The Weekend Box Sep 22 2013

After a short menu of races a week ago, things picked up on the third weekend in September. Of particular note was the inaugural Ironman Lake Tahoe which featured a duel to the finish between a strong Frenchwoman and a Swedish champion. In addition, there was a similarly hard fought duel between two Englishwomen at a 70.3 in Provence, fast times at Cozumel, and a two American winners at Life Time Fitness Tempe.

Ben Hoffman, Radka Vodickova break the tape at Rev3 Branson

Ben Hoffman of the U.S. ran away the men’s field and Czech Republic Olympian Radka Vodickova used a well-balanced race to dominate the women at the half distance Rev3 Branson.

Hoffman swam 26:07, 33 seconds behind super fish Eric Limkemann and 3 second better than Michael Poole, 44 seconds ahead of Rev 3 Maine winner Leon Griffin and 1:36 ahead of Kevin Collington. Hoffman kept his cool with a 4th-best 2:23:30 bike split that gave back a minute to Collington, 32 second to Griffin, and matched Michael Poole and Rev3 star Richie Cunningham in his first race back after serious bike crash injuries in July in Boulder.

Hoffman ended the suspense with a race-best 1:13:31 run that brought him to the finish in 4:05:00 with a 2:18 margin of victory over runner-up Collington (1:15:27 run) and 3:45 over 3rd-place finisher Griffin (1:17:09 run). Cunningham managed a 3rd-fastest 1:16:46 run to finish 7th.

Vodickova’s 26:37 swim split was 19 seconds behind leader Jennifer Spieldenner of the U.S. and gave her a 3:58 cushion on strong cyclist Rachel McBride of Canada. McBride’s race-best 2:40:47 bike split vaulted the Canadian to a 25 second lead on Vodickova at T2. Vodickova then sealed the deal with a race-fastest 1:22:45 run that brought her home in 4:36:38 with a 4:33 margin on runner-up Jennifer Spieldenner. After her great bike split, McBride cooled down with a 1:29:01 run that placed her 3rd overall.

Rev3 Branson
Branson, Missouri
September 22, 2013
S 1.2 mi. / B 56 mi. / R 13.1 mi.



1. Ben Hoffman (USA) 4:05:00
2. Kevin Collington (USA) 4:07:18
3. Leon Griffin (AUS) 4:08:45
4. Eric Limkemann (USA) 4:10:12
5. Michael Poole (USA) 4:12:31
7. Richie Cunningham (AUS) 4:15:04


1. Radka Vodickova (CZE) 4:36:38
2. Jennifer Spieldenner (USA) 4:41:11
3. Rachel McBride (CAN) 4:42:34
4. Jessica Meyers (USA) 4:46:07
5. Rebeccah Wassner (USA) 4:46:55

Big Sexy Chris McDonald and Asa Lundstrom win Ironman Lake Tahoe

This new Ironman began with temperature at a shivery 43 degrees Fahrenheit, the altitude a lung sapping 6,259 feet and there was 5,383 feet of climbing awaiting on the bike leg. The scenery was a gorgeous backdrop to some serious racing with a few notable pros – including Ironman rookie Angela Naeth -- ready to fight it out.

When the day was done, the times reflected the challenge of the course as Big Sexy Chris McDonald of Australia won in a time of 8:55:14 – his 6th Ironman victory coming just a month after his win at Louisville. Key proof of the difficulty was the bike split times – 4:55:42 for McDonald and 4:55:55 for renowned cyclist Maik Twelsiek of Germany. Twelsiek, who broke into the lead with a 51:47 swim and held it through the bike and 16 miles into the run, hit the finish just 2:39 behind McDonald to claim the runner-up slot. The difference was the run – McDonald posted a 2:59:40 to Twelsiek’s 3:03:33. Australian Joe Gambles, who fell victim to the altitude, the climbs and the Ironman distance, could only manage a 5:02:43 bike split and a 3:02:24 run and thus took 3rd – 7:41 back of McDonald.

