July 27, 2002 – Lake Placid, New York
By Kristen McFarland
ISSUE #17, August/September 2002 – As many expected, today Ryan Bolton took his first IRONMAN victory at the HSBC IRONMAN USA in Lake Placid, New York. Winning by over 14 minutes in only the third IRONMAN distance race of his life, Bolton showed that he is now truly a force on the IRONMAN scene.
After a great swim split of 47:39 he left the transition in fifth place (including a couple of excellent age group swimmers) and very quickly caught Jamie Cleveland of Canada who had gone to the front early. They road together with veteran Ken Glah, James Bonney, and an unknown factor, Kevin Joyce of California. Then Ryan, James Bonney, and Kevin Joyce dropped the other two, gapping them by a minute or so. Soon after that Ken Glah was taken out of the race by an unfortunate mishap with a minivan that had driven out on to the course at a very bad time. (Ken is okay. The report is that he has a mildly injured shoulder.) Just before the end of the first bike loop, the three were still together, but by mile-66 Bolton said he had “put in a few surges,” and that was enough to put a minute and a half between him and Bonney. By T2 he was leading by over two minutes.
Last year Ryan broke the IRONMAN USA course record with a 2:49:52. In Kona last October his run split was second only to Tim DeBoom’s, although most people didn’t notice because he came in 30th overall. Statistically the fastest runner in the field, only a meltdown was going to keep him from a win if he left T2 even close to the front. That was not to happen. He led out of the second transition and just kept building his lead. At mile-16 he was nearly 11 minutes ahead and he kept it all the way until the end. His closest competitors of the day, Bonney and Cleveland, both pulled out with the stomach problems that are so common in these races.
Kirk Framke, 28 year old pro triathlete and architect from Denver, had a strong finish, placing an impressive 16th overall in 9:45:04. Paul Martin, below-the-knee amputee and competitive triathlete finished in 11:25:39. Paul has recently published a book about his experiences entitled One Man’s Leg.
Elizabeth Anderson, Colorado’s only pro woman in the race, had a stellar bike leg after a very god swim. She was in second place until about mile 54 before being passed by eventual winner Heather Fuhr. She also succumbed to stomach ills, however, and had to quit.
Other noteworthy Colorado age group finishes include:
90. Jim Harkness Steamboat Springs 10:27:48
95. Kyle Boschen Denver 10:28:36
96. Armando Galarraga Boulder 10:28:40
132. Scott Glenn Boulder 10:40:11