Skip to Content

Docherty, Naeth take 70.3 Panama

Written by: Herbert Krabel
Date: Sun Feb 12 2012

Kiwi Bevan Docherty ran down Lance Armstrong with a lot of grit to take Ironman 70.3 Panama in 3:50:13. Canadian Angela Naeth recorded the fastest bike split in the women's race and pulled away during the run for the win.

The men

The 70.3 Panama received quite a bit of hype prior to the race when word got out that 7-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong was going to be in the event. Plus entries from fast ITU Pros Bevan Docherty, Ivan Vasilyev and Bertrand Billard promised to make this early season race very interesting.

Matty Reed who also has quite a bit of short course experience and speed took charge of the 1.2 mile point-to-point swim and managed to be first out of the water in 18:49. Reed had Vasilyev and Docherty right on his heels, and Rasmus Henning was next. Lance Armstrong managed a 19:22 swim that allowed him to be 10th out of the water, with Chris Lieto in 12th position, another 16 seconds back.

It didn't take very long for Bertrand Billard to move into the lead and the French Pro who had won 5i50 Klagenfurt in 2011 and finished second at 70.3 Mallorca, managed to pull away from all the chasers. By the 20k mark Billard was up 1:40 on a group that contained Henning, Reed, Vasilyev, Armstrong, Lieto, Richie Cunningham and Bert Jammaer. Armstrong and Lieto eventually pulled away from the others in the group. They were soon after joined by Argentinean Pro Oscar Galindez, who had steadily moved through the field. At one point the gap to Billard was over 2 minutes, but that did not last. During the second half of the bike the chasing 3 pulled back Billard, but that hard day of chasing eventually cost Galindez and he fell off the pace. Lieto and Armstrong caught Billard with a few miles to go in the bike segment, despite the valiant effort of the French Pro to hold them off. Lieto was first back into transition, 6 seconds up on Armstrong and 9 on Billard. But according to Ironmanlive, the fastest bike split belonged to Galindez.

Once on the run, Lieto pulled away, but Armstrong seemed reasonably comfortable and ran in second position about 12 seconds behind the Danville, CA resident. Billard though paid for his brave effort on the bike and soon fell off the pace with Galindez moving into third. 3 miles into the run Armstrong passed Lieto and slowly pulled away. Docherty soon moved into second position but Armstrong was defiant up front and held on to a 1:15 lead halfway through the run. Docherty pulled to within 55 seconds with 4 miles to go and Richie Cunningham was now running in third position. Docherty soon had Armstrong in his sight and caught the Texan with about a mile to go. Armstrong tried to hold on but the Kiwi was too strong and pulled away. Docherty crossed the line first in 3:50:13 and Armstrong crossed the line in second place 42 seconds later. Cunningham took the final podium spot and Henning grabbed fourth.

"I’m so fresh to this distance, and wasn’t really too sure how to pace myself, especially in heat like this, so to time it well and take to lead with a few K’s to go, I think I got it right," said Docherty to slowtwitch. "It’s back to speed work now for the Olympics, but I will return to long distance in 2013 to maintain my unbeaten record of the 1/2 distance."

The women
Leanda Cave led the women's field after the swim but Kelly Williamson, Nina Kraft, Dede Griesbauer, Radka Vodickova, Tenille Hoogland and Michelle Versterby were not far behind.

Cave then went to work on the bike and pulled away from all the others. Well, only those who had been close to her that is. Angela Naeth was flying through the field with the fastest female bike split and had Cave in sight as the bike segment ended, Cave reached the bike-run transition first, but Naeth was right with her. Next into transition were Time Deckers and Maggie Shapiro, but they were 2:44 behind the leader. Nina Kraft reportedly had dropped out with bike problems.

Naeth pulled away from Cave and halfway through the run had built up a 2:50 lead. Shapiro was running in third only a few seconds behind the long time leader. Naeth took the win in 4:15:31 and Kelly Williamson finished in second place with the day's best run.

"It was a great race. I just felt stronger and stronger throughout so I kept telling myself 'be strong, be strong', " said women's champion Angela Naeth, and when asked about the string of runner-up spots in 2011, she added, "Actually that was on my mind the whole time. 'I am not getting second this time, I wanna start this year out with a bang,' and that is what I did."

