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.