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photo: Romeo T Guzman/USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon Weekend Notebook: Aug. 4
Ironman 70.3 Boulder
Hometown hero Joe Gambles topped a competitive men’s field for the third consecutive year at Ironman 70.3 Boulder. Gambles, who lives in Boulder but races for Australia, exited the water with a large group of sub-25 minute swimmers. This group stuck together throughout the bike leg and it was a 13.1-mile footrace to determine the top spots. Gambles posted a race-best 1:14:30 run to finish first in 3:44:41. Fellow Boulderite Greg Bennett took second in 3:46:23 and Callum Millward of New Zealand finished third in 3:47:53.
The women’s field was dominated by Melissa Hauschildt. The Aussie made up for a slower swim with the top bike and run splits in the field to finish 4:04:36. After exiting the water only three seconds apart, Great Britain’s Leanda Cave and Amanda Stevens (Oklahoma City, Okla.) played cat and mouse all day for second place. Stevens was able to open the gap through the bike leg but Cave managed to chase her down in the final stages of the run. Cave finished in 4:17:26 with Stevens just 33 seconds back to claim the final podium spot in 4:17:59.
Following a year in which Boston was struck with an endurance sport tragedy at the Boston Marathon, the Boston Triathlon proved a means to bounce back and the field was heavy with Massachusetts residents on their home turf. A native to the Northeast, Jarrod Shoemaker (Clermont, Fla.) took first with the fastest run split of the 4.4-mile run course, ultimately finishing in 53:46. Boston resident Christopher Baird posted the fastest bike split of the day to finish in second with a time of 55:14, and Paul Noone (Worcester, Mass.) rounded out the podium, finishing in 57:22.
Another Massachusetts resident, Jess Barton (Newton, Mass.), took hold of the women’s field with a dominant run to finish first in 1:00:43. Rebeccah Wassner (New Paltz, N.Y.) ran her way into second in the final stages of the run to finish in 1:02:13. Medena Knespl (Cambridge, Mass.) took third with a time of 1:02:38.
Ironman 70.3 Philippines
Bree Wee (Kailua-Kona, Hawaii) was the only American to reach the podium at Ironman 70.3 Philippines on Sunday. Wee exited the water in second behind the eventual winner Caroline Steffen (4:16:12), who represents Switzerland. Australian Belinda Granger slowly began closing the gap on Wee as they headed into T2. Wee was able to pull away on the run to finish second in a time of 4:27:49.
Ironman 70.3 Steelhead
Sunday also featured action from elites at Ironman 70.3 Steelhead in Benton Harbor, Mich. David Kahn (Port Jefferson, N.Y.) took hold of the men’s field after coming out of the water first and being untouched all day. Kahn continued to open the gap on the chase pack during the bike. Despite losing time on the run, Khan held on to first with a finishing time of 3:55:57. Daniel Bretscher (Mount Vernon, Iowa) followed a tough swim with a strong bike leg before running his way into second place (3:57:28) past Great Britain’s James Hadley, who rounded out the podium with a time of 3:59:35.
On the women’s side, Caitlin Snow (Brockton, Mass.) captured the win by nearly three minutes after a blistering 1:19:36 half-marathon. Snow’s time of 4:13:53 gave her a comfortable edge on the rest of the field, including Radka Vodickova of the Czech Republic, who took second in 4:16:44 after posting the fastest swim of the day. Canadian Melanie McQuaid was third with a time of 4:26:08.
XTERRA Mexico Championship
Shonny Vanlandingham (Albuquerque, N.M.) was the only U.S. elite on the podium in the XTERRA Mexico Championship, held in Tapalpa, Mexico – a mountain town south of Guadalajara. Vanlandingham followed a tough swim with the fastest bike split in the field, despite having to stop and fill her rear tires with air, to close the gap on Fabiola Corona of Mexico. However Corona’s run proved too strong and Vanlandingham, who won on this course in 2011, was unable to close the gap. Corona finished first in a time of 2:36:52, with Vanlandingham coming in at 2:41:15.