Endurance Coach Rob Gray of Boulder, Colorado increased his lead on the 171-mile Day 2 bike leg of the Ultraman World Championship, but Arnaud Selukov of France made a strong move with a day's-best bike split to advance to second place, passing Day 1 runner-up Jeremy Howard of Fredericksburg, Virginia.
After a 3rd-fastest 7:50:21 ride from Volcanoes National Monument, through Hilo, up to Waimea, and over the Kohala Mountain range to Hawi, Gray had a two-day total of 15:21:15 which gave him a 24:30 lead on Selukov (7:36:06 bike split) and 40:39 on 3rd-place Jeremy Howard, who surrendered 23 minutes and 48 seconds to Gray with a 3rd-best 8:14:22 bike ride.
It is hard to predict if Gray can hold on to his 24:30 lead on Selukov and 40:39 advantage on Howard on the 52.4-mile double marathon tomorrow. Gray ran a solid 7:41:06 on the final day while placing second overall with a 23:18:22 overall time last year at Ultraman Hawaii. Gray also ran a 7:53:31 double marathon and an overall time of 23:22:12 while winning Ultraman Florida last year. Selukov won Ultraman Australia last year, finishing with a 7:18:51 double marathon and an overall time of 22:25:57. In 2015, Howard finished 3rd at Ultraman Hawaii with a closing double marathon in 6:49:23 and an overall time of 23:28:48.
Put all those stats into a computer simulation and you might end up with a 3-way tie.
There is less mystery who will win the women' race as Steinberg rode 8:56:41 for the 171-mile bike leg today, 1 hour, 16 minutes and 47 seconds faster than the next best effort by Meredith Terranova of Austin, Texas. Steinberg's two day overall time of 18:15:23 gives her a 2:54:11 lead on Terranova. However, the race for 2nd place woman is a barn burner as Terranova is clinging to a 1 minute 9 seconds overall lead on 3rd place Fiona Siemelink of Houston, Texas. Siemelink has the edge in race experience as she has completed 10 Comrades Marathons, four 100-mile road races, as well as 24 Ironman events. Terranova's best previous long course performance was a 27:43:37 at the 2014 edition of Ultraman Florida.
Ultraman World Championship
November 25, 2017
Bike 171 miles
Volcanoes to Hawi
1. Rob Gray, 41 (Boulder, CO) Day One 7:39:54 Day Two 7:50:21 TOTAL 15:20:15
2. Arnaud Selukov, 48 (FRA) Day One 8:08:39 Day Two 7:36:06 TOTAL 15:44:45
3. Jeremy Howard, 37 (Fredericksburg, VA) Day One 7:46:57 Day Two 8:14:22 TOTAL 16:00:54
4. Tony O'Keefe, 56 (CAN) Day One 8:21:05 Day 2 8:08:56 TOTAL 16:29:55
5. Jochen Dembeck, 50 (GER) Day One 8:47:36 Day Two 8:16:30 TOTAL 17:04:06
6. Marc Puig Amiel, 30 (ESP) Day One 8:35:46 Day Two 8:31:17 TOTAL 17:07:03
7. Travis Trout Wayth, 47 (AUS) Day One 8:48:04 Day Two 8:42:17 TOTAL 17:30:17
8. Sam Cooke, 48 (AUS) Day One 9:09:58 Day Two 8:24:54 TOTAL 17:31:52
9. Adrian Whittaker, 38 (AUS) Day One 8:57:15 Day Two 8:40:11 TOTAL 17:37:26
10. Mauro Ciarrocchi, 54 (ITA) Day One 8:26:44 Day Two 9:17:44 TOTAL 17:44:28
11. Miro Kregar, 55 (SLO) Day One 9:23:21 Day Two 8:28:35 TOTAL 17:51:56
1. Steffi Steinberg, 36 (GER) Day One 9:12:37 Day Two 8:56:41 TOTAL 18:15:23
2. Meredith Terranova, 43 (Austin, TX) Day One 10:56:06 Day Two 10:13:28 TOTAL 21:09:34
3. Fiona Siemelink, 51 (Houston, TX) Day One 10:47:55 Day Two 10:22:48 TOTAL 21:10:43
4. Amy Craft, 41 (Texas) Day One 11:22:14 Day Two 10:59:40 TOTAL 22:21:54
5. Jessica Deree, 41 (San Diego, CA) Day One 10:23:07 Day Two DNF