Joe Gambles and Liz Blatchford won Boulder’s own 70.3, where many in an all-star field can awake in their own beds the morning of the race, and be back at home from the race in time to watch Judge Judy.
Gambles, an Australian who trains in Boulder in the summer, did most of his damage with a sizzling-fast, race-record 2:00:21 bike split which brought him to the finish in 3:44:04 with a 3:37 margin of victory over Golden, Colorado’s Jordan Jones and 4:16 over 3rd place Ben Hoffman, another Boulder summer resident.
Gambles’ 6th-fastest 24:02 swim split gave away just 38 seconds to Brian Fleishmann’s race-best 23:24 swim in Boulder Reservoir. Gambles’ outstanding bike split then tore apart the field, outpacing Ben Hoffman by 2:41, Santiago Ascenco by 2:49, Leon Griffin by 2:50, Josh Rix by 3:02, Jordan Jones by 5:16, Brian Fleischmann by 5:45, Matt Reed by 5:59, Joe Umphenour by 6:25 and Marcus Fernandes by 6:39.
Leading by several minutes after T2, Gambles gamboled home with a 3rd-best 1:17:33 half marathon.
Jordan Jones made up 2:31 on Gambles with his race-fastest 1:15:02 run that lifted him from 9th off the bike to 2nd at the line, but left him 3:37 back of Gambles’ record-setting effort. Ben Hoffman’s well-balanced race – a 9th-best 24:49 swim, 2nd-fastest 2:03:02 bike, and 4th-best 1:18:03 run -- brought him home 3rd in 3:48:22.
Joe Umphenour might have won an age-graded race for he finished 4th in 3:49:10 at the age of 43. Umphenour’s 1:16:47 run gave up little to fresh young legs as his was the second-fastest 13.1-mile run of the day.
Top amateur and winner of the 18-24 age group was Boulder’s own Drew Scott. Scott combined a 24:55 swim, 2:06:14 bike and 1:24:53 run for a 3:58:24 finish which was 12th fastest overall.
The win added to Gambles’ excellent 2012 performances which include 8th at the Melbourne Ironman, 3rd at Rev3 Quassy, 1st at Syracuse 70.3 and 2nd at Vineman 70.3.
Liz Blatchford streaked home in a time more like a male pro.
Blatchford’s 4:07:48 took the women’s race by 1:56 over the 2012 runner-up and 2011 Ironman 70.3 World Champion Melissa Hauschildt and also broke Angela Naeth’s 2011 Boulder 70.3 winning mark by 2:43. Blatchford also topped fellow Brit and 2011 Ironman World Championship 3rd-place finisher Leanda Cave by 3:07.
Blatchford’s outstanding day may have assuaged some of the disappointment she felt at being a highly ranked ITU competitor left off Great Britain’s 2012 women’s Olympic triathlon team in favor of an inexperienced youngster designated to work as a domestique for current world champion Helen Jenkins .
Blatchford combined a race-best 24:56 swim, 3rd-fastest 2:16:11 bike split and a race-best 1:24:27 run to finish in 4:07:48 with a 1:56 advantage on runner-up Hauschildt and 3:07 over 3rd-place Cave.
Hauschildt’s typically slow 28:28 swim gave up 3:32 to Blatchford, which proved too much to overcome. Hauschildt’s race-best 2:14:14 bike split made up 1:57, but her historically fearsomely fast run turned out to be one second slower than Blatchford on this day and left her in second place.
Cave’s 2nd-fastest 24:58 swim and 2:14:25 bike split left her a minute and a half in the lead at T2, but recent run woes left her unable to run faster than a 4th-fastest 1:29:11 and she fell from the lead to 3rd place at the line.
The win continues Blatchford’s rewarding switch from ITU to non-drafting races in 2012 that include a 2nd at Klagenfurt 5150, 4th at Liverpool 5150, and 2nd at New York 5150.
Ironman 70.3 Boulder
August 5, 2012
S 1.2 mi. / B 56 mi. / R 13.1 mi.
1. Joe Gambles (AUS) 3:44:04
2. Jordan Jones (USA) 3:47:41
3. Ben Hoffman (USA) 3:48:22
4. Joe Umphenour (USA) 3:49:10
5. Santiago Ascenco (BRA) 3:50:49
6. Leon Griffin 3:52:09
7. Matty Reed (USA) 3:53:19
8. Marcus Fernandes (BRA) 3:53:44
9. Josh Rix (USA) 3:56:38
10. Brian Fleischmann (USA) 3:56:38
12. Drew Scott (USA) 3:58:24 * M18-24
1. Liz Blatchford (GBR) 4:07:48
2. Melissa Hauschildt (AUS) 4:09:44
3. Leanda Cave (GBR) 4:10:55
4. Elizabeth Lyles (USA) 4:20:52
5. Katy Blakemore (USA) 4:22:02 * F30-34
6. Uli Bromme (USA) 4:24:21
7. Whitney Garcia (USA) 4:25:45
8. Mandy McLane (USA) 4:26:18
9. Danielle Kehoe (USA) 4:29:45 * F25-29
10. Madeleine Oldfield (AUS) 4:31:43