Taylor Reid of Canada and Canadian-born U.S. citizen Alicia Kaye won the elite titles at Ironman 70.3 Puerto Rico in San Juan.
Photo by Lee Gruenfeld
Reid overcame a 1:41 deficit in the swim with a 2nd-fastest 2:02:11 bike split and 2nd-best 1:18:18 run to finish in 1:49:50 with a 1:32 margin of victory over Andy Potts of the U.S. and 1:42 over 3rd place Ben Kanute of the U.S.
Reid emerged from the swim in a 9th-best 25:14 split which put him 1:40 back of swim leader Kanute and 1:26 behind always dangerous Potts. By 27 miles of the bike leg, Reid took over the lead of a tightly bunched six man pack that included Potts, Paul Ambrose of Australia, 2016 Olympian Kanute, Leonardo Chacon of Costa Rica, and Carlos Quinchara Forero of Colombia.
Upon arrival in T2, Ambrose and his race-best 2:02:09 bike split led Kanute and Reid by 2 seconds, Potts by 12 seconds and Nathan Killam, Stephen Kilshaw, Jackson Laundry and Raul Tejada by 3:05 to 3:54.
After half the run, Reid led Kanute by 26 seconds, Potts by 1:20, Kilshaw by 3:05, Ambrose by 3:20 and Tejada by 3:54. At Mile 9.4 on his way to a 2nd-best 1:18:18 run, Reid led Kanute by 1:10, Potts by 1:39 and Kilshaw by 3:14.
Reid polished off the win in 3:49:50 with a 1:32 margin on Potts (1:19:19 run) and 1:43 on Kanute (1:19:56 run). Kilshaw advanced to 4th place with a race-best 1:18:04 run that left him 1:49 off the podium.
The win was Reid’s fourth at the half Ironman distance after victories at 2015 Challenge St. Andrews, 2015 Ironman 70.3 Silverman and 2016 Ironman70.3 Victoria.
Helle Frederiksen of Denmark led the swim in 25:28 which gave her a 5 seconds lead on Heather Lendway of the U.S. and 6 seconds on Kaye. Kaye hammered the bike leg, and by halfway through the 56-mile leg took a 4:12 lead on Frederiksen, 7:28 on Stephanie Roy of Canada, 7:31 on Skye Moench of the U.S., 7:35 on Lendway and 7:40 on Lesley Smith of the U.S.
By the end of her dominating 2:17:57 bike split, Kaye had a 4:44 lead on Frederiksen (2:22:34 bike split) and 7:18 on Roy (women’s 2nd-fastest 2:22:09 bike split).
Whereupon Kaye, whose run was not up to the level of her cycling, went into defensive mode.
After 9.4 miles of the run, Frederiksen had sliced Kaye’ lead to 1:54 and Roy chopped her deficit to 2:15. After a women’s-best 1:22:59 run, Roy passed Frederiksen and fell just 29 seconds short of Kaye’s 1:30:04 run split and 4:18:04 winning time. After a women’s 4th-best 1:26:48 run, Frederiksen took the final spot on the podium, 57 seconds back of Roy.
This was Kaye’s 4th Ironman 70.3 victory coming after wins at 2014 Muskoka 70.3 and 2015 Boulder 70.3 and Calgary 70.3.
Ironman 70.3 Puerto Rico
San Juan, Puerto Rico
March 19, 2017
S 1.2 mi. / B 56 mi. / R 13.1 mi.
1. Taylor Reid (CAN) 3:49:50
2. Andy Potts (USA) 3:51:22
3. Ben Kanute (USA) 3:51:32
4. Stephen Kilshaw (CAN) 3:53L21
5. Raul Tejada (GTM) 3:54:07
6. Paul Ambrise (AUS) 3:55:45
7. Jackson Laundry (CAN) 3:57:26
8. Matt Russell (USA) 3:58:34
9. Nathan Killam (CAN) 4:01:25
10. Frank Silvestri Souza (BRA) 4:01:55
1. Alicia Kaye (USA) 4:18:04
2. Stephanie Roy (CAN) 4:18:33
3. Helle Frederiksen (DNK) 4:19:30
4. Lesley Smith (USA) 4:23:28
5. Skye Moench (USA) 4:27:53
6. Nicole Valentine (USA) 4:31:35
7. Linsey Corbin (USA) 4:32L47
8. Kelly Williamson (USA) 4:34:43
9. Heather Leiggi (USA) 4:35:26
10. Laura Matthews (USA) 4:40:18