Timothy O’Donnell of the U.S. and Tine Deckers of Belgium won the men’s and women’s titles at Ironman 70.3 Puerto Rico.
O’Donnell combined a tied-for-best 24:16 swim, a 2nd-fastest 2:03:38 bike split and a race-best 1:17:47 half marathon to finish in 3:50:51, with a 3:30 margin of victory over Leon Griffin of Australia and 4:18 over 3rd-place finisher Cameron Dye of the U.S.
Deckers started her day with a women’s 6th-fastest 28:20 swim that left her 3:03 behind defending champion Sarah Haskins. Deckers then rode a dominating 2:15:59 bike split
to earn a 3:40 lead on her American rival by T2. The Belgian finished off the victory with a 2nd-fastest 1:30:29 run to finish in 4:20:34, with a 1:42 margin over Haskins and 3 minutes on 3rd-place finisher Linsey Corbin of the U.S.
Cameron Dye of the U.S. edged O’Donnell in equal 24:16 swim splits, followed by 2013 Ironman World Champion Frederik Van Lierde of Belgium (+6s), Andrew Starykowicz (+11s), Romain Guillaume of France (+13s), 2006 ITU Duathlon World Champion Leon Griffin of Australia (+22s), and Jacob Rhyner of the U.S. (+26s).
By 19 miles into the bike, Starykowicz established a few seconds lead on a pack of four that included Dye, O’Donnell, Griffin and Guillaume, with Van Lierde riding solo in 6th, 1:11 arrears. By 36 miles, Starykowicz extended his lead to 10 seconds over O’Donnell, 12 seconds on Dye, and 15 seconds on Guillaume. Griffin faded to 53 seconds off pace while Van Lierde remained 6th, fading to a 2:40 deficit.
Starykowicz closed hard with a race-best 2:01:00 bike split that earned him a 2:35 to 2:39 lead on a pack that included Dye, Guillaume, and O’Donnell, with Van Lierde 5:39 off the pace at T2.
After 3.4 miles of the run, O’Donnell took charge with a 1:07 lead on Guillaume, 1:19 on Staryhowicz, 1:22 on Dye, 2:16 on Guillaume, and 2:49 on Griffin. Halfway through the run, O’Donnell remained in control with a 2:01 lead on Dye, 2:16 on Guillaume, 2:49 on Griffin, 5:28 on Starykowicz, 5:43 on Frank Silvestrin Souza of Brazil, and 6:59 on Van Lierde.
By 9.4 miles O’Donnell had a 3:00 lead on Dye and Griffin, cruising toward a race-best 1:17:34 run. At the finish, O’Donnell enjoyed a 3:29 margin of victory over Griffin (2nd-fastest 1:19:43 run) and 4:17 over Dye (8th-best 1:23:42 run).
Defending champion Sarah Haskins jetted away to a women's-best 25:18 swim that gave her a 1:56 lead on Laurel Wassner, 2:59 on Militza Rios de la Luz, 3:00 on Ana Jimenez, 3:01 on Linsey Corbin, and 3:03 on Tine Deckers.
Haskins led the women's field through 19 miles but Deckers was on fire and cut the American’s lead to 31 seconds, followed by Wassner (+2:00) and Corbin (+2:37). By 36 miles, Deckers took a 4 seconds lead on Haskins, 3:04 on Corbin, 3:49 on Wassner, 6:53 on Amanda Wendorff, and 7:44 on Jodie Robertson. Dangerous runner Jeanne Collonge stood 9th, 9:06 arrears.
By the end of the bike leg, Deckers’ women's-best 2:15:59 split was 4:19 better than the next-best effort of Jodie Robertson and gave the Belgian a 3:40 lead on Haskins, 5:09 on Corbin, and 8:05 on Wassner.
Halfway through the run, Haskins cut Deckers’ lead to 1:55, with Corbin holding steady at 3:36 back. At 9.4 miles, Haskins cut Deckers’ lead to 1:29. But at the end, Haskins ran out of gas and real estate, and her assault on Deckers ended with the Belgian’s 1:30:29 half marathon split proving 25 second faster than runner-up Haskins and 14 seconds better than 3rd-place Corbin. Thanks to a women's-best 1:28:05 run, Jodie Robertson advanced to 4th, 1:06 behind Corbin.
Ironman 70.3 Puerto Rico
San Juan, Puerto Rico
March 20, 2016
S 1.2 mi. / B 56 mi. / R 13.1 mi.
1. Tim O’Donnell (USA) 3:50:51
2. Leon Griffin (AUS) 3:54:21
3. Cameron Dye (USA) 3:55:09
4. Romain Guillaume (FRA) 3:56:28
5. Frank Silvestrin Souza (BRA) 3:57:34
6. Chris Leiferman (USA) 3:59:20
7. Thomas Gerlach (USA) 4:00:42
8. Steve Mantell (USA) 4:02:02
9. Jacob Rhyner (USA) 4:03:01
10. Andrew Starykowicz (USA) 4:03:59
1. Tine Deckers (BEL) 4:20:34
2. Sarah Haskins (USA) 4:22:16
3. Linsey Corbin (USA) 4:23:34
4. Jodie Robertson (USA) 4:24:40
5. Rachel Jastrebsky (USA) 4:36:07
6. Amanda Wendorff (USA) 4:36:53
7. Jeanne Collonge (FRA) 4:37:59
8. Laurel Wassner (USA) 4:39:59
9. Danielle Fischer (USA) 4:42:31
10. Amelia McCracken (USA) 4:48:59