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Gray and Allan win the Welland Half Iron

Guembel and Zelazo finish second.

Toronto’s Nigel Gray and Aurora’s Paolina Allan took the overall wins at the second Welland Half Iron Triathlon.

Wolfgang Guembel, the defending champion, exited the 2 km swim from the Welland Recreational Waterway first (25:12) with a healthy 2-3 minute lead over his main contenders. However, Gray made that gap up and more with a 2:06:46 top ride of the day. By the time Gray made it back to transition he led Guembel by 3 minutes heading into the half marathon. Gray added a 1:21:12 run to take the overall win in 3:59:55. Guembel finished second (4:03:36), and Kitchener’s Chris Van Kooten rounded out the top three (4:10:24).

“I was happy to have an incident free year and everything have just go smoothly,” commented Gray on his actions last year to sacrifice his race to help an injured Richard Pady. “I haven’t race in a while, I was happy to be able to get out there and put out a solid effort.”

Like Gray, Allan also used a top bike ride (2:22:03) to secure her victory. Toronto’s Ayesha Rollinson led the swim (27:51) closely followed by Toronto’s Suzanne Zelazo (28:40). Once on the flat but windy 90-bike course that is where Allan took control and powered to the front of the women’s race. Toronto Chiropractor Cindy Lewis, making her professional debut, rode a second best 2:26:50 to get into third. Zelazo chased hard during the final run (1:29:59) but Allan’s lead was just too much. Allan stopped the clock at 4:29:04 to take the win, Zelazo who used the race as a tune up for Ironman Lake Placid, settled for second (4:31:17), and Lewis maintained her bronze medal position (4:37:37). Lewis will head off to race Challenge Roth on July 10.

“When I got onto the run I knew I was in the lead. I am not used to running scared, that was a scary run,” said Allan, who is toying with the idea of returning to Iron distance racing at Rev3 Cedar Point. “I am pretty shocked that I won because the field was very steep.”

Strong running earned Komoka’s Paul Wraith (4:58:45) and St. Catherines’ Darlene Dawson (5:35:46) wins in the Half Iron Duathlon (10.5 km run, 90 km bike, 21.1 km run).

Guelph’s Deborah Powell, last year’s Half Iron Triathlon Champion, won the Half Iron Swim/Bike in 3:04:02. Her training partner, Paul Nielsen took the overall win in 2:52:51. Both used the race as a final tune up for their races in Challenge Roth.

Full results here.

Top 5 Men

1. Nigel Gray  3:59:55

2. Wolfgang Guembel  4:03:36

3. Chris Van Kooten  4:10:24

4. Tyler Lord  4:15:42

5. Matt Barfoot  4:19:01

Top 5 Women

1. Paolina Allan  4:29:04

2. Suzanne Zelazo  4:31:17

3. Cindy Lewis  4:37:37

4. Ayesha Rollinson  4:40:58

5. Nicole Van Beurden  4:49:51