Ironman 70.3 Panama
Panama City, Panama / February 12, 2012
1.2m swim / 56m bike / 13.1m run

Top men

1. Bevan Docherty (NZL) 3:50:13
2. Lance Armstrong (USA) 3:50:55
3. Richie Cunningham (AUS) 3:52:59
4. Rasmus Henning (DEN) 3:53:38
5. Romain Guillaume (FRA) 3:54:44
6. Jesse Thomas (USA) 3:55:30
7. Chris Lieto (USA) 3:56:21
8. Ivan Vasilyev (RUS) 3:58:32
9. Oscar Galindez (ARG) 4:00:53
10. Bert Jammaer (BEL) 4:01:24

Top women

1. Angela Naeth (CAN) 4:15:31
2. Kelly Williamson (USA) 4:19:11
3. Margaret Shapiro (USA) 4:19:34
4. Leanda Cave (GBR) 4:21:42
5. Tine Deckers (BEL) 4:25:29
6. Yvonne Van Vlerken (NED) 4:29:00
7. Natascha Badmann (SUI) 4:29:17
8. Michelle Vesterby (DEN) 4:30:20
9. Bree Wee (USA) 4:31:09
10. Dede Griesbauer (USA) 4:33:03


Articles related to this one
Al-Sultan, Zelenkova win Sri Lanka 70.3
Faris Al-Sultan of the Germany and the United Arab Emirates and Lucie Zelenkova of the Czech Republic won the inaugural Ironman 70.3 Sri Lanka by comfortable margins in steaming hot weather. 2.18.12
Angela Naeth - giving it all
Winning 70.3 Panama allowed Canadian Pro Angela Naeth to start the 2012 season with a bang. Naeth then went straight to the wind tunnel with Pearl Izumi and now is getting ready for the Abu Dhabi Triathlon. 2.21.12
Chris Lieto takes on Abu Dhabi
Some say Abu Dhabi's 200 kilometer bike course and 20km run fits Chris Lieto like a glove. Triathlon's fastest cyclist talks about his chances for the $50,000 top prize in his first crack at the United Emirates speedway. 3.02.12
Rasmus Henning on Abu Dhabi
A day before the 2012 Abu Dhabi Triathlon we had a few words with Rasmus Henning to get his feel on the race, what is next and a few other topics. 3.02.12
Amberger, Ellis win Singapore 70.3
Australian Josh Amberger won it with the best bike and best run to top Denis Vasiliev; Mary Beth Ellis of the U.S. used a race-best swim and best bike to outpace Michelle Wu and win Aviva Ironman 70.3 Singapore. 3.17.12
Kelly Williamson is even faster
Kelly Williamson is back to her racing template of excellent swim, lose time on the bike and kill them on the run. She took 2nd at Panama 70.3 and a win at San Juan 70.3, but watch out. 3.22.12
Lance wins IM 70.3 Florida
Seven time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong blew away the field with a dominating 2:01:13 bike and a race best 1:15:56 run to win Ironman 70.3 Florida by a wide margin. Jessica Jacobs took the women's title. 5.20.12
Galindez, Wurtele top Panama 70.3
Forty-one year old Oscar Galindez of Argentina posted the best bike split and run against a talented field and Heather Wurtele of Canada used a race-fastest bike split and 2nd-best run to win Ironman 70.3 Panama. 2.03.13
Iron dreams alive but on hold
Angela Naeth has 5 half Iron distance wins after breaking her string of 8 runner-up 70.3 finishes; injuries have twice forced this gifted cyclist to postpone her Ironman debut but coach Mark Allen now charts her course. 2.22.13
Docherty, Kessler take Taupo
Bevan Docherty broke Cameron Brown’s course record while winning his Ironman debut and Meredith Kessler dominated the women’s field but fell short of Joanna Lawn’s race record at Ironman New Zealand. 3.01.13
A great first Ironman step
Bevan Docherty, 2004 ITU World Champion, 2004 Olympic silver medalist and 2008 Olympic bronze medalist, had a spectacular Ironman debut with a course record at Taupo. Next big career target -- Kona. 3.14.13
Gomez, Naeth win Panama 70.3
ITU Olympic distance World Champion Javier Gomez jetted away from the men’s field on the run and Angela Naeth won a back-and-forth battle with Catriona Morrison to win the pro titles at Ironman 70.3 Panama. 2.16.14
Docherty bids adieu to pro career
Bevan Docherty calls it a career at age 37 after ITU World Championship gold and silver, Olympic silver and bronze, Commonwealth Games silver, Ironman 70.3 Worlds bronze. 1.16.15
Armstrong and Livestrong will partner with WTC
Lance Armstrong and his Livestrong Foundation announced a partnership with the WTC to raise more than $1 million for the fight against cancer. Armstrong commits to several 70.3 and Ironman events. 2.09.12
Docherty, Norden take LA Tri
Bevan Docherty sat out the ITU World Championship finals in Budapest Hungry but showed with his win at the 2010 LA Triathlon that he hasn't lost a step. Lisa Norden used a dominating bike split to grab the women's title. 10.03.10