Appleton, Alexander Run Away With Top Honors at Ironman 70.3 Vineman
Some say it’s “won on the run,” and in the case of Ironman 70.3 Vineman, this saying just might be true. Fans were treated to a battle of foot speed as young Aussie Sam Appleton looked to hold off three-time Ironman World Champion, and fellow Aussie, Craig “Crowie” Alexander. Before we get into their blistering half-marathon times, we need to go back and look at how the race began.
Popping out of the water first were Sam Appleton and Jake Montgomery, who were just seconds ahead of Coloradans Tim O’Donnell, Kevin Collington, Alexander, and Mark Bowstead. As these guys stayed close on the bike for most of the first half of the race, Appleton would make his move and put about 2 minutes of time in between himself and the pack. Even though he had gained a small amount of time on the group coming into T2, Appleton would have to push the pace to hold off such a talented group of competitors.
Right out of the gates, Appleton turned on his speed and held off all but one other person by the time they were over halfway through the run. Without having to guess much, the extraordinary Crowie was the one guy who could run as swiftly and challenge Appleton, slowly chopping down his lead. However, in the end, Appleton’s fastest run split of the day, 1:13:40, was enough to hold off the legend nipping at his heels as he would lead from start to finish and win with an overall time of 3:43:06.
Crowie was only seconds behind in turning in the second fastest run split of the day, 1:13:43, and nabbed second place with an overall time of 3:45:24. The day was definitely dominated by the Aussies, but the rest of the Colorado pros turned in strong races with Kevin Collington rounding out the final spot on the podium with a time of 3:47: 18. In fourth was O’Donnell, 3:49:16, Bowstead, 3:50:21, and Chris McDonald in ninth, 4:02:30.
Carfrae Captures Third
Although there were not many Colorado pro women in California this past weekend, the one who did show up came in with a bang! Defending Ironman World Champion Mirinda Carfrae grabbed third place thanks to her quickest run time of the day in the women’s race, 1:21:54. It’s not unusual for Carfrae to shine on the run and it was just another day of her picking off the competition one by one as she came off the bike.
Holding onto the lead for most of the day was the incredibly tough Meredith Kessler who turned in a solid effort in all three disciplines, allowing her to take the win in a time of 4:11:58. Not far behind her in second was Magali Tisseyre, who fought through the day to chase Kessler on the bike after turning in a great run of 1:23:26. Congrats to all of the women on a great race!
Coloradans Race Challenge Roth
I have never actually been to Challenge Roth, but it sounds like one of the Seven Wonders of the World in triathlon. Everyone I talk to says it’s on their list of “must-race” due to the enormous crowds, which this year reached 260,000. Yes, I didn’t hit too many zeros when I typed, as well as 6,000 volunteers.
Even though not too many Coloradans that I know of participated, I would still like to mention the winners, Nils Frommhold and Yvonne Van Vlerken. Both champs battled all day to hold off a quite competitive field, where I am sure they got help from the enormous crowds that can swallow a participant up whole as well as pure determination.
Van Vlerken was a Boulderite on and off for some time as was second place finisher Carrie Lester. We will always claim them as ours to some extent, so big congrats to both of these amazing ladies.
Boulder pro Laura Bennett also competed in this epic race. After dealing with a broken foot in March, we are pretty impressed with her tenacity and heart for going out there this weekend. It should also be noted that Challenge Marketing Director, Boulderite, and lover-of-all-things-triathlon, Holly Bennett, finished as well. Congrats to all of the Challenge Roth competitors!
Boulder’s ITU Trio Competes at Pan Am Games
On Saturday, Toronto hosted the triathlon competition for the Pan Am Games, one of the most widely recognized sporting events around. Three of our Boulder triathletes came out guns blazing and finished in the top 15.
For most of the race, Boulderite Paula Findlay, was up in the lead pack until the run, which would quickly spread out the peloton-like gathering from the bike. Turning in one of the fastest bike splits of the day, 1:00:46, Findlay jumped into the run where the speedy 10K race began.
Flora Duffy hit the ground running off the bike and caught many of the women thanks to her swift run time of 35:57, enough to grab the final podium spot and finish third. Findlay slowed up a little on the run after her dynamo swim and bike to finish ninth overall. The final Boulderite, Valentina “Chile” Carvallo, would turn in a speedy 36:22 on the run to finish 15th on the day.
There are still many more tough ITU races left on the calendar for the year as these ladies compete for Olympic berths for 2016. We wish them all the best and will continue to follow them as they look to represent their respective countries in Rio next year.