As the worldwide triathlon season heats up in anticipation of spring, two U.S. women shone brightly in a Mooloolaba sprint, a dramatic finish at XTERRA Philippines, runners come through in the clutch at Challenge Batemans Bay, The Don and The Heather take the day in Monterrey, wedding bells ring in Tucson and like wine some athletes get greater with age.
Jorgensen, Hursey finish 1-2 and Mola dominates the men at Mooloolaba World Cup
U.S. women Gwen Jorgensen and Katie Hursey finished 1-2 in the 2014 ITU World Cup season opener in Mooloolaba, Australia while Mario Mola of Spain unleashed a sizzling 13:55 5k to run away from the men’s field.
Jorgensen, who led much of the 2013 World Triathlon Series rankings but fell to 4th at the end of the year after a nasty bike crash knocked her out of the WTS Grand Final, won the Mooloolaba sprint distance race in 59 minutes 55 seconds. Jorgensen won her last previous World Cup in 2012 at Banyoles, Spain. Fellow U.S. competitor Katie Hursey, who was USA Triathlon’s 2013 Rookie of the Year, finished 15 seconds back in 2nd place, while Ai Ueda of Japan took 3rd , 4 seconds back of Hursey.
Hursey led the swim in 9:40 through the dead calm waters of the Mooloola River, followed closely by Carolina Routier of Spain and Kirsten Sweetland of Canada, with Emma Moffatt next in 9:52, Jorgensen 7th in 9:57 and Ellen Pennock of Canada 8th in 9:59. “When I got out of the water and saw no one in front of me, I was super surprised and excited,” said Hursey.
Hursey led the first lap of the bike until Ashleigh Gentle and Emma Moffatt led a large chase pack to catch Hursey and form a large pack. Sweetland led briefly on the 3rd lap, while Jorgensen and Hursey saved energy awaiting the run.
On lap two of the run, Jorgensen and Hursey quickly broke into the lead, then the tall, more experienced U.S. star surged ahead at the halfway mark to finish the 5k run in 16:32 – 16 seconds better than Hursey’s 16:48 and 19 seconds faster than Ueda’s 16:51.
Jorgensen was the only woman to break the hour mark, finishing in 59:55 with a 15 seconds margin of victory over Hursey and 19 seconds on Ueda, who finished 3rd. Pennock closed with a 16:57 5k to finish 4th, Andrea Hewitt was 5th, Moffatt 6th and Sweetland 7th.
Jorgensen, perhaps the fastest woman runner in the World Triathlon Series, says she focused on the two other disciplines during the off season. “I’m fortunate that I can just back off a little bit (in running) so it was good to come out here today to see where my running is at,” said Jorgensen. “I am so thrilled for Katie and to have two USA girls finish on the podium says a lot.”
Jorgensen and Hursey gave U.S. women their first 1-2 World Cup finish since Sheila Taormina and Barb Lindquist finished 1-2 at Madeira, Portugal in 2003. Hursey’s runner-up finish was her third World Cup podium in her brief career.
Mario Mola of Spain unleashed a blazing fast 13:55 5k run to jet away from Richard Murray of South Africa and Swiss veteran Sven Riederer and take the win at Mooloolaba. Mola finished in 54:18 and his blazing-fast run was 19 seconds better than Murray’s 14:14 and 50 seconds better than Riederer’s 5k.
Mooloolaba World Cup
March 15, 2014
S 750m / B 20k / R 5k
1. Mario Mola (ESP) 54:18
2. Richard Murray (RSA) 54:37
3. Sven Riederer (SUI) 55:04
4. David Hauss (FRA) 55:07
5. Kaleb Vanort (USA) 55:08
41. Ben Kanute (USA) 56:52
1. Gwen Jorgensen (USA) 59:55
2. Katie Hursey (USA) 1:00:10
3. Ai Ueda (JPN) 1:00:14
4. Ellen Pennock (CAN) 1:00:25
5. Andrea Hewitt (NZL) 1:00:32
6. Emma Moffatt (AUS) 1:00:44
Dan Hugo of South Africa and Renata Bucher of Switzerland win XTERRA Philippines
Dan Hugo of South Africa and Renata Bucher of Switzerland won the 4th annual XTERRA Philippines on a boiling hot day in Liloan Saturday.
Hugo took his third straight XTERRA win of the season in dominating fashion after victories at Buffelspoort and the South Africa Championship. Ben Allen, who won the last two XTERRA Philippines titles and 9 of 10 XTERRA races in the Asia- Pacific region since 2012, took the early lead with the fastest swim split (18:57), with Hugo and fellow South African Bradley Weiss about a minute back. By the end of the first of two laps on the challenging bike course, Allen crashed and flatted twice, giving control of the race to the South Africans.
