Australians Dominate Ironman Louisville 2013
Chris “Big Sexy” McDonald wins his fifth Ironman title while Kate Bevilaqua wins her first at Ironman Louisville 2013.
It was a hot day in Louisville but river conditions played nice, resulting in personal-best swim times for a number of athletes. Svetlana Blazevic was the first to exit the swim, followed by Nina Kraft and Tami Ritchie in second and third respectively. Kate Bevilagua was not far behind, coming out of the water in fourth place. All signs pointed to a tight race and the athletes delivered. It was a gripping contest between Bevilagua and Kraft with both racers going toe to toe for a majority of the bike split. The Australian began to ride away from the German at around the 90th mile.
Bevilaqua lead off the bike and strengthened her lead on the run. American Whitney Garcia had ridden into second and tried to catch up to the Australian early in the run, but wasn’t able. Bevilaqua remained in control and took the win in 9:29:05. A fast-moving Brooke Brown from Canada used a race-best 3:15:39 marathon to run her way into second place, finishing in 9:33:46, just 30-odd seconds ahead of Whitney Garcia, who held onto third in 9:34:21. Kraft gritted out a 3:25 marathon to finish fourth.
It was a similar swim story in the men’s field for Chris McDonald who trailed in fourth place behind Andrew Hodges, Guy Crawford and Ryan Bates in first, second, and third respectively.
“The triathlon media said I’d have to pack my cycling legs,” McDonald said after the race. And that’s exactly what the Australian did, riding with patience and power to put up a race fastest 4:29:14 bike split. By the 20th mile, McDonald had opened up a 4:30 lead over his nearest rivals. He would eventually widen the gap to over 8 minutes, comfortably ahead of defending champion Patrick Evoe and Thomas Gerlach.
The top positions would not change over the run, with McDonald maintaining his comfortable lead to win Ironman Louisville 2012 and break the course record with a time of 8:21:34. Evoe finished almost 13 minutes behind with a 8:34:16, while Gerlach took the last podium spot with a 8:41:11.