While there was much anticipation for Ironman 70.3 star Angela Naeth’s Ironman debut and expectation that decorated endurance veteran Catriona Morrison would return to her winning form, two European competitors waged a fierce back and forth battle that was not settled until the final mile on a course that was reminiscent of tough tests like Embrunman and Nice.

Jeanne Collonge of France came to this race with a fine resume that included two straight victories at the Iron-distance Embrunman in 2012 and 2013 and a 2nd place at Pays d’Aix 70.3 in 2012. Asa Lundstrom, a Swedish national who lives in Denmark and is pursuing a medical degree, was 2nd at Ironman Austria and at the Bilbao Triathlon this year, and she won Ironman Sweden in 2012.

While Dede Griesbauer of the U.S. swam 55:12 and was the only woman to crack the 1 hour mark, Lundstrom, Collonge and Angela Naeth all came out of the swim within a minute of the 1:01 mark and charged into the lead on the bike while Morrison faded out of the picture with a 5:44:27 ride and Griesbauer fell even further back after a 5:55:01 split.

Lundstrom led into T2 with Collonge 1:43 back and Naeth 4:30 in arrears. The Swedish star held the lead to Mile 5.7 when Collonge took over while Naeth slowly fell back. Collonge established a 2 minute lead and maintained the gap until Mile 24 when Lundstrom had an infusion of energy and passed Collonge in the final mile, crossing the line in 9:58:53 with a 50 seconds margin of victory. Morrison, closing with a 2nd-best 3:10:57 marathon, took 3rd in 10:03:38. Top runner Elizabeth Lyles, on the strength of a race-best 3:09:05 marathon, took 4th and Naeth, hanging in on a tough day, placed 5th.

Ironman Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe, Nevada
September 22, 2013
S 2.4 mi. / B 112 mi. / R 26.2 mi.



1. Chris McDonald (AUS) 8:55:14
2. Maik Twelsiek (GER) 8:57:53
3. Joe Gambles (AUS) 9:02:55
4. Kirill Kotsegarov (EST) 9:04:39
5. Kevin Taddonio (USA) 9:09:09


1. Asa Lundstrom (SWE) 9:58:53
2. Jeanne Collonge (FRA) 9:59:43
3. Catriona Morrison (GBR) 10:03:38
4. Elizabeth Lyles (USA) 10:08:41.
5. Angela Naeth (CAN) 10:10:47

Filip Ospaly and Susie Hignett top Ironman 70.3 Pays D’Aix

Filip Ospaly of the Czech Republic dominated the field and Susie Hignett outran fellow Brit Tamsin Lewis to win Ironman 70.3 Pays d’Aix in beautiful Provence, France.

Ospaly emerged from the water with a 3rd-fastest 22:24 split which was about 30 seconds behind leading swimmers Manuel Küng of Switzerland and ITU veteran Stephane Poulat of France -- and was six seconds ahead of powerful cyclist Bjorn Andersson of Sweden.

Nice to see Andersson, the Swedish bear with the powerful cycling engine, back on form as he posted a race-best 2:15:36 split which put him into T2 first by a 15 seconds margin over Küng (2:38:21 split), 1:43 on Bertrand Billard (2:39:49) and 1:58 on Ospaly (2:40:04).

While Victor Del Corral posted a sizzling, race-best 1:08:56 half marathon, he could only advance to 3rd place as Ospaly’s 2nd-fastest 1:10:57 run brought him home in a winning 4:05:00 time. Albert Moreno Molins’ 3rd-best 1:11:16 run advanced him to 2nd, 2:44 behind Ospaly and 1:05 ahead of Del Corral. After his dominating bike split, Andersson faded to 16th with a 1:29:16 run.

