Don and Wurtele Runaway Successes at Ironman 70.3 Calgary
Former ITU World Champion Tim Don secured his first Ironman 70.3 victory in Ironman 70.3 Calgary, while Heather Wurtele added another win to her long list of victories.
Recent flooding in late June forced organisers to change the venue for the swim, which also resulted in a new bike course. Reflecting the “wild west” Canadian character, the race lived up to its “Come Hell or High Water” mantra to give athletes a chance to compete.
Canadian Jon Bird led the men’s field out of McKenzie Lake with a blistering 22:04 split. Tim Don was next out, four seconds back, while Brian Fleischmann and Matty Reed were caught between the leading pair and the main pack. The two were roughly a minute behind in third and fourth positions. Two minutes behind were a chase pack of four consisting Bermuda’s Tyler Butterfield, Americans Damon Allen and Rich Allen, and Canadian Grant Burwash.
On the bike, Wurtele moved his way right up the field, with Butterfield his nearest challenger. Lagging behind in third, Don was a couple minutes behind the pair and looked in serious danger of missing out on the opportunity to grab his maiden 70.3 victory.
Don rose to the occasion on the run course, powering his way to his first ever victory with his trademark runs. He would finish with the day’s second fastest run time of 1:14:50 and an overall time of 3:42:22. Wurtele finished 36 seconds behind to claim second place and Butterfield finished less than a minute behind to take the last podium spot.
In the women’s race, New Zealander Anna Cleaver exited the water 16-seconds ahead of her closest rival, Canadians Tenille Hoogalnd and Lisa Mensink, who came out seconds later in third. Another three Canadian women — Karen Thibodeau, Rachel McBride and Magali Tisseyre — were 90 seconds behind Cleaver in fourth through sixth positions, with pre-race favourite Heather Wurtele sitting in seventh, almost two-minutes off the pace.
McBride took the lead on the bike but Wurtele muscled her way through the group to stay within distance. Like Don, Wurtele asserted herself with a commanding run to take the victory. She finished with an overall time of 4:11:23. McBride finished a little over two minutes behind with an overall time of 4:13:50. Mandy McLane also ran well to grab third with a 4:14:11.
The original article can be found here.