Andreas Raelert pulled away from the hard charging Trevor Wurtele at 70.3 New Orleans to take the win by 5 seconds. Haley Chura earned a hard earned first big Pro win against the very experienced Amy Marsh in the women's race.
Brandon Marsh and Andreas Raelert were first out of the water in 23:34, about a minute up on Ben Hoffman and Mitchell Robins. Defending champion (well, it was a duathlon last year) Trevor Wurtele needed 25:41 for that 1.2 mile swim.
Wurtele's race best 2:05:54 bike split and quick 1:12:55 run then allowed the lanky Canadian to reel in the fast German around the 8 mile marker and from then on the two athletes ran side-by-side the remainder of the run. At the end though the elder Raelert dug deep in his suitcase of experience, found another gear and pulled away for the win. Wurtele finished in the runner-up position and Brazilian Santiago Ascenco grabbed the final podium spot about 4 minutes later. Wurtele seemed prouder of this runner-up spot than of his last year's "duathlon" title.
"Once on to the run and getting a 55" split to Andreas I put my sole focus on catching him. I didn't care if I blew up once I did. I really just wanted to get up to him and hoped that running with a guy like Andreas, in the lead, would give me the extra gear for something special. In the end he gapped me with a mile to go. I couldn't get back up to him and he got it. Super happy with my day though. Running for 6 miles side by side with Andreas Raelert at the front of the race...I can't believe that happened," said Wurtele to slowtwitch.
Haley Chura started her day with a race best 23:50 swim, a time that would have been competitive in the men's race, but not surprising for this super fish from Atlanta. Amy Marsh was next in 25:55 and the rest of the field had their work cut out.
Chura's 2:26:34 bike split wasn't best, but one of the better female splits on this day and that helped her gain another 1:15 on Marsh. Word though has it that the Austin, TX based Pro dealt with a flat tire and that certainly did not help the case. The best split though belonged to Kristin Andrews who recorded a 2:23:40 and that time allowed her to move into third position.
On the run Marsh started to close in on Chura but only managed to take back 47 seconds and that allowed rookie Pro Chura with a final 1:24:38 effort to grab the top of the podium in 4:18:20. Marsh was next in 4:20:39 and Kristin Andrews grabbed third place. Kim Schwabenbauer's 1:20:57 was fastest of the day and gave her fifth place behind Jo Lawn.
"Winning in New Orleans was huge for me! Support from my friends, family, coaches, teammates, and training buddies got me to the start and then the cheers from the awesome spectators, volunteers, and my fellow competitors got me across the finish line. The triathlon and endurance sports community is so strong, now more than ever," said Chura to slowtwitch. "I'm so proud to be a part of it and I hope my win allows me to show my appreciation for both the athletes and fans!"
Ironman 70.3 New Orleans
New Orleans, LA / April 21, 2013
1.2m swim / 56m bike / 13.1m run
1. Andreas Raelert (GER) 3:46:54
2. Trevor Wurtele (CAN) 3:46:59
3. Santiago Ascenco (BRA) 3:50:38
4. Brandon Marsh (USA) 3:51:44
5. Mitchell Robins (AUS) 3:52:25
6. Jose Jeuland (FRA) 3:53:15
7. Ben Hoffman (USA) 3:53:32
8. Tim Van Berkel (AUS) 3:53:48
9. Robert Wade (USA) 3:56:09
10. Jonathan Shearon (USA) 3:58:15
1. Haley Chura (USA) 4:18:20
2. Amy Marsh (USA) 4:20:39
3. Kristin Andrews (USA) 4:22:59
4. Jo Lawn (NZL) 4:23:12
5. Kim Schwabenbauer (USA) 4:23:42
6. Heather Leiggi (USA) 4:28:12
7. Ewa Bugdol (POL) 4:29:00
8. Beth Shutt (USA) 4:29:16
9. Annie Gervais (CAN) 4:30:06
10. Jocelyn Cornman (USA) 4:31:19