Lionel Sanders and Heather Wurtele made Canada proud at Ironman 70.3 California this morning, each taking their second win of the year at Ironman 70.3 California. The conditions were perfect for fast racing alongside fast competitors and previous race champions on both the men’s and women’s side.
The top 10 men came out of the water in under 24 minutes, without any Canadians in the group. Sanders battled his way to the fastest bike split of the day in 2:07:48 but stayed behind men’s leader Andreas Dreitz for the majority of the race. It wasn’t until the latter half of the run that he overtook Dreitz, clocking a blazing fast run split of 1:11:43. He crossed the finish line around 40 seconds before Dreitz and over a minute before the men’s second runner up, Tim Reed.
Last year, Sanders placed third in a time of 3:48:43 behind veterans Jan Frodeno and Andy Potts. The field was a little slower this year, with no one surpassing the 3:50:00 mark.
Canada’s Trevor Wurtele hung on for a top 10 finish in 3:57:01. Taylor Reid dropped out of the race at T2.
Top 5 overall men’s results:
1. 3:51:17 Lionel Sanders
2. 3:51:56 Andreas Dreitz
3. 3:52:40 Tim Reed
4. 3:54:44 Andy Potts
5. 3:56:18 Eneko Llanos
On the women’s side, Heather Wurtele stayed with the fastest in the field from the start. Though she was 10th out of the water, she overcame a two minute deficit behind leader Holly Lawrence to climb her way to the front of the pack and enter T2 first. Her bike split of 2:22:18 was the fastest of the day.
Wurtele hung onto her lead of around two minutes over Lawrence and last year’s race winner, Heather Jackson. She crossed the finish line in 4:16:17. Bahrain Endurance team’s Caroline Steffen ran her way to second and Jackson hung on for third place. Canada’s Malindi Elmore earned herself an impressive top 10 finish in 4:30:40.
Top 5 overall women’s results:
1. 4:16:17 Heather Wurtele
2. 4:17:39 Caroline Steffen
3. 4:18:32 Heather Jackson
4. 4:21:41 Holly Lawrence
5. 4:22:43 Ellie Salthouse