, who turned in a flashy 2:48:54 marathon time to help him to an 8:05:22 overall finishing time, placing him fifth in a stifling field of competitors.
Also turning in a stellar effort was seventh place finisher, in 8:09:33, Kyle Buckingham who has recently made Colorado his summer home.
After a fast start out of the water and through the bike, Matthews ended up 17th overall. We know Matthews will be back in full force at his next race!
Although there were no current Colorado pros in the women’s race, Former Boulder resident Dr. Amanda Stevens led for most of the day and turned in an exciting third place finishing time of 9:01:27.
Hometown gal Ariane Monticeli grabbed the IM Brazil crown as she ran down her competition with the fastest female run split of the day in 2:56:28, finishing in a winning time of 8:59:08. Second to Monticeli was Elizabeth Lyles who had a solid day in all three events and finished in 9:00:31.
Chrabot Shreds IM Raleigh 70.3
If you haven’t noticed by now, Colorado’s Matt Chrabot is having a great season and continued his podium-topping performances this past weekend at Ironman 70.3 Raleigh. After leading the swim with Jake Montgomery in a swift 25:32,Chrabot got his bike legs moving, turning in the second fastest bike time of the day in 2:08:26.
“I knew the race would come down to me and Andi (Dreitz). He’s probably the best cyclist in the sport right now that’s capable of big podium finishes. I was anticipating he wouldn’t be too far back out of the water and pass me around mile 10 on the bike,” Chrabot said about eventual winner Andreas Dreitz.
Call Chrabot a psychic, because Dreitz turned in a monster bike time of 2:01:45, which allowed him to both catch and pass the leaders, while storming out to a lead that would only grow over time. Chrabot said that as Dreitz passed him at mile 21, he worked on keeping him realistically close in order to prepare for the fast run he knew he would need to challenge the field, including Dreitz.
“I rode a bit harder than I would have preferred,” Chrabot added when discussing his powerful bike effort, the second fastest split of the day, of 2:08:26. He then followed up his bike with a swift run time of 1:17:38, which helped him claim the runner-up spot with an overall time of 3:53:22 on the day.
Rounding out the podium is former Colorado pro Matt Reed who finished his stellar day with an overall time of 3:57:39. Branden Rakita of Colorado also delivered a solid performance, finishing 12th overall with a finishing time of 4:11:50. Rakita’s 2:11:20 bike split kept him in the hunt all day. Unfortunately, Colorado pro Jimmy Seear made a valiant effort in the swim and on the bike, but did not finish for unknown reasons.
Although we are impressed with Chrabot’s run, he noted, “Right now I’m about to head into a big run block and focus on getting back to a 1:12 half off a hard bike. I’d love to go to 70.3 worlds, but my coach feels efforts to win a late season IM would be worth more in value.”
I am sure it won’t be long until we see Chrabot hitting that 1:12 run split. Congrats to all the Colorado pros who made us proud in Raleigh!
Gambles Gets the Win
Even though Joe Gambles is calling Girona, Spain home for the year, we still claim this Boulder resident all for ourselves! Gambles did Colorado proud this weekend when he won the inaugural Challenge Salou, an exciting and zippy course anticipated by many racers alike. Posting the fastest bike split of the day, 2:04:35, paired with a blistering run time of 1:11:55, Gambles was able to take the crown in an overall time of 3:39:00. Ritchie Nicholls finished a close second in 3:40:11 with Antony Costes closing out the podium spots in third place in 3:42:41. Way to go, Gambles!
Findlay Finds her Form
Every athlete has probably experienced as many lows as highs in their racing career and knows that there will be that one moment when things just start to click again. For Canadian ITU athlete, and Boulderite, Paula Findlay, that moment was this past weekend at the ITU race in London, where the 2012 Olympian seized eighth place in a more than tough field of women.
Findlay turned in a swim time of 10:01, a 28:36 bike split, and a run time of 16:37, for an overall time of 56:32. Findlay actually had the same time as the seventh place woman and was just seconds behind the fifth and sixth place women, which apparently came down to a sprint finish.
As Findlay works towards her goal of the 2016 Olympics, it looks like she is finding her form mid-season and we know she will look to challenge the best of the ITU field as the racing year continues.
On a side note, I cannot leave out that American Gwen Jorgensen won the London race, making it her 10th straight ITU win. What an amazing accomplishment and there is so much racing left. Way to go to all of the ladies!
Colorado Sprint Triathlon
This past weekend Boulder’s sprint triathlon was on full display at the Boulder Reservoir where a few of our local pro men competed and outshined the rest. The overall winner was age-grouper Eric Kenney, who belongs to the Boulder Track Club, followed by pro triathletes Jared Milam, of Superior, and new pro Colin Laughery of Boulder.
Also competing was former pro Billy Edwards who grabbed a fifth place, Max Bennett of Colorado Springs in sixth, and Boulderite Rodrigo Sepulveda who finished seventh.
Although there were no pros in the women’s race, the Colorado residents dominated the top three finishing spots with Molly Smith of Denver claiming the win, Boulder’s Colleen DeReuck taking second, and Centennial’s Riley Lantz finishing in third.