By T2, Hugo established a 7-minutes lead on Weiss and the only question was whether the ankle he rolled badly three weeks ago at XTERRA South Africa, would hold up. No worries on that front as Hugo posted the fastest run of the day (45:26) and cruised to the finish in 2:48:48 with a 7:51 margin of victory over Weiss and 33:04 over Allen, who limped home 3rd.
“Scorched day, happy day,” said Hugo in telegraphic tri shorthand. “Ankle held up. So relieved. Bang.”
Bucher had a much tougher time dispatching her rivals, as she barely held off a late race charge on the run by Austrian Carina Wasle.
Jacqui Slack of Great Britain was first out of the swim with a 22:08 split that was 1:16 better than Mieko Carey of Japan, 1:40 better than Bucher and precisely 2 minutes batter than Wasle.
Slack maintained her lead for the first of two tough laps in the bike before Bucher took over. The Swiss XTERRA star posted the fourth fastest bike split of the day (2:03:31) including Hugo and Miller, which gave her a 5:37 lead on Wasle (2:08:48 bike) starting the run.
As the race turned, that lead was nearly not enough. Wasle flew through the run and caught Bucher toward the end. But with 300 meters to go, Wasle almost passed out in the heat and Bucher re-passed the wobbling Austrian for the win. Bucher finished in 3:24:59 with a 19 seconds margin of victory over Wasle for her 32nd career XTERRA win.
“Raced with all I had,” said Bucher. “Just made it to the finish line a couple of meters ahead of Carina and got the happy win on a super warm day here in beautiful Cebu.”
“After 3 hours and 25 minutes, Renata had more power in the end,” said Wasle.
Four-time XTERRA Japan winner Mieko Carey finished 3rd in 3:27:34 and Slack took 4th, 1:45 further back of her Japanese rival.
Liloan, Cebu, Philippines
March 15, 2014
S 1.5k / MTB 18k / TR 10k
1. Dan Hugo (RSA) 2:48:48
2. Brad Weiss (RSA) 2:56:39
3. Ben Allen (AUS) 3:21:52
4. Charlie Epperson (USA) 3:30:07
5. Shahrom Abdullah (MAS) 3:32:58
1. Renata Bucher (SUI) 3:24:59
2. Carina Wasle (AUT) 3:25:18
3. Mieko Carey (JPN) 3:27:34
4. Jacqui Slack (GBR) 3:29:19
5. Dimity-Lee Duke (AUS) 3:42:16
Brad Kahlefeldt and Radka Vodickova win at Challenge Batemans Bay
Brad Kahlefeldt and Radka Vodickova both won it on the run at the inaugural Challenge Batemans Bay on the south coast of New South Wales Sunday.
Josh Amberger was 2nd out of the swim in 23:33 and took the lead after a race-best 2:13:17 bike split that gave him a 1:23 lead over Pete Jacobs and 1:27 over Kahlefeldt and Sam Appleton starting the run. Once the men were on two feet, Kahlefeldt unleashed his ITU speed and closed with a race-best 1:12:17 half marathon that brought him to the finish in 3:51:59 with a 2:34 margin of victory over Amberger, who ran a 3rd-best 1:16:22. Appleton ran 1:17:15 to finish 3rd 2:31 back of Amberger and 1:04 ahead of Jacobs, who could only muster a 1:18:27 run split this day.
Actually, it is not fair to say that Vodickova won it entirely on the run as her 25:50 swim gave her a more than 4 minutes advantage on all of her elite rivals. Jessica Fleming took back all of Vodickova’s 5:37 lead at T1 and more with a race-best 2:31:37 bike split that put Fleming 8 seconds ahead of her Czech Republic rival and 1:02 ahead of Belinda Granger at T2.
Once they put on their running shoes, however, Vodickova jetted away to a race fastest 1:23:40 half marathon that was 6:35 better than Fleming and precisely 8 minutes better than Granger’s run. Vodickova finished in 4:28:40 with a 6:24 margin of victory over runner-up Fleming and 8:59 over Granger.
Challenge Batemans Bay
Batemans Bay, Australia
March 16, 2014
S 1.2 mi. / B 56 mi. / R 13.1 mi.
1. Brad Kahlefeldt (AUS) 3:51:59
2. Josh Amberger (AUS) 3:54:33
3. Sam Appleton (AUS) 3:57:04
4. Pete Jacobs (AUS) 3:58:08
5. John Polson (AUS) 4:00:42
6. Callum Millward (AUS) 4:01:06
1. Radka Vodickova (CZE) 4:28:40
2. Jessica Fleming (AUS) 4:35:04
3. Belinda Granger (AUS) 4:37:49
4. Wendy McAlpine (AUS) 4:40:43
5. Michelle Wu (AUS) 4:43:10
Tim Don and Heather Wurtele prevail at Monterrey 70.3
Tim Don of Great Britain and Heather Wurtele of Canada earned fairly comfortable wins at Ironman 70.3 Monterrey Sunday.
