Helle Frederiksen earned $12,000 for dominating the pro women only field at Ironman 70.3 Augusta.
Back in competitive form after losing nearly a year due to a chronic knee injury, the Danish star who earned more than $200,000 in a stellar 2014 season. blasted to a 10:30 lead after a dominating 2:17:45 bike split. Frederiksen then cruised home with a 5th-best 1:27:37 half marathon to finish in 4:10:45 with a 9:21 margin of victory over Malindi Elmore of Canada and 9:38 over 3rd-place finisher Jeanni Seymour of South Africa.
Augusta was Frederiksen’s fourth race back after recovery from the knee issue, following her 2nd place finish to Sarah Haskins at the New York City Triathlon in July, an out of the top 10 at Wiesbaden 70.3 and a win at Challenge Samorin.
Haley Chura of the U.S. led the swim in 20:42, which gave her a 21 seconds lead on Frederiksen, 2:06 on Melanie McQuaid of Canada, 2:08 on Seymour and 2:11 and 2:12 on Laurel and Rebeccah Wassner of the U.S.
Chura held on to the lead for 17 miles when Frederiksen came rolling through and McQuaid, Laurel and Rebeccah Wassner were closing in at 3rd 4th.and 5th. At Mile 27, Frederiksen was rocketing away to a 2:48 lead on Chura, 6:21 to 6:38 advantages on McQuaid and Rebeccah Wassner, with Malindi Elmore, Laurel Wassner, Seymour and Brittany Pierce 9 minutes-plus arrears.
After her 2:17:45 bike split – 8:34 better than the next best split by McQuaid – Frederiksen hit T2 with a 10:30 lead on Chura, 10:39 on McQuaid, 14:26 on Elmore, 14:54 on Rebeccah Wassner, 15:34 on Ruth Brennan Morey and 16:17 on Jeanni Seymour.
If any of the chasers were hoping that Frederiksen would let up with such a big lead, they were disappointed as the Danish star increased her margin to 11:03 on Chura and 11:23 on McQuaid after the first mile. Frederiksen held a steady pace for 4 miles, offering no sign of weakness and leaving the competition for 2nd and 3rd places.
At 7 miles, Elmore, on her way to a 2nd-best 1:22:29 run, passed Chura for 2nd place. Seymour, headed for a race-best 1:20:59 half marathon, passed Chura at Mile 8 and came within 55 seconds of Elmore at Mile 9.
By the finish, Elmore whittled Frederiksen’s lead to 9:21 and held off Seymour’s charge by 17 seconds. Morey ran a 3rd-best 1:24:40 to take 4th and Chura ran 1:30:00 to secure 5th place.
Ironman 70.3 Augusta
September 25, 2016
S 1.2 mi. / B 56 mi. / R 13.1 mi.
1. Helle Frederiksen (DEN) 4:10:45 - $12,000
2. Malindi Elmore (CAN) 4:20:06 - $6,000
3. Jeanni Seymour (RSA) 4:20:23 - $4,500
4. Ruth Brennan Morey (USA) 4:23:08 - $3,000
5. Haley Chura (USA) 4:23:46 - $2,500
6. Stephanie Roy (CAN) 4:25:35 - $2,000
7. Alycia Hill (USA) 4:30:57
8. Laurel Wassner (USA) 4:31:00
9. Kelly Fillnow (USA) 4:32:07
10. Brittany Pierce (USA) 4:36:35