Andrew Starykowicz and Sarah Piampiano used dominant bike splits to carve out comfortable wins at Ochsner Ironman 70.3 New Orleans.
Piampiano easily overcame a 7:36 deficit after the swim with a women’s-fastest 2:17:04 bike split that gave her a 31 seconds lead on Sarah Cameto at T2. Piampiano sealed the deal with a women’s 2nd-best 1:25:51 run split that brought her to the finish in 4:19:57 with a 6:51 margin over runner-up Cameto and 9:54 over 3rd-place finisher Laura Bennett.
Starykowicz quickly erased a 29 seconds deficit after the swim and set to work with his überbiker strength heading into a strong wind to the 28-mile turnaround and boosted by a tailwind on the way home. After a 1:57:55 bike split that was 7:36 better than his fastest pursuer, Starky held an 8:10 lead on fellow American Matt Chrabot and 9:54 on Taylor Reid of Canada.
Showing no signs of collapse after his herculean riding, Starykowicz cruised home with a decent albeit 9th-best 1:20:39 run that brought him to the finish in 3:46:52 with a 5:27 margin of victory over Reid and 6:15 over 3rd-place finisher Chrabot.
Laura Bennett led the swim in 25:49 which gave her a big lead on seven fellow U.S. women - 1:18 on top swimmer Amanda Stevens, 2:56 on Sarah Cameto, 4:31 on Amanda Wendorff, 4:33 on super runner Caitlin Snow, 7:15 on Bailey Hinz. Most significantly, defending champion Sarah Piampiano swam 33:24 and had a 7:36 deficit.
On the way out, Cameto made up 3 minutes on the top swimmer and led the field to the halfway point. In spectacular fashion, Piampiano tore into the big headwinds and arrived at the 28 mile marker just 1:11 down to Cameto, 7 seconds in front of Stevens, 9 seconds ahead of Bennett, 40 seconds ahead of Wendorff and 6:09 ahead of Caitlin Snow.
At T2, Piampiano’s by-far women's-best 2:17:04 bike split gave her a 31 seconds lead on Cameto (2nd-best 2:22:14 bike split), 3:31 on Wendorff, 4:40 on Bennett, 6:20 on Stevens and put Caitlin Snow’s great run out of contention at 12:10 down.
Through 5k of the run, Piampiano increased her lead to 2:40 on Cameto, 4:51 on Bennett, 5:30 on Wendorff and 8:12 on Stevens and lost only 9 seconds on Snow.
Through 10k of the run, Piampiano kept extending her lead to 4:06 on Cameto, 5:22 on Bennett, 8:08 on Wendorff, 9:40 on Stevens. Snow remained the only competitor outpacing the leader as she trailed by 11:27. Through 9 miles, Piampiano kept extending her lead to 5:09 on Cameto, 6:08 on Bennett, 10:29 on Wendorff and 10:37 on Snow.
With a women's 2nd-best 1:25:51 run, Piampiano defended her 2015 title by a resounding 6:51 margin on runner-up Cameto, 9:54 on 3rd-place Bennett and 10:24 on fast-closing 4th-place finisher Caitlin Snow (women's-best 1:24:02 run).
Matt Chrabot led the swim in 24:34 gave him a 26 seconds lead on Fernando Toldi of Brazil, 29 seconds on Starykowicz, 33 seconds on Jaroslav Kovacic of Slovenia, 36 seconds on Ivan Tutukin of Russia, 38 seconds on TJ Tollakson of the U.S., with Canadian Taylor Reid, a dangerous cyclist and runner, starting with a 2:48 deficit.
Facing a 20 mph headwind to the 28 mile turnaround, Starykowicz earned a 3:07 lead on swim leader Chrabot and 3:19 on TJ Tollakson with a race-best 1:05:12 split. On the way back, the field enjoyed a 20 mph tailwind that pushed Starky to a 52:43 split for the 28 miles. His 1:57:56 split for the 56 mile bike leg gave him an 8:10 lead on Chrabot, 9:54 on Taylor Reid, 10:54 on Benson Hall of the U.S., 12:28 on Raul Tejada of Guatemala, 12:32 on Jacob Rhyner of the U.S. and 13:45 on Thomas Gerlach of the U.S. TJ Tollakson had a flat at Mile 46 and struggled through an uncharacteristic 2:39:29 split.
The question: Could Starky come up with one of his better runs and hold his big lead? After 3 miles, he maintained a 7:42 lead on Chrabot, 8:12 on Taylor Reid and 11:28 on Benson Hall and 12:07 on Fabio Carvalho of BRAZIL?
By 6 miles, Reid passed Chrabot and left him behind, but only cut Starykowicz’s lead to 7:20. By 9 miles, Starykowicz remained in control with a 6:30 lead on Reid, but Chrabot surged back into contention for the runner-up slot, just 7 seconds behind the Canadian.
At the finish, Starykowicz’s 9th-best 1:20:39 run was plenty good enough to keep Reid’s 2nd-fastest 1:16:27 half marathon 5:27 at bay and Chrabot’s 1:18:47 run 5:15 behind in 3rd. Ivan Tutukin of Russia unleashed a race-best 1:15:06 run to advance to 4th, 2:58 behind Chrabot and 50 seconds ahead of 5th-place Raul Tejada of Guatemala.
Ochsner Ironman 70.3 New Orleans
New Orleans, Louisiana
April 17, 2016
S 1.2 mi. / B 56 mi. / R 13.1 mi.
1. Sarah Piampiano (USA) 4:19:57
2. Sarah Cameto (USA) 4:26:48
3. Laura Bennett USA) 4:29:51
4. Caitlin Snow (USA) 4:30:21
5. Amanda Stevens (USA) 4:33:23
6. Amanda Wendorff (USA) 4:34:15
7. Bailey Hinz (USA) 4:38:37
8. Erin Spitler (USA) 4:44:37
9. Maggie Rusch (USA) 4:46:12
10. Alison Miller (USA) 4:48:47 * F35-39
1. Andrew Starykowicz (USA) 3:46:52
2. Taylor Reid (CAN) 3:52:19
3. Matt Chrabot (USA) 3:53:07
4. Ivan Tutukin (RUS) 3:56:05
5. Raul Tejada (GTM) 3:56:55
6. Fabio Carvalho (BRA) 3:57:30
7. Jaroslav Kovacic (SLO) 3:59:22
8. Denis Sketako (SLO) 4:00:03
9. Thomas Gerlach (USA) 400:24
10. Fernando Toldi (BRA) 4:04:21