Oscar Galindez of Argentina defied the notion that the over-40 crowd is over the hill and Heather Wurtele of Canada showed that 6-foot tall women can outrun a world champion as these two triathletes won elite titles at the second Ironman 70.3 Panama Sunday.
Galindez kept his 26-year elite triathlon career humming along at top speed as he overcame a 19th-best 22:07 for the obviously-short 1.2 mile swim with a dominating race-fastest 2:15:52 bike split, which was 3:45 faster than Cunningham’s 2nd-best and 4:33 better than Docherty’s 5th-best 2:20:25 split. Going against his usual bike–dominant profile, Galindez also posted a 2nd-fastest 1:16:35 half marathon run to finish in 3:58:31 with a 1:34 advantage over last year’s winner Bevan Docherty of New Zealand and 4:38 over last year’s third-place finisher Richie Cunningham of Australia.
Docherty’s 20:18 swim was 1:49 faster than Galindez and the 2004 ITU World Champion and 2004 Olympic silver medalist’s race-best 1:15:48 half marathon outpaced Galindez by 1:47. But former duathlon champion Galindez’s dominating bike split made the difference.
Dirk Bockel of Luxembourg combined a 3rd-best 20:16 swim, 6th-best 2:20:39 bike split and 7th-fastest 1:18:58 run to finish 4th in 4:03:34. Trevor Wurtele, who lost the household honors to his 2013 Panama 70.3 champion wife Heather, earned some kudos for his 3rd-fastest 1:16:41 run which brought him to the finish in 7th place.
Galindez was the only competitor to best his 2012 time as he was 2:22 faster than his 8th place finish in the inaugural Ironman 70.3 Panama, albeit 8:18 slower than Docherty’s 2012 winning time. Docherty, who outpaced runner-up Lance Armstrong last year for the victory in a time of 3:50:13, was 9 minutes 52 seconds slower than his 2012 race. Cunningham repeated his 3rd-place finish of 2012 in a time that was 10 minutes 9 seconds slower than his 2012 performance.
Heather Wurtele underlined the validity of her stellar 2011 and 2012 seasons with a dominating performance to win Ironman 70.3 Panama by a 3:49 margin over Camilla Pedersen of Denmark and 7:46 over Kelly Williamson of the United States.
Wurtele combined a 5th-fastest elite women’s 22:14 swim, a dominating, race-fastest
2:31:20 bike split and a 2nd-best 1:23:44 run to finish in 4:21:22.
Although dominant on the day, Wurtele’s finish time was 5:51 slower than Angela Naeth’s 2012 winning time.
Wurtele’s bike split was 3:33 better than her next-best competitor Pedersen and her run was within 4:02 of Williamson – arguably the sport’s best at the discipline. At the same time, Wurtele’s run was 6:39 faster than multiple world champion Jodie Swallow, who finished 5th overall woman. Underlining Williamson’s biking disadvantage, the Austin, Texas star surrendered a whopping 12:32 during Panama’s tough, hilly bike leg.
Wurtele thus continues the excellent level she achieved in 2011 in which she won Ironman Lake Placid and Ironman St. George and placed 8th at the Ironman World Championship in Kona. In 70.3 races last year she won Timberman, took runner-ups at Rev3 Quassy and New Orleans, 3rd at UWC Bahamas and a 6th at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Las Vegas.
Ironman 70.3 Panama
Panama City, Panama
February 3, 2013
S 1.2 mi. / B 56 mi. / R 13.1 mi.
1. Oscar Galindez (ARG) 3:58:31
2. Bevan Docherty (NZL) 4:00:05 -1:34
3. Richie Cunningham (AUS) 4:03:09 -4:38
4. Dirk Bockel (LUX) 4:03:34
5. Romain Guillaime (FRA) 4:04:07
6. Igor Amorelli (BRA) 4:04:29
7. Trevor Wurtele (CAN) 4:06:35
8. Alessandro Degasperi (ITA) 4:08:50
9. Felipe Van de Wyngard (CHL) 4:09:12
10. Fraser Cartmell (GBR) 4:11:57
1. Heather Wurtele (CAN) 4:21:22
2. Camilla Pedersen (DEN) 4:25:11 – 3:49
3. Kelly Williamson (USA) 4:29:09 - 7:47
4. Margaret Shapiro (USA) 4:30:11
5. Jodie Swallow (GBR) 4:33:49
6. Terra Castro (USA) 4:49:28
7. Melanie McQuaid (CAN) 4:52:19
8. Mariana Andrade (BRA) 4:57:09
9. Leslie Lamacchia (USA) 5:21:11