Andrew Starykowicz posted another stellar 56-mile bike split and Haley Chura showed her all-around game to win Ironman 70.3 Waco on a flood-plagued, swim-canceled day in West Texas.
Two weeks after a tough day at Kona, Andrew Starykowicz recovered well enough to open a big lead with a sub-2 hour bike split and held off top runs by TJ Tollakson of the U.S. and Joe Gambles of Australia to prevail at Ironman 70.3 Waco.
Starykowicz rode a race-best 1:58:11 to open a 3:28 lead on T.J. Tollakson and 6:55 on Joe Gambles. Under pressure from Tollakson’s 1:18:09 and Gambles’ race-best 1:15:27 half marathons, Starykowicz ran 1:21:39 to finish in 3:21:40 with an 11-seconds margin of victory over Tollakson and 49 seconds over 3rd place finisher Gambles.
While Starykowicz faded to 40th male pro after a first pack swim and third best 4:12:18 bike split at Kona, America’s überbiker has had an excellent 70.3 season that included 1sts at Waco and Chattanooga, 2nds at Monterrey and Steelhead and 3rds at Memorial Hermann Texas 70.3 and Coeur d'Alene 70.3.
Chura started off with a women’s 5th-best 2:20:09 bike split that put her 1:26 behind leader Cecilia Davis-Hayes, 1:11 behind Alicia Kaye and 56 seconds behind Lauren Brandon, who surrendered her ace in the hole when the swim was canceled.
By 6.6 miles into the run, Chura was running 16 seconds per mile faster than Kaye and 44 seconds per mile faster than Davis-Hayes. Chura thus took over the lead, creating a 15 seconds lead on Kaye and over two and a half minutes margin on Cecilia Davis-Hayes.
After 10.6 miles, Chura expanded her lead to 2:09 on Kaye and 6:30 on Davis-Hayes.
After a women’s race-best 1:23:16 half marathon, she finished in 3:45:48 with a 4:23 margin of victory over Kaye (1:29:12 run) and 7:37 over 3rd place Chelsea Sodaro of the U.S., who closed with a 1:27:06 run.
Chura’s victory was at least her second of 2018, coming after her win at Coeur d’Alene 70.3 as well as her 4th place finishes at Augusta 70.3 and Ironman Brazil.
Ironman 70.3 Waco
October 28, 2018
B 56 mi. / R 13.1 mi.
Andrew Starykowicz (USA) 3:21:40 B 1:58:11 T1 1:52 R 1:21:39
TJ Tollakson (USA) 3:21:51 B 2:01:38 T1 2:05 R 1:18:09
Joe Gambles (AUS) 3:22:29 B 2:05:05 T1 1:57 R 1:15:27
Matt Hanson (USA) 3:23:21 B 2:05:51 T1 1:55 R 1:15:36
Stephen Kilshaw (CAN) 3:24:34 B 2:05:37 T1 1:56 R 1:17:03
Haley Chura (USA) 3:45:48 B 2:20:09 T1 2:24 R 1:23:16
Alicia Kaye (USA) 3:50:11 B 2:18:58 T1 2:02 R 1:29:12
Chelsea Sodaro (USA) 3:53:25 B 2:25:33 T1 1:47 R 1:26:06
Cecilia Davis–Hayes (USA) 3:55:11 B 2:18:43 T1 2:07 R 1:34:22
Carly Johann (USA) 3:55:58 B 2:19:19 T1 2:08 R 1:34:32.