O’Donnell, Williamson take San Juan 70.3

United States competitors Timothy O’Donnell and Kelly Williamson defended their titles at the second Ironman 70.3 San Juan in Puerto Rico Sunday.

O’Donnell, back in winning form after adopting a gluten free diet, combined a race-best 23:42 swim, a third-best 2:06:56 bike and a tied-for-race-best 1:17:17 run to finish in 3:51:32 with a 1:36 margin of victory over runner-up Leon Griffin of Australia and 3:24 over third place Axel Zeebroek of Belgium.

Kelly Williamson of Austin, Texas combined a third-best 25:48 swim, third-best 2:23:58 bike and a dominating, race-best 1:20:13 run to hit the finish in 4:18:38 with a comfortable 4:32 margin of victory over runner-up Linsey Corbin and a 9:17 edge on third-place Radka Vodickova of the Czech Republic.

Williamson broke her 2011 course record by 1:32 while O'Donnell's 2011 time was 2:03 quicker than his 2012 effort.

O’Donnell broke fast out of the gate, leading Michael Lovato (-1 second) Edgardo Velez (-3 seconds), Axel Zeebroek (-11 seconds), Balazs Csoke (-1:01), Andrey Liyatskiy (-1:04), dangerous Frenchman Bertrand Billard (-1:06) and, most important as the race developed, Australian Leon Griffin (-2:03).

On the bike, Zeebroek took charge with a race-best 2:05:50 that gave him a 53-seconds margin over O’Donnell starting the run with Griffin another 1:24 back of the defending champion.

On the run, prior world champions O’Donnell (2010 ITU long distance) and Griffin (2006 ITU long distance duathlon) posted matching race-best 1:17:17s that put O’Donnell across the line first in 3:51:32 with a 96-seconds margin over the Australian. After his race-best bike, Zeebroek surrendered the lead with a 6th-best 1:21:12 run that put him across the line in third.

In the women’s race, Kelly Williamson emerged from the water 9 seconds back of Radka Vodickova’s 25:39, 5 seconds back of Nina Kraft, 2:06 quicker than Linsey Corbin and 1:30 better than Magali Tisseyre.

On the bike, Williamson dug her usual hole with a 2:23:58 bike that surrendered 4:21 to Corbin’s sizzling, race-best 2:19:37 and 28 seconds to Jessie Donavan’s 2:23:30 while Radickova (2:24:06) and Tisseyre (2:24:13) did not really help their causes either.

As mediocre as Williamson’s cycling prowess may be, her run is as intensely brilliant as she closed fast with 1:20:13 to hit the line first in 4:14:04 with a 4:32 margin over Corbin (1:26:33 run) and 9:17 over Vodickova (1:28:36 run). Tisseyre, lacking her usual stellar run, finished 4th with a 1:30:03 run that left her 12:04 in arrears.

Ironman 70.3 San Juan
San Juan, Puerto Rico
March 18, 2012
S 1.2 mi. / B 56 mi. / R 13.1 mi.



1. Timothy O’Donnell (USA) 3:51:32
2. Leon Griffin (AUS) 3:53:08
3. Axel Zeebroek (BEL) 3:54:56
4. Michael Lovato (USA) 3:57:54
5. Oscar Galindez (ARG) 3:58:46
6. Maxim Kriat (UKR) 4:00:01
7. Paul Amey (GBR) 4:03:42
8. Andres Castillo (COL) 4:04:01
9. Jonathan Shearon (USA) 4:06:23
10. Bertrand Billard (FRA) 4:06:53


1. Kelly Williamson (USA) 4:14:06
2. Linsey Corbin (USA) 4:18:38
3. Radka Vodickova (CZE) 4:23:23
4. Magali Tisseyre (CAN) 4:26:10
5. Ariane Monteceli (BRA) 4:31:32
6. Jessie Donavan (USA) 4:38:18
7. Nina Kraft (GER) 4:39:48
8. Amanda Lovato (USA) 4:41:34
9. Jenny Fletcher (USA) 4:42:26
10. Mandy McLane (USA) 4:44:41