Photo: Talbot Cox

Returning from six months off of competition after surgery, Alistair Brownlee kicked off his 2018 season with a win and some blazing fast splits at Ironman 70.3 Dubai, officially putting himself in the running for the Triple Crown million dollar prize after this first stop on the series. Brownlee clocked an overall time of 3:35:30 with an astonishing 22:35 swim, 1:58:51 bike (the only sub-two hour split of the day) and an untouchable 1:09:34 half-marathon.

“I wouldn’t be here if I was unfit, and I can be competitive to the point where I can win,” he had said pre-race — and he delivered in true Brownlee fashion. He was in splendid form, showing no traces of the hip injury that forced him onto the sidelines for most of last year. After surgery, he had spent the latter half of 2017 in physical rehab.

At the finish line, Brownlee said, “It did go over smoothly. Didn’t feel great on the swim, had a couple of bad patches on the bike but on the run I just felt great, I was in control and I actually really enjoyed the last 10-18K. I was just kind of soaking it in, enjoying the cheers. Obviously it’s so fantastic to be back after too much time spent at the gym the past six months.”

Lawrence fades to third in women’s race

After leading for the most of the day, 2016 Ironman 70.3 world champ Holly Lawrence couldn’t hold on to the incredible run speed put down by German Anne Haug. The former ITU athlete put the pressure on and nearly caught Lawrence in December at Ironman 70.3 Bahrain, but today she was in a field of her own entirely with a 1:14:11 half-marathon. Lawrence finished third behind Haug and Brit Sarah Lewis.

Full results are available here.

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