Angela Naeth wins Ironman Chattanooga
Angela Naeth nailed the second major Canadian win this weekend when she took her first Ironman title at the inaugural Little Debbie Ironman Chattanooga in an incredible sub-9 hours. It was only Naeth’s third attempt at the distance and yet she dominated the field by more 15 minutes winning in 8:54: 55. American Matt Hanson took the men’s title in 8:12:32. Despite an incredible season, Naeth missed qualifying for Kona by a slim margin. The victory in Chattanooga sets her up well for a start in Kona next year.
A downstream swim in the Tennessee River made for some fast times. New Zealand’s Anna Cleaver exited the water in 39:56. The fastest men’s swim was American Barrett Brandon’s 38:06. While Naeth would be about five minutes down in the swim after struggling with her goggles. She used a dominating 4:50 bike split to ride through the women’s field, almost 17 minutes faster than Cleaver who lead for the first 70 miles and posted the second fastest bike-split of 5:07:22.
Naeth’s comfortable 3:15 marathon sealed the win. American Ruth Brennan Murray posted 3:02:55 marathon to take second in 9:09:39, while Jennie Hansen took third in 9:12:37. Naeth told TMC, “I had a great day in Chattanooga. We were blessed with near perfect temperatures and conditions. A current in the water was icing on the cake! I was able to lock down and focus on what I could do on the bike and continue forward on the run. It was a great field and huge congrats to everyone who raced!”
On the men’s side it was Matt Hanson’s 2:47:40 marathon that got him to the line first and he was followed by Daniel Bretscher who ran the second fastest in 2:53:55. Canadian Trevor Wurtele used a fast bike split and 2:59 marathon to capture third.