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After winning the Ironman 70.3 Worlds last year, Holly Lawrence continues to be a dominating force in the Ironman 70.3 realm as she scored 2017 wins at Oceanside 70.3, the Ironman 70.3 North American Championship in St. George, and now Santa Rosa 70.3
Lawrence emerged from the water three seconds behind swim leader Kaitlin Curbeau. After a by-far women’s-best 2:18:08 bike split - 3:28 faster than her nearest pursuer - Lawrence held a 7:20 lead on Carrie Lester of Australia, 8:56 on Kelsey Withrow of the U.S., 9:00 on top-5 Kona finisher Kaisa Lehtonen of Finland, and about 10 minutes on famed slow swimmer/fast runner Sarah Piampiano of the U.S.
After six miles of the run, Lawrence accumulated an 8:07 lead on fast-rising Piampiano, 9:53 on Lester, 10:41 on Withrow and 13:00 on Lehtonen. After a women’s 2nd-fastest 1:25:17 run - giving up 5:32 to Piampiano’s impressive 1:19:45 half marathon - Lawrence finished in a race record 4:13:20 with a 4:52 margin of victory over Piampiano and 10:37 over 3rd-place Lehtonen.