In this issue of The Weekend Box, we look at Meredith Kessler’s second straight comeback win and Craig Alexander's victory at Ironman 70.3 Lake Stevens, a fierce fight between Angela Naeth, Mirinda Carfrae, Catriona Morrison and Barbara Riveros-Diaz at Ironman 70.3 Racine, a win for Germany at the ITU Mixed Relay World Championship in Hamburg, and a hat’s off to Boulder 5i50 race director Dave Christen for issuing a yearlong ban to a triathlete who cursed at a volunteer at Boulder Peak.
Meredith Kessler wins again and Craig Alexander tops Luke Bell at Lake Stevens 70.3
Craig Alexander broke away from a tight duel with fellow Australian Luke Bell 9 miles into the run, and Meredith Kessler continued her comeback from head injuries suffered at Eagleman with a second straight Ironman 70.3 win.
Bell started the day with a 2nd-best 22:57 swim right behind Paul Matthews and just over a minute ahead of Alexander and up and coming Canadian pro Elliot Holtham. Alexander and Holtham then charged to the front with identical 2:16:26 bike splits that joined Bell (2:17:36) at T2. The three men ran together until Mile 6, when Holtham dropped back. Alexander slowly drew away from Bell at Mile 9 and at the finish, Alexander’s race-fastest 1:12:49 run was 33 seconds better than Bell’s half marathon.
Six weeks after suffering head injuries at Eagleman and one week after a stirring return-to-competition win at Vineman 70.3, Kessler started her day with a race-best 25:18 swim that gave her a 2:12 advantage over 3-time XTERRA World champion Melanie McQuaid of Canada. McQuaid then charged back to a 7-seconds lead at T2 with quick transitions and a race-best 2:26:42 bike split. Two miles into the run, Kessler passed McQuaid and took charge for good on her way to a race-fastest 1:21:24 run, a 4:18:05 finish and a 5:17 margin of victory.
Ironman 70.3 Lake Stevens
Lake Stevens, Washington
July 21, 2013
S 1.2 mi. /B 56 mi. / R 13.1 mi
1. Craig Alexander (AUS) 3:55:23
2. Luke Bell (AUS) 3:55:59
3. Eliot Holtham (CAN) 3:59:40
4. Paul Matthews (AUS) 4:04:44
5. Matt Lieto (USA_ 4:07:13
6. Chris Legh (AUS) 4:08:21
1. Meredith Kessler (USA) 4:18:05
2. Melanie McQuaid (CAN) 4:23:22
3. Lauren Barnett (USA) 4:29:01
4. Kate Bevilaqua (AUS) 4:33:42
5. Ashley Johnson (USA) 4:34:06
Jensen’s run trumps Starykowicz’s bike; Naeth edges all-star women’s field at Racine
Andrew Starykowicz unleashed another powerful bike split but it was trumped by the run of Martin Jensen of Denmark while Angela Naeth’s race-best bike split and 5th-best run was enough to edge a world-class women’s field at Ironman 70.3 Racine.
After a race-best 2:02:36 bike split, Starykowicz led Jensen by 1:45 and the rest of the field was toast. On his way to a 4th-fastest 1:15:16 run, Jensen passed Starykowicz at Mile 6.6 and finished in 3:47:05 with a 1:29 margin of victory over America’s überbiker, who managed a 1:18:40 run to hold the runner-up slot.
Naeth took control of the race with a smashing 2:19:17 bike split. At T2 Naeth led Morrison by 1:23, Carfrae by 3:29, and 5:16 on Riveros-Diaz. Morrison started the run like a house afire and cut Naeth’s lead to 28 seconds at Mile 3.3 and to 4 seconds at a Mile 6.6. Carfrae, making a similar surge to 3rd place, lurked 1:37 back. Then Naeth fought back and increased her lead on Morrison to 32 seconds and widened her gap on Carfrae to 1:57 at Mile 9.8. Naeth’s 1:22:52 run held off Carfrae’s 1:20:23 half marathon by 51 seconds at the finish. Morrison’s 1:22:13 run brought her home 3rd, 13 seconds back of Carfrae.
