On May 3rd, Ironman announced that St. George, Utah would be the host of the 2021 Ironman 70.3 World Championship and a full distance event in 2020 and 2023. A day later, racing got underway at the 70.3 North American Championship in St. George.
In the men’s race, Eric Lagerstrom (USA) led the field out of the water. Americans Rodolphe Von Berg and Andrew Kelly followed, ahead of Andrew Yoder (USA), Ben Hoffman (USA) and Sebastian Kienle (GER).
Related: Training day with Jackson Laundry
After an impressive swim from Kienle, the German took an untimely position penalty, losing five minutes to the leaders. Von Berg took control of the race on the bike and had almost a four-minute lead on his pursuers going into T2. On the run, Von Berg cruise to win the race. Bart Aernouts (BEL), the 2018 Kona runner-up posted a 1:14:54 to finish second. Canadian Jackson Laundry ran his way on to the podium, posting the fastest run of the day – 1:14:28. He edged out fellow countryman Stephen Kilshaw by 26 seconds.
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Great day for me at #im703stg north american champs, achieved my goal of maximum #effort and managed to come in 3rd as a result! Congrats to everyone who raced on the epic course, it's gonna be a great #venue for world's 2021. Also wound up with the fastest run split today!😁 time to #celebrate and #recover! 3📷 @montana_fs 1📷 @megcruse716 Thanks to all my #sponsors for the support, helping me close the gap to the top level guys each in their own way. @1stendurancecad @ownwayapparel @d.k.os @ventumracing @4iiiicom @altocycling prolutions @triontario @hewdogathletics @velofixhamilton @loaringpersonalcoaching @blueseventy @stac_performance @zizuoptics @qmsportscare_official #raceday #triathlon #triathlete #trilife #swimbikerun #ironman #ironman703
In the women’s race, Canadian Paula Findlay looked to defend her 2018 title against a very deep field.
Haley Chura (USA) led Holly Lawrence (GBR) and the rest of the women out of the water. Lawrence and Findlay broke away on the bike and opened up a sizable gap on the others. Heading into T2 Lawerence had gapped Findlay by three minutes. On the run, Lawerence was in a class of her own, running a 1:21:16 to take the win. Findlay finished second, and Heather Wurtele (CAN) ran her way on to the podium.
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2nd at St George 70.3 N American Champs behind the always-impressive @hollylawrencetri and just holding off the fast & charging @teamwurtele. I took a bit of a risk riding with Holly for the first 30 miles, harder than my legs wanted to, and payed for it later on… but zero regrets, you never know unless you try. Thanks for the cheers out on the course, this race is brutally hard but I love it. ❤️