Don combined a 2nd-best 23:13 swim, 3rd-best 2:07:33 bike split and a race-best 1:13:38 run to finish in 3:46:59 with a 3:18 margin of victory over runner-up Francisco Serrano of Mexico and 5:23 over 3rd-place finisher Ben Hoffman of the U.S.
Ben Collins edged Don out of the swim by 2 seconds, but soon faded out of contention with an off-form 2:20:48 bike split. Don, who trailed by 6 minutes after the bike, blazed home with a race-best 1:13:38 run split that was 4:44 better than Serrano.
Don finished in 3:46:59 with a 3:18 margin of victory over Serrano and 5:23 on 3rd-place Ben Hoffman, who closed with a 2nd-fastest 1:15:12 run that brought him home 5:23 back of The Don.
Don, the 2006 ITU Olympic distance World Champion and 2010 $200,000 Hy-Vee Champion, continues to pile on successes in his conversion to the half distance. Last year, Don won 70.3s in Calgary, Augusta, and the UK, took 2nd at Ironman 70.3 South Africa, 3rd at Ironman 70.3 Vineman and 5th at Rev3 Florida.
Heather Wurtele combined a 4th-best 26:41 swim, a killer-fast 2:18:32 bike split and a 2nd-best 1:19:26 run to finish in 4:07:47 with a 5:48 margin of victory over Helle Frederiksen of Denmark and 7:30 over fleet-footed 3rd-place finisher Caitlin Snow of the U.S.
Frederiksen was first woman out of the water in 24:21, 1:04 ahead of Canadian Karen Thibodeau 1:53 ahead of Chilean Valentina Carvallo, 2:20 ahead of Wurtele and 2:54 ahead of the ever-dangerous runner Snow.
Wurtele laid down the law with a race-best 2:18:32 bike split that was 2:37 better than Frederiksen and 7:06 better than Snow while the rest faded out of plausible contention. Wurtele started the run with a 17-seconds advantage on Frederiksen and 7:40 on Snow.
Wurtele’s long legs produced a 1:19:26 run that was 5:38 better than Frederiksen’s half marathon but surrendered 20 seconds to Snow’s swift-turnover 1:19:06.
Ironman 70.3 Monterrey
March 16, 2014
S 1.2 mi. / B 56 mi. / R 13.1 mi.
1. Tim Don (GBR) 3:46:59
2. Francisco Serrano (MEX) 3:50:17
3. Ben Hoffman (USA) 3:52:22
4. Hector Guerra (FRA) 3:53:42
5. Ivan Rana (ESP) 3:55:57
1. Heather Wurtele (CAN) 4:07:47
2. Helle Frederiksen (DNK) 4:13:35
3. Caitlin Snow (USA) 4:15:17
4. Valentina Carvallo (CHL) 4:27:15
5. Karen Thibodeau (CAN) 4:30:10
Samantha McGlone marries Brent Lorenzen on the Ides of March
Samantha McGlone, the 2006 Ironman 70.3 World Champion and 2007 Ironman World Championship runner-up, married Brent Lorenzen, an emergency room physician and elite swimming coach, at 5 PM Saturday in a ceremony at Hacienda Guest Ranch and Resort in Tucson, Arizona.
Guests included Hillary Biscay, Leanda Cave, Christine Jeffrey, Marilyn Chychota, Jordan Blanco, Jeff Shilt, Ryan McDermott and many more happy revelers. Sweet days ahead for Brent and Sam!
Zeiger shines again
Joanna Zeiger who will turn 44 in May had what she called a bittersweet day today. She won the Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach, VA today in a time of 2:43.57 and thus missed the Olympic Trials standard by a minute. With that time she finished 12th overall behind overall behind men's champion Kennedy Kemei who recorded a 2:18:24. How about that narrow miss and fantastic time for this retired Pro triathlete?
Zeiger also ran a 1:16:41 at this year's USATF Half Marathon Championship in Houston, Texas on January 19th of this year.
And so does Vanessa Fernandes
This weekend, Vanessa Fernandes looked joyous as she raced the Lisbon Half Marathon in a time of 1:18:09 and placed 17th in the elite women's category, 9:23 behind the women's winner Worknesh Degefa Debele of Ethiopia.
Fernandes, one of the very greatest triathletes in history, won the 2007 ITU Olympic distance World Championship, the 2007 ITU Duathlon World Championship and won a silver medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Fernandes tied Emma Carney at 12 for the longest win streak in ITU World Cups and her 21 ITU World Cup career wins is the all-time record. In 2009, Fernandes suffered from an Achilles injury and the flu, which led to a series of DNFs. In 2010, Fernandes started well at the Madrid round of the World Triathlon Series, but not fully fit, she drifted back to a respectable 10th. And so in February of 2011, at age 26, she announced that she was taking a break from the sport due to health issues.
Now her many fans are delighted to see her back in action in one of the very finest international fields in road running.