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photo: Nils Nilsen/IRONMAN
USA Triathlon Weekend Update: July 29
Ironman Lake Placid
At Sunday’s Ironman Lake Placid, Andy Potts (Colorado Springs, Colo.) characteristically exited the water first and stayed out in front for the rest of the cool, wet day. Potts continued to expand the gap throughout the bike leg and headed out on the run with more than 10 minutes on Italy’s Daniel Fontan. Despite Fontana bridging the gap through the run, Potts’ lead was too much and he finished first with a time of 8:43:29. Fontana followed in 8:48:29 and Ian Mikelson (Torrence, Calif.) posted one of the fastest marathons of the day (2:52:41) to run his way into third place with a time of 8:51:07.
For the women, American Katy Blakemore (Denver, Colo.) hit T1 first with Dede Griesbauer (Boston, Mass.) close behind. These two women had a significant lead on the rest of the field but Australian Carrie Lester closed the gap between the leaders during the second half of the bike leg. Lester passed Griesbauer in the first half of the run, yet it was Jennie Hansen (Rochester, N.Y.) who would prove her running strength by overtaking Lester and run her way to her first Ironman victory with a time of 9:35:06. Blakemore persevered through a tough bike leg to run into second (9:42:35) with Lester rounding out the podium in third (9:47:59).
Ironman 70.3 Calgary
In western Canada this weekend at Ironman 70.3 Calgary, the race was held on a brand new course following floods that forced officials to change routes. Heather Wurtele of Canada made up for a tough swim to take first in a time of 4:11:42. She blazed past fellow Canadian Rachel McBride in the run, with McBride holding onto second (4:13:49). Mandy McLane (Boulder, Colo.) worked to gain ground on the leaders throughout the run but couldn’t reel them in, capturing the final spot on the podium with a time of 4:14:11.
In the men’s field, Tim Don of Great Britain earned the win with a time of 3:42:21. Canada’s Trevor Wurtele and Bermuda’s Tyler Butterfield were hot in pursuit throughout the run, with Wurtele taking second in 3:42:57 and Butterfield rounding out the podium in third, finishing in 3:43:38.
Alpe D’Huez Triathlon
Mary Beth Ellis (Boulder, Colo.) dominated the women’s field at Alpe D’Huez Triathlon, a mid-week race in France. Ellis pulled ahead on the bike and was untouched the rest of the day, leaving other competitors racing for second. Ellis finished in 6:20:00 in a race where she has had much success in the past. Finishing over twenty minutes in front of Ironman UK 70.3 Champion Eimear Mullan, Ellis appears in great position for Kona in a few months.
Giant Eagle Triathlon
At the Giant Eagle Triathlon in Columbus, Ohio, U.S elites took top positions in both the men’s and women’s events. Ben Collins (Seattle, Wash.) dominated the fast bike course and despite a slow run compared to the rest of the field, he logged a time of 1:42:20 on the Olympic-distance course to top the podium. Kaleb VanOrt (Mishawaka, Ind.), a former collegiate runner, posted the fastest run split of the day of 31:56 to run his way into second (1:43:09) while trying to close the gap on Collins. Brooks Cowan (Troy, Mich.) was third with a time of 1:44:21.
On the women’s side, Laurel Wassner (New York, N.Y.) proved once again that she has the speed and strength to take control of the short-course events, earning the win in the 5150 event. Wassner held off top runners Jennifer Spieldenner (Findlay, Ohio) and Julie Patterson (Worthington, Ohio), who were hot in pursuit. Wassner’s final time was 1:54:37, nearly a minute ahead of Spieldenner’s 1:55:33 second-place finish and Patterson in third.