Terenzo Bozzone beat out defending champion Timothy O'Donnell by 37 seconds to take the 2010 Ironman 70.3 St. Croix title. Catriona Morrison's 4:31:06 gave her the win in the women's race and placed her in the top 10 of the Pro men.
Scot Fraser Cartmell led the pro men out of the stunning blue waters of St. Croix and he had defending champion Timothy O'Donnell, Richie Cunningham, Frederik Van Lierde, Terenzo Bozzone and 2-time Ironman Word Champion right with him.
Bozzone and O'Donnell managed to get a gap on the other competitors on the bikes, thanks in part to French pro Romaine Guillaume who was pushing a hard pace. Alexander, the 2008 St. Croix champion, didn't have the greatest luck on this day and hit a pot hole half way into the bike and crashed fairly hard. With his rear derailleur hanger bent, the race was over for the Aussie. Bozzone and O'Donnell kept pushing the pace and distanced all other competitors. Guillaume was having a strong race in St. Croix and behind him were Cunningham, Van Lierde and Cartmell, and that is exactly how they all arrived in T2.
After trading the lead most of the run Bozzone finally got away from O'Donnell at mile 12 and the end result was almost a carbon copy of their recent Texas 70.3 experience, where Bozzone had won by 29 seconds over O'Donnell. Well, this time the winning margin was 37 seconds. After Texas 70.3, Tyler Butterfield had another solid performance and finished in 3th place.
"The race was tough, hardest course, hardest conditions and awesome competition. I managed to put myself in the right positions early on in the bike and I think that set up most of the race," said Bozzone. "Tim O'Donnell is a talented athlete and a great sportsman and I wasn't sure how the last couple miles were going to unfold until they did."
Nina Kraft had the fastest Pro female swim in 27:04, but age group's Kimberly Grogan 25:17 swim would eventually help her to finish as the top 10 female overall. Catriona Morrision, Sam Warriner and 2008 winner Miranda Carfrae were next out of the water, but the 3 had lost almost a minute to Kraft. Carfrae though who had apparently been sick all night realized after the swim that it wasn't meant to be and just rode her bike back to her home stay. Kraft would also not finish the bike. Morrison and Warriner pulled away from the other athletes and just as in the men's event, the 2 leaders would arrive pretty much together back in T2.
But that is really where the similar appearance stopped. Morrison flew on the run and also flew away from Warriner. Her 1:24:39 run was actually only beaten by a few male athletes and allowed her to cross the line in 4:31:06, or 10th place overall.
"I am soooo happy. The past couple of months have been tough and even last week I was unsure that I wanted to race but it's such a great event over here that I couldn't miss it," said Morrison to slowtwitch. "I felt really within myself the whole way today and found a rhythm on all three disciplines that seemed to work. It's been way warmer and windier this year than the previous two times that I've raced here and so it was tough out there for everyone. It's great to start the season on such a positive note. I'm still smiling."
Morrison's fast time put a lot of pressure on her competitors to finish within 8% of the winning time, because fnot doing so would mean no pay day. On this day only Warriner managed to be that close and thus the whole women's purse was distributed among these 2 pros.
Ironman 70.3 St. Croix
St. Croix , US Virgin Islands / May 2, 2010
Top 10 men
1. Terenzo Bozzone (NZL) 4:06:02
2. Timothy O’Donnell (USA) 4:06:39
3. Tyler Butterfield (BER) 4:10:38
4. Richie Cunningham (AUS) 4:11:40
5. Fraser Cartmell (GBR) 4:13:07
6. Maxim Kriat (UKR) 4:13:30
7. Frederik Van Lierde (BEL) 4:14:31
8. Romaine Guillaume (FRA) 4:19:37
9. Patrick Evoe (USA) 4:23:25
10. Djan Patrcevic (CRO) 4:33:54
Top 10 women
1. Catriona Morrison (GBR) 4:31:06
2. Sam Warriner (NZL) 4:42:28
3. Erin O'Hara (NZL) 4:54:27
4. Heather Gollnick (USA) 5:00:23
5. Amanda Lovato (USA) 5:03:12
6. Sharon Schmidt-Mongrain (USA) 5:11:52 * AG W35-39
7. Karen Smith (USA) 5:15:36 * AG W40-44
8. Alison Lind (USA) 5:16:33 * AG W25-29
9. Michelle Shoup (USA) 5:16:33 * AG W35-39
10. Kimberly Grogan (USA) 5:18:01 * AG W30-34