Jackson Laundry racing to the win at Barrelman Niagara Falls 2018. Photo by Brad Reiter.
Tim O'Donnell racing at IRONMAN 70.3 Augusta 2018. Photo from @tointri (Instagram)
On September 23rd, Jackson Laundry went up against Tim O’Donnell at 70.3 Augusta in Georgia and gave him a good battle. The day ended with a bit of hardware and an invitation to the 2019 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Nice, France.
The two were coming into the race with great form. Laundry was coming off a win at Barrelman Niagara Falls, while O’Donnell was three weeks out from the IRONMAN World Championship.
Coming out of the water, Laundry was 50-seconds behind O’Donnell. “I came out of the water where I expected,” says Laundry. “It was a down-river swim, so the duration was shorter, and a bunch of us were strung out heading into T1.”
Already known for his bike split, Laundry put in a big 15 minute effort to catch up to O’Donnell and Hunter Lussi. The three were able to work together and stretched out a lead of three minutes to the chase group. “I knew I had to make the jump to O’Donnell and Lussi. Once together, we worked well and made a good gap.”
Heading out onto the run, Laundry was in a position to take another podium finish. “It was pretty hot, but my prep race at Barrelman (hotter than Augusta) was critical to my success in Augusta.” At Barrelman Niagara Falls, Laundry was able to experiment with some different cooling methods and apply the lessons he learned in Ontario to his race on Sunday. He would end up running a 1:16 half marathon, enough for the second spot on the podium. “I was really pleased with that run. It’s one of my fastest splits, so I can’t ask for much more right now. Tim was just better and it looks like he’s in great form.”
Despite the great result, Laundry knows there’s room for improvement. “I ran a good first half, then stayed strong in the second half – which was the difference from getting second place and dropping a few positions.”
IRONMAN 70.3 Augusta Men’s Results
- Tim O’Donnell 3:42:07
- Jackson Laundry 3:44:50
- Ivan Tutukin 3:46:01
With the change of seasons, Laundry heads back home for some more training before his last race of the year – IRONMAN 70.3 South American Championship. The race is in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and will be the Canadian’s first time in South America. “I’m pretty excited about heading down there. It’s the longest I’ve travelled for a race, so there’s excitement around that and competing one last time in 2018.”
Laundry’s second-place finish in Augusta, Georgia, has officially qualified him for the 2019 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Nice, France. “I’m pretty excited about France.” If everything goes well in the first part of his season, Laundry expects to target worlds in 2019 and aim for a top 10 finish.