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Beals and McMahon nail top-10 finishes at Ironman Florida

American Chris Leiferman and Great Britain's Katrina Matthews take overall titles

Photo by: Kevin Mackinnon

Guelph, Ont.’s Cody Beals snuck under the eight-hour barrier in Panama City Beach by five seconds to take fifth, while Victoria’s Brent McMahon led the way out of the water but lost time on the bike and run to finish eighth.

Five under 8 hours

McMahon was a full 35 seconds ahead of Australian Tim Rea out of the water, with Germany’s Andreas Dreitz and Beals in a group of five about 50-seconds behind heading to T1. Dreitz, renowned as a strong cyclist and the 2019 Challenge Roth champion, quickly powered his way to the front of the race, closely followed by Americans Sam Long, Chris Leiferman and Matt Russell. Through 50 km of the flat, fast ride Beals found himself in a group with American Matt Hanson, Rea and McMahon.

Dreitz continued to power the train along through 126 km, but as the riders got close to T2 in Panama City Beach, Leiferman made his move. Dreitz managed to stay close, but Russell and Long were dropped. By the end of the bike Leiferman was almost a minute up on Dreitz, just under three-minutes ahead of Russell, and over six-minutes ahead of Long. McMahon, Beals and Rea all hit T2 just under 11 minutes behind Leiferman.

There was no stopping Leiferman on the run and the 2016 Ironman Mont-Tremblant champion added a fourth Ironman title to his resume thanks to a solid 2:50:29 marathon. Hanson’s 2:41:57 marathon split was enough to move him through the field to take second, with Long regrouping on the run to get passed Dreitz for third.

Beals ran a 2:46:24 marathon to nail fifth, while McMahon’s three-hour run netted him eighth.

Men’s Pro Top 5

Name Country Overall 3.8 km Swim 180 km Bike 42.2 km Run
1 Chris Leiferman USA 7:52:44 54:40 4:01:50 2:50:29
2 Matt Hanson USA 7:55:02 55:17 4:11:24 2:41:57
3 Sam Long USA 7:55:33 55:31 4:07:20 2:45:40
4 Andreas Dreitz GER 7:56:51 54:02 4:02:57 2:52:58
5 Cody Beals CAN 7:59:55 54:02 4:12:53 2:46:24
8 Brent McMahon CAN 8:14:22 53:11 4:14:01 3:00:52

Matthews sets new course record

Katrina Matthews led the way out of the water with Americans Meredith Kessler and Kelsey Withrow on her feet. Skye Moench (USA) was fourth out the water, almost three minutes behind. By the halfway point of the ride Matthews was still in front, almost three minutes up on Moench and Australia’s Renee Kiley, who is fresh off a win at the Ironman Asia-Pacific Championship in Cairns. By the end of the bike Kiley and Moench were just nine and 14 seconds behind Matthews, with Great Britain’s Ruth Astle (last year’s top amateur finisher in Kona who turned pro this year) three-minutes down and Kessler over eight-minutes behind.

Kiley appears to have called it a day after the bike ride, leaving Matthews and Moench to duel through the first 10 km of the pancake-flat run before the Brit was able to open up a bit of ground. Moench kept the gap to less than a minute through 24 km, but by the time Matthews hit the finish line the lead was up to 5:45. Kessler ran her way to third as Astle finished her day with a 3:18 marathon to take fourth.

Matthews’ 8:40:50 finish time broke Yvonne Van Vlerken’