Tollakson, Lester win Gulf Coast 70.3

TJ Tollakson of the U.S. and Carrie Lester of Australia took the pro titles at Ironman 70.3 Gulf Coast.

Men

Tollakson began with a second-best 26:33 swim that left him 8 seconds behind Felipe Van de Wyngard of Chile. Tollakson posted a second-best 2:01:24 bike split on the flat and fast Panama City Beach course that left him37 seconds behind Wyngard at T2.

Van de Wyngard lengthened his lead over Tollakson to 2:02 after 6 miles of the run before slowly fading off the pace on the second half of the run. While other contenders were running faster, Tollakson’s 3rd-best 1:23:10 half marathon gradually wiped out Van de Wyngard’s lead.

Tollakson’s run brought him to the line in 3:54:19 with a 1:06 margin of victory over Van de Wyngard (1:25:05 run) and 2:10 over 3rd place finisher Yvan Jarrige of France (1:20:50 run split).

Tollakson’s victory was his best results for the last two years, following 2nd places at Ironman Wisconsin in 2017 and Ironman 70.3 Waco in 2018, 3rd at Ironman Arizona in 2018 and 4th at Ironman 70.3 Texas earlier this year.

Women

Super swimmer Lauren Brandon blitzed the swim in 26:31 which gave her a 2:37 lead on Lester, 2:45 on Rachel Olson, 2:46 on Sarah Alexander and 5:15 on Laura Matthews. Top cyclist and runner Angela Naeth had a disappointing swim that left her 7:57 arrears.

Halfway through the bike leg, Lester reduced her deficit to Lester to 1:25, while the rest of the field fell more than five minutes back.

After a women’s-best 2:14:49, Lester passed Brandon and arrived at T2 just 12 seconds back from her U.S. rival while U.S. competitors Laura Mathews and Sarah Alexander trailed by 5:35 and 5:57 respectively.

Lester zoomed into the lead in the first mile of the run and never looked back. After a by-far women’s-best 1:29:02 half marathon – 5:07 better than the next best effort by Rachel Olson of the U.S. – Lester finished in 4:15:57 with a 10:31 margin of victory over Brandon (1:39:35 run split) and 12:57 ahead of 3rd place finisher Laura Matthews of the U.S. (1:36:41 run split).

Lester thus added another stellar finish after recent wins at Ironman France, Embrunman and Challenge Penticton. Lester also earned four second places last year at Wildflower, Ironman France, Ironman 70.3 Los Cabos and Ironman Arizona.

Ironman 70.3 Gulf Coast
Panama City Beach, Florida
May 11, 2019
S 1.2 mi. / B 56 mi. / R 13.1 mi.

Results

Pro Men

1. TJ Tollakson (USA) 3:54:19 S 26:33 T1 1:55 B 2:01:24 T2 1:18 R 1:23:10
2. Felipe Van de Wyngard (CHL) 3:55:25 S 26:26 T1 1:49 B 2:01:01 T2 1:05 R 1:25:05
3. Yvan Jarrige (FRA) 3:56:29 S 27:29 T1 1:32 B 2:05:35 T2 1:05 R 1:20:50
4. Matt Russell (USA) 3:58:54 S 31:19 T1 1:40 B 2:01:39 T2 1:06 R 1:23:13
5. Jason Pohl (CAN) 4:03:39 S 31:19 T1 1:48 B 2:08:44 T2 1:16 R 1:20:35

Pro Women

1. Carrie Lester (AUS) 4:15:57 S 29:05 T1 1:45 B 2:14:49 T2 1:18 R 1:29:02
2. Lauren Brandon (USA) 4:26:28 S 26:29 T1 1:48 B 2:17:09 T2 1:28 R 1:39:35
3. Laura Matthews (USA) 4:28:54 S 31:44 T1 2:12 B 2:17:05 T2 1:15 R 1:36:41
4. Rachel Olson (USA) 4:34:16 S 29:14 T1 1:52 B 2:27:50 T2 1:13 R 1:34:09
5. Sarah Alexander (USA) 4:34:50 S 29:15 T1 1:40 B 2:20:28 T2 1:19 R 1:42:10