The women’s race was a race-long duel between two determined Britons. While Rahel Küng (22:34) and Georgie Rutherford (25:32) swam faster, Tamsin Lewis and Susie Hignett came out 1 second apart in 25:58 and 25:59 respectively. Lewis and Hignett left the rest of the field well behind with 2:35:29 and 2:36:36 bike splits. Lewis hung on to her lead until Hignett pulled inexorably away with a race-fastest 1:20:36 run that brought her to the finish in 4:28:21 with a 1:18 margin of victory over Lewis.

Ironman 70.3 Pays d’Aix
Aix-en-Provence, France
September 22, 2013
S 1.2 mi. / B 56 mi. / R 13.1 mi.



1. Filip Ospaly (CZE) 3:55:24
2. Albert Moreno Molins (ESP) 3:58:08
3. Victor Del Corral (ESP) 3:959:13
4. Bertrand Billard (FRA) 4:00:06
5. Manuel Küng (SUI) 4:01:19


1. Susie Hignett (GBR) 4:28:21
2. Tamsin Lewis (GBR) 4:29:39
3. Rahel Küng (SUI) 4:38:10
4. Alexandra Louison (FRA) 4:47:37
5. Jennifer Duffy (IRL) 4:51:22

James Cunnama, Annabel Luxford conquer Cozumel 70.3

James Cunnama of South Africa edged New Zealander Terenzo Bozzone and Aussie Annabel Luxford used a superior swim and a slightly better bike to hold off the run of two-time Ironman 70.3 World Champion Melissa Hauschildt to win Ironman 70.3 Cozumel.

Cunnama and Bozzone emerged in the middle of a close pack of 13 swimmers that included U.S. ITU Olympic distance contender Matt Chrabot, multiple 2013 70.3 winner Ritchie Nicholls, ITU Olympic distance star Brad Kahlefeldt and 2006 ITU Olympic distance World Champion Tim Don.

Cunnama asserted himself with a race-fastest 2:03:57 bike split on the pool-table-flat and windswept course that circulates around the resort island. Cunnama was followed closely by Bozzone (2:04:25) and Chrabot (2:04:10). Ritchie Nicholls encountered troubles that led to a 2:13:55 ride.

After his frustrating bike split, Nicholls unleashed a 1:11:55 run that was the day’s best but could only elevate him to 4th place, 4:24 back of the winner. After his excellent swim and bike splits, Chrabot settled for 3rd overall with a 1:18:46 run that left him 1:21 back of the winner. It all came down to Bozzone versus Cunnama and the South African’s 1:17:21 run was 24 seconds faster than the Kiwi’s half marathon.

Luxford, coming off a 3rd place at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship got a measure of revenge on 70.3 World Champion Melissa Hauschildt. Luxford won it on the swim as her race-fastest 21:45 split was 4 seconds behind Jodie Swallow, but 2:39 better than Daniela Ryf and 4:16 better than Hauschildt. Luxford shut down Hauschildt’s hopes to make up ground on the bike leg as her race-best 2:17:32 split added another 1:16 to her advantage on Hauschildt and shut out Ryf (2:21:29) and Swallow (2:21:14) from contention for the win.

Apparently the battles with the wind on the bike ruled out swift times on the run, as Luxford’s 1:27:12 split brought her to the finish with a 3:14 margin of victory over Hauschildt (1:25:14 run) and 5:40 ahead of 3rd–place finisher Ryf (1:26:22 run).

Ironman 70.3 Cozumel
Cozumel, Mexico
September 22, 2013
S 1.2 mi. / B 56 mi. / R 13.1 mi.



1. James Cunnama (RSA) 3:44:06
2. Terenzo Bozzone (NZL) 3:44:46
3. Matt Chrabot (USA) 3:45:27
4. Ritchie Nicholls (GBR) 3:48:30
5. Brad Kahlefeldt (AUS) 3:52:59
6. Tim Don (GBR) 3:54:01


1. Annabel Luxford (AUS) 4:09:58
2. Melissa Hauschildt (AUS) 4:13:12
3. Daniela Ryf (SUI) 4:15:38
4. Jodie Swallow (GBR) 4:18:52
5. Celine Schärer (SUI) 4:30:28

Cameron Dye, Alicia Kaye win Life Time Fitness Tempe

Cameron Dye and Alicia Kaye won with dominating bike legs at the Olympic distance Life Time Fitness series race in Tempe, Arizona.

