Tim Bradley | Photo: triathlon.org
Canada’s Heather Wurtele added another win to her CV, while Great Britain’s Tim Don celebrated his first Ironman 70.3 victory in Calgary with a 1:14:50 run.
After recent flooding affected much of the original course, race organisers had to move quick to find an alternate venue for the swim, which as a result impacted on the point-to-point bike. With a lot less hills on the bike and it also shorter than 90 kilometres, and the bike times for most of the male professionals at Ironman 70.3 Calgary reflected the changes in comparison to last year’s edition.
Canada’s swimming sensation Jon Bird led Don (22:08) out of the water in the swift time of 22:04. Brian Fleschmann (22:59) and Matty Reed (23:15) found themselves between the lead pair and the main pack, which was led into T1 by Bermuda’s Tyler Butterfield (24:12) and also included Damon Barnett, Jamie Whyte, Rich Allen and Grant Burwash.
Trevor Wurtele (24:59) and Chris Legh (26:06) were the biggest casualties out of the swim, but neither were out of the race just yet.
Once on two wheels, Wurtele (2:02:55) moved his way right through the field, with only Butterfield (2:03:21) able to stay in contention after the Canadian’s attack. Don (2:05:24) was third into T2, but he had given up a couple of minutes to both Wurtele and Butterfield and was in serious danger of missing out on another opportunity to collect his first Ironman 70.3 victory.
The cream rose to the top though on the run, and just like that with the day’s second fastest 1:14:50 run, Don became the 2013 Ironman 70.3 Calgary champion in a time of 3:42:22.
Wurtele fell just 36 seconds short of Don’s winning time in another close attempt. The signs will be pleasing though as he builds towards a tilt at Ironman Canada next month. Butterfield crossed for third, less than a minute behind Wurtele.
Burwash produced a stellar 1:13 run to pull himself up into fifth behind Reed, who held on to fourth with a 1:18.
The good news for Legh and Butterfield is with their seventh and third placings, both should have earned enough points to qualify for Kona when the first round of qualifiers are announced later today.
After such a big season of racing already under her belt, there was no surprise to see some of Heather Wurtele’s rivals take out the swim hard to put a gap between themselves and the recent Ironman Coeur d’Alene champion.
Wurtele got out of the swim smack bang on 26-minutes. Unfortunately all the big contenders including Anna Cleaver (24:42), Tenille Hoogland (24:58), Lisa Mensink (25:02), Rachel McBride (25:30) and Magali Tisseyre (25:33) were already on the bikes by the time Wurtele hit T1 and it was going to require some effort on the bike to get back into this race.
Such has been Wurtele’s (2:21:55) form on the bike this season, she was able to quickly pull her way up through the field and by the time she reached T2, only her fellow Canadian McBride (2:21:12) was left in front of her.
McBride hit T2 with approximately a 45-second lead, but unfortunately was unable to respond when Wurtele came by her on the run. In the end, Wurtele won Ironman 70.3 Calgary in 4:11:23 with a 2:07 margin to McBride and 2:29 to Mandy McLane back in third.