Jordan Rapp made a triumphant return to form with a dominant victory at Ironman Mt. Tremblant. Mary Beth Ellis raced to a 9 minute lead off the bike, and then fought off a late-race charge by Liz Blatchford to notch her 9th Ironman win.
After a slow start to the 2015 season that included a DNF at Monterrey 70.3, a distant 2nd at Eagleman 70.3, and a 5th at Buffalo Springs 70.3, Rapp put it all together at Ironman Mt. Tremblant. Rappstar combined a 4th-best 51:33 swim, a by far race-best 4:25:01 bike leg and a race-fastest 2:55:53 run to finish in 8:17:37. This gave Rapp a large margin of victory over fellow American Justin Daerr and 3rd-place Paul Ambrose of Australia.
The win was Rapp’s 6th Ironman victory and adds to a sparkling résumé that includes the 2011 ITU Long Distance World Championship and two Leadman Epic wins.
Mary Beth Ellis’s Mt. Tremblant victory adds to her return to winning form, as she notched wins at the ITU Long Distance World Championship and Challenge Denmark earlier this year after returning to coach Brett Sutton in May.
Brian Fleischmann swam 49:16 which gave him a 53 seconds over Eric Limkemann, 1:41 over Paul Ambrose, 2:18 over Rapp, and 2:24 over Justin Daerr, with ever-dangerous Canadian cyclist-runner Lionel Sanders lurking in 12th with a 7:12 deficit.
Rapp rode into the lead by 40km, followed by Ambrose (+8s), Limkemann (+1:39) Fleischmann (+2:21), and Sanders (+4:43). By 73.5km, Rapp built his lead to 2:37 over Ambrose, 4:26 over Limkemann, 5:50 over Sanders, 6:25 over Fleischmann, and 7:39 over Daerr. By 110km, Rapp’s lead grew to 6:35 over Ambrose, 7:28 over Sanders, and 7:31 over Limkemann.
At that point, Sanders suffered a flat and by the time it was fixed, he lost 5:45 and two positions, and trailed Rapp by 13:17, a deficit he never recouped.
Back to his old fearsome fast groove on two wheels, Rapp finished with a 4:25:01 bike split which was 12:05 faster than Paul Ambrose’s next-best 4:37:06 leg. Starting the run, Rapp had an 11:32 advantage on Ambrose, 12:12 on Limkemann, 16:47 on Daerr, and 19:54 on clearly off-form Sanders. Rapp cruised to a welcome stress-free marathon that brought him home with an 18:35 margin over Daerr and 20:35 over Ambrose.
Ellis started her race with a women’s-best 50:22 swim, which gave her a 1:42 lead on Liz Blatchford and a 5:29 advantage on dangerous biker-runner Liz Lyles’ 7th-best effort.
After a women’s best 4:53:21 bike split, Ellis led Blatchford by 9 and a half minutes and essentially kept that margin through half of the marathon. By 26km, Ellis started to leak a little as her margin dropped to 8:04. By 31km, Ellis’ lead shrunk to 7:03 and it was time to worry just a little. Then the trickle increased.
At 38km, the lead was down to 4:07. By 39km, it was 3:40 on Blatchford while Lisa Roberts, charging hard to a women's best 3:00:37 run, was solidly in 3rd place. After a few tense minutes without an update, Ellis crossed the line in 9:09:05, just 50 seconds ahead of Blatchford and 4:40 ahead of Roberts.
Ironman Mt. Tremblant
Mt. Tremblant, Quebec, Canada
August 16, 2015
S 2.4 mi. / B 112 mi. / R 26.2 mi.
1. Jordan Rapp (USA) 8:17:37
2. Justin Daerr (USA) 8:36:12
3. Paul Ambrose (AUS) 8:38:12
4. Eric Limkemann (USA) 8:41:33
5. Lionel Sanders (CAN) 8:42:13
6. Trevor Delsaut (FRA) 8:48:49
7. Stephen Kilshaw (CAN) 8:50:58
8. Sam Gyde (BEL) 8:54:31 * M40-44
9. James Chesson (USA) 9:00:15
10. Jim Lubinski (USA) 9:03:22
1. Mary Beth Ellis (USA) 9:09:05
2. Liz Blatchford (GBR) 9:09:55
3. Lisa Roberts (USA) 9:13:45
4. Jackie Hering (USA) 9:20:09
5. Karen Thibodeau (CAN) 9:38:13
6. Jessie Donavan (USA) 9:39:16
7. Liz Lyles (USA) 9:42:33
8. Heather Leiggi (USA) 9:51:04
9. Laura Siddall (GBR) 9:52:19
10. Morgan Anderson (USA) 9:55:40 * F25-29