Tim Don of Great Britain overcame a 2:28 deficit after the bike leg with a race-best run and Jeanni Seymour of South Africa overcame a 1:24 deficit at T2 with a women's 3rd-fastest run to win Ironman 70.3 Boulder.
Don started with a 7th-best 25:42 swim that put him 58 seconds behind swim leader Matt Chrabot, then advanced to 4th with a 6th-best 1:57:30 bike leg that put him two and a half minutes behind bike leader Chrabot and 2nd-place Jake Montgomery of Australia. Don passed Montgomery and then Chrabot about 5 miles into the run. He closed the deal with a race-best 1:16:06 half marathon that brought him to the line in 3:41:32 with a 2:20 margin of victory over Chrabot and 2:45 over 3rd-place Ben Hoffman.
Don said he didn't really get on track until the run. "When I came off the bike I was getting splits between 2:15 and 2:50 behind," said the 2017 Ironman South America champion. The Boulder resident added, "I knew these back roads really well and I knew [catching Matt] was doable. But it would be hard. I felt flat in the swim and definitely very flat on the bike."
Chrabot said he wasn't feeling so well earlier in the week - and being chased by super-runner Don was tough. Chrabot said that he tried hard to build a lead to ward off a Tim Don charge on the run. "I pushed the pace on the swim. Got a good start. Had a solid bike. Jake Montgomery and I came off 1-2 together. After Ironman Boulder I had a hard time getting the necessary speed work and intensity. I wasn't even sure on Tuesday I was going to race. So when I was first out of the water and first off the bike, I was surprised. But when Tim passed me right at the 10k mark of the run, I wasn't surprised. He is one of the great runners in the sport."
Before the race, Ben Hoffman was deep in a long training block for Hawaii and he had no expectations. "It was nice to be somewhat in contention. I think I was in a group of five guys including Justin Metzler. We came off the bike about 2 and a half minutes down. On the run Tim immediately took off and we were gapped. Unfortunately I waited a little to long to challenge Justin [Metzler, who finished 4th] and try to bridge to Matt [Chrabot]."
Seymour started with a womenís 4th-best 28:04 swim in Boulder Reservoir that was 1:13 behind swim leader Alicia Kaye. Seymour hung tough on the bike leg, as her womenís 3rd-best 2:11:51 split kept her deficit to Kaye at 1:24. Seymour swiftly went to work on the two-loop half marathon as she reduced her deficit by a minute in the first 3 miles of the run and halfway through the 13.1 mile run carved out a 1:29 lead on Kaye and 5:29 on Lesley Smith of the U.S.
After a womenís 3rd-best 1:25:07 run, Seymour finished in 4:07:56 with a 3:09 margin of victory over Leslie Smith, who passed Kaye with a women's-best 1:23:28 run that gave her a 2:04 margin over the 3rd-place finisher.
After the race, Seymour reminisced about what Ironman Boulder 70.3 meant to her from her first year as a pro in 2012 until today. "I am originally from Johannesburg, South Africa but Boulder is my adopted home. It is where I have chosen to make my life here in the USA and a city that I hold very close to my heart. I started coming here in 2012 as a kid with a road bike and a dream of being a pro triathlete. I honestly did not know what I was getting myself into. I raced 70.3 Boulder that first year and was nearly dead last of the professional females [11th of 16 pro finishers]. It was a tough reality check but I continued to work hard and compete in this race in the coming years. I slowly moved up the ranks, finishing 6th in 2015 and 2nd in 2016. On Sunday I took the win, a special victory that I will enjoy and savor."
Seymour has been on the podium in her last 11 races. She won six of those contests and has high hopes for the Ironman 70.3 Worlds in Chattanooga.
Ironman 70.3 Boulder
August 5, 2017
S 1.2 mi. / B 56 mi. / R 13.1 mi.
1. Tim Don (GBR) 3:41:32 S 25:40 B 1:57:30 R 1:16:06
2. Matt Chrabot (USA) 3:43:52 S 24:42 B 1:55:47 R 1:20:32
3. Ben Hoffman (USA) 3:44:17 S 25:47 B 1:57:23 R 1:18:40
4. Justin Metzler (USA) 3:45:17 S 25:42 B 1:57:27 R 1:19:41
5. Jake Montgomery (AUS) 3:46:31 S 24:45 B 1:55:41 R 1:23:05
6. Rodolphe Von Berg (USA) 3:46:58 S 25:02 B 1:58:00 R 1:21:22
7. Tripp Hipple (USA) 3:48:37 S 27:39 B 1:59:19 R 1:18:41
8. Mario de Elias (ARG) 3:48:44 S 27:14 B 1:59:52 R 1:18:46
9. Steven McKenna (AUS) 3:52:04 S 26:20 B 2:00:15 R 1:22:14
10. Robbie Deckard (USA) 3:52:09 S 26:29 B 2:01:14 R 1:21:38
1. Jeanni Seymour (RSA) 4:07:56 S 28:05 B 2:11:51 R 1:25:07
2. Leslie Smith (USA) 4:11:05 S 29:58 B 2:14:13 R 1:23:28
3. Alicia Kaye (USA) 4:13:09 S 26:52 B 2:11:37 R 1:31:43
4. Katy Evans (USA) 4:21:32 S 27:56 B 2:19:22 R 1:31:08
5. Leanda Cave (GBR) 4:22:48 S 27:59 B 2:15:32 R 1:35:54
6. Kelly Williamson (USA) 4:23:44 S 28:14 B 2:27:47 R 1:24:43
7. Uli Bromme (USA) 4:24:52 S 32:55 B 2:15:40 R 1:32:22
8. Lenny Ramsey (USA) 4:30:15 S 36:39 B 2:17:30 R 1:31:48
9. Annika Pfitzinger (NZL) 4:33:59 S 31:53 B 2:23:00 R 1:36:14
10. Lauren Capone (USA) 4:37:47 S 31:05 B 2:27:04 R 1:35:33