Dye trailed Dustin McLarty’s leading 18:00 swim split by 30 seconds. Dye then motored away with a dominant 53:48 bike leg that was just over 2 minutes faster than his closest rivals

Dye’s lead after the bike was sufficient that his 9th-fastest 34:46 run – precisely 2 minutes slower than Hunter Kemper’s race-best, come-from-behind-to-6th place effort – was enough to bring Dye to the finish in 1:48:16 with a 1:08 margin of victory over runner-up Joe Maloy and 1:38 over 3rd-place finisher James Seear of Australia.

Alicia Kaye started her race with a 20:01 swim split that was 52 seconds behind Sara McLarty and 55 seconds behind Lauren Brandon. Crucially, she was just 2 seconds down to Denmark’s Helle Frederiksen, whom she edged for a hard fought win at Chicago last month.

Kaye took charge on the bike, as her race-fastest 59:23 split outpaced Frederiksen by 63 seconds, McLarty – who finished 2nd at the Las Vegas Super Sprint a few days ago - by 3 minutes and Lauren Goss by 4 minutes. With that cushion, Kaye cruised to a 3rd-best 37:07 run, giving back 28 seconds to Frederiksen and 26 seconds to Goss, finishing in 1:57:46 with a 42 seconds margin of victory over runner-up Frederiksen and 5:12 over 3rd-place Goss.

Life Time Fitness Tempe
Tempe, Arizona
September 22, 2013
S 1.5k / B 40k / R 10k



1. Cameron Dye (USA) 1:48:16
2. Joe Maloy (USA) 1:49:24
3. James Seear (AUS) 1:49:54
4. Stuart Hayes (GBR) 1:50:35
5. Ben Collins (USA) 1:50:46
6. Hunter Kemper (USA) 1:51:23


1. Alicia Kaye (USA) 1:57:46
2. Helle Frederiksen (DEN) 1:58:28
3. Lauren Goss (USA) 2:02:58
4. Sara McLarty (USA) 2:03:55
5. Jillian Petersen (USA) 2:07:01

Javier Gomez and Lisa Norden win Beijing International Triathlon

Olympic silver medalists Javier Gomez and Lisa Norden won the $100,000 Olympic distance Beijing International Triathlon organized by the international sports marketing agency IMG and hosted by the Fengtai Sports Bureau of Beijing.

The race was set near the Qian Ling Mountains and at Qian Long Lake in Southwest Beijing.

Gomez posted a race-best 18:16 swim but waited for 41-year-old Greg Bennett to make up a minute and join the Spaniard on the draft-legal bike leg to save energy and maximize his chance of a race-winning run leg.

“I felt good and knew I was fit after winning the London Triathlon, but the Beijing International Triathlon is a totally different race, race course and field of competitors,” said 2013 Beijing International Triathlon Winner Javier Gomez. “I came out of the swim first, and then Greg Bennett caught me at about 10 kilometers in on the bike,” said Gomez. “He is an amazing triathlete and I stayed close to him, knowing I would be strong in the run.”

Gomez had plenty of energy to attack a very tricky run course and made the most of his opportunity. “It was a technical, tough run with lots of stairs and ups and downs, so that is when I was able to pull ahead and build my lead.”

Gomez finished with a race-best 33:07 10k run which brought him to the finish in 1:51:59 with a 1:38 margin of victory over Bennett, who ran 35:04. Brian Fleischmann of the U.S. finished 3rd, 1:55 behind Bennett.