Ironman 70.3 Racine
July 21, 2013
S 1.2 mi. / B 56 mi. / R 13.1 mi.
1. Martin Jensen (DNK) 3:47:05
2. Andrew Starykowicz (USA) 3:48:34
3. Ivan Vasiliev (RUS) 3:51:22
4. Tim Reed (AUS) 3:53:21
5. Paul Ambrose (AUS) 3:53:28
1. Angela Naeth (CAN) 4:15:00
2. Mirinda Carfrae (AUS) 4:15:521
3. Catriona Morrison (GBR) 4:16:04
4. Barbara Riveros-Diaz (CHL) 4:18:41
5. Haley Chura (USA) 4:22:24
Germany wins gold at ITU Mixed Relay World Championship; USA takes bronze
Germany won fast-paced, four-person Mixed Relay World Championship, overcoming a late lead by the United States with a final surge on the run by anchor-man Franz Loeschke. Germany finished in 1:17:55 with a 19 seconds margin on runner-up New Zealand and 24 seconds on the United States team, which finished 3rd.
In a format the International Triathlon Union was campaigning to get the IOC to include as a second triathlon event in the Olympics, two men and two women on each team completed a 300-meter swim, 6.6 kilometer bike and 1.6 kilometer run on a course set up in Hamburg, Germany.
On the first leg, the U.S.A.’s Sarah Groff led out of the water, held 4th on the bike and completed her segment in a virtual tie with Great Britain’s Jodie Stimpson in 20:06. On the second team leg, Great Britain’s Alistair Brownlee blazed to a 17-seconds lead when he handed off to Non Stanford, but he was assessed a 10-seconds infringement penalty to be served at the end of the third leg. When Stanford crashed on the bike, the matter was moot.
Gwen Jorgensen of the U.S. recorded the fastest women’s split of the third leg – 20:01 – which was 3 seconds faster than Germany’s Anne Haug (who won the WTS event on Saturday) and gave U.S. anchorman Cameron Dye an 11-seconds lead. Dye, who is a master at non-drafting short course racing, led through the bike leg but was unable to hold off Loeschke on the run. New Zealand anchor Ryan Sissons worked hard with Loeschke on the bike to close the gap on Dye, then passed the American in the stretch to take 2nd.
ITU Mixed Team Relay World Championship
July 21, 2013
4x S 300m / B 6.6k / R 1.6k
1. Team 1 Germany (Anja Knapp-Jan Frodeno-Anne Haug-Franz Loeschke) 1:17:55
2. Team 1 New Zealand (Andrea Hewitt-Tony Dodds-Kate McIlroy-Ryan Sissons) 1:18:14
3. Team 1 USA (Sarah Groff-Ben Kanute-Gwen Jorgensen-Cameron Dye) 1:18:19
4. Team 1 Australia (Emma Moffatt-Aaron Royle-Ashleigh Gentle-Peter Kerr) 1:18:33
5. Team 1 France (Jessica Harrison-Vincent Luis-Emmie Charayron-Aurelien Raphael) 1:18:49
One small step for a race director, one giant step for civility
Boulder Tri Series Race Director Dave Christen took a step in defense of his beloved race volunteers that has won our admiration and the cheers of triathletes all over the planet. After the Boulder Peak / 5i50 race last weekend, he put this notice on the race website:
“I want to make something very clear to those who like Boulder Tri Series. We had an athlete today curse at a young high school volunteer because she did something wrong with the T-shirts she was handing out. He has been disqualified and will be banned from racing in our Series for the next year. You can curse me out, but if you EVER curse out someone who is volunteering their time expect that to be the last time you race our events for a long time. Curse at a young girl....over a t-shirt issue......really! Thank a volunteer this weekend. They deserve all the thanks, send the complaints and foul language to me.”