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Heather Wurtele and Oscar Galindez win Ironman 70.3 Panama

Melanie McQuaid and Trevor Wurtele both finish seventh.

Canada’s Heather Wurtele took a break from the Kelowna winter this week to make her way south to Panama City, Panama to compete in the IRONMAN 70.3 Latin American Pro Championships. Wurtele responded favorably to the weather change and a recent change in her bike ride that saw her switch from Blue to a Cervelo during the off season.

Wurtele exited the water in fifth position, 2:14 in arrears to swim leader Jodie Swallow with Camilla Pederson, Kelly Williamson and Amy Marsh sandwiched between to between Wurtele and Swallow. Another Canadian, Melanie McQuaid exited the water 12-seconds Wurtele, and both were in good positions to exploit their strengths on the bike and run.

The impact in the change of bikes was immediate for Wurtele, who hammered the 90km bike course which resulted in her recording the fastest bike split on the day in the women’s race.  Carrying a 1:51 advantage over Pederson, Wurtele had managed to place Swallow 5:48 in arrears, while Margret Shapiro was within seconds of Swallow as the pair entered the transition in the third and fourth place positions.

Out on the 21 km run, Wurtele was pounding out a consistent pace and stretching out her lead over the entire women’s field with each passing kilometer, with the exception of Williamson, who started the run with a 12-minute deficit. Wurtele never faltered during the run and went on win the 2013 IRONMAN 70.3 Latin American Pro Championship title with a time of 4:21:22. Pederson hung on for second with a 4:25:11, while Williamson used her fastest run split on the day to secure the final podium placing with a 4:29:08 clocking.

Professional women’s results

1  Heather Wurtele CAN – 4:21:22
2  Camilla Pederson DNK – 4:25:11
3  Kelly Williamson USA – 4:29:08
4  Margaret Shapiro USA – 4:30:11
5  Jodie Swallow GBR – 4:33:49
6  Terra Castro USA – 4:49:28
7  Melanie McQuaid CAN – 4:52:19
8  Mariana Andrade BRA – 4:57:09
9  Leslie Lamacchia USA – 5:21:11

Oscar Galindez to hot in Panama

Argentina’s Oscar Galindez displayed he is still one of the premier IRONMAN 70.3 athletes around despite his age. The 42-year-old laid down a race best bike split, equaling the feat he pulled off last year in Panama, to help the four-time IRONMAN Brazil champion build up a comfortable lead heading into the transition. However, Galindez had the likes of Bevan Docherty, Paul Ambrose, Richie Cunningham, Dirk Bockel, Romain Guillaume and Igor Amorelli all within three minutes of him as they started the run and 21 kms. However, Galindez, a 25-year triathlon veteran, stalled off Docherty’s move towards the front of the race with a solid run and went on to win the IRONMAN 70.3 Latin American Pro Championship title with winning margin of 1:35 over Docherty, while Cunningham rounded out the podium. Canada’s Trevor Wurtele had a solid early season result (4:06:35) that was good enough for a seventh place finish.

Professional men’s results

1 Oscar Galindez ARG – 3:58:31
2  Bevan Docherty NZL – 4:00:05
3  Richie Cunningham AUS – 4:03:09
4  Dirk Bockel LUX – 4:03:34
5  Romain Guillaume – FRA 4:04:07
6  Igor Amorelli BRA – 4:04:29
7  Trevor Wurtele CAN – 4:06:35
8  Alessandro Degasperi ITA – 4:08:50
9  Felipe Van de Wyngard CHL – 4:09:12
10 Fraser Cartmell GBR – 4:11:57

Heather and Trevor Wurtele are currently making their way back home but managed to get this message to Triathlon Magazine Canada:

“We’re really happy with our first races of 2013 against deep fields down here in Panama. We’ve had a great training block for the past two months, in San Diego and Kelowna, BC.”

We will have more to come from this dynamic Canadian duo soon.