Lisa Norden of Sweden, who had been fighting plantar fasciitis injuries that caused her to fall far short of her goal at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship two weeks ago, was in much improved form in Beijing. Her 20:59 swim was 1:42 behind defending Beijing women’s champion Sarah Groff of the United States, but virtually even with Jenna Parker of the U.S. and Ricarda Lisk of Germany. As her bike strength was least affected by the plantar fasciitis, Norden zoomed to the front with a women’s race-best 1:02:04 bike split that was 5:22 faster than Groff and put the race out of reach.

Norden closed with a 38:29 run which gave back 1:34 to Groff’s 36:55 10k run but left Norden finishing in 2:05:12 with a 1:51 margin of victory over runner-up Groff and 2:08 over 3rd-place finisher Jenna Parker.

“I came out of the swim in fifth place, so I knew I had to make up for it on the bike,” said Norden. “I found my rhythm when I closed the gap with Laura Bennett and then at 12 kilometers I passed Sarah Groff and Carolina Routier. Then I treated the last 30 kilometers of the bike like a time trial knowing I would have a hard time on the run because of a recent foot injury.”

Beijing International Triathlon
Beijing, China
September 21, 2013
S 1.5k / B 40k / R 10k


Elite men

1. Javier Gomez (ESP) 1:51:59
2. Greg Bennett (USA) 1:53:37
3. Brian Fleischmann (USA) 1:55:32
4. Matt Reed (USA) 1:56:10
5. Graham O’Grady (NZL) 1:56:51

Elite Women

1. Lisa Norden (SWE) 2:05:12
2. Sarah Groff (USA) 2:07:03
3. Jenna Parker (USA) 2:07:20
4. Ricarda Lisk (GER) 2:09:10
5. Laura Bennett (USA) 2:13:11

Josh Amberger and Shannon Radle win swim-less Galveston 5i50

With the swim canceled and the race turned into a bike-run duathlon, Josh Amberger of Australia and Shannon Radle of the U.S. won the men’s and women’s pro titles at Galveston 5i50.

Amberger came out of the 40 kilometer bike leg 5 seconds behind Daniel Bretscher’s 54:37 split, then took the lead with a 7 seconds faster transition. Amberger then outran Bretscher 34:26 to 34:52 to finish in 1:29:47 with a 27 seconds margin of victory over the Mt. Vernon, Iowa pro.

Brooks Cowan of Troy, Michigan finished 3rd, 44 seconds behind Bretscher.

In a bare bones, 3-person pro women’s field, Shannon Radle won in 1:42:14, 6:48 ahead of runner-up Liz Baugher and 6:52 ahead of 3rd-place Zana Buttermore-Baca

Galveston 5i50
Galveston, Texas
September 22, 2013
B 40k / R 10k


Pro Men

1. Josh Amberger (AUS) 1:29:47
2. Daniel Bretscher (USA) 1:30:14
3. Brooks Cowan (USA) 1:30:58
4. James Burns (USA) 1:30:59
5. Robert Wade (USA) 1:31:05

Pro Women

1. Shannon Radle (USA) 1:42:14
2. Liz Baugher (USA) 1:49:02
3. Zana Buttermore-Baca (USA) 1:49:06

Meredith Novack completes Maui-Lanai double channel swim in 11 hours 1 minute

Former professional triathlete and NCAA Division 1 swimmer for Georgia Southern University Meredith Novack completed an 11-month dream project to complete a double crossing swim of the Lanai-Maui channel Sunday. Novack, accompanied by a crew of six with total funding of about $4,200 dollars, started at 6 AM Sunday at a dock on a remote beach on the island of Lanai, reached the Ala Wharf in Lahaina, Maui, about 11 AM, then swam back to Lanai – a total of just under 20 miles. Novack and her team reported tonight that she completed the round trip swim in 11 hours and 1 minute, thus breaking the mark of 11 hours 45 minutes set during the first double crossing of the Maui Channel by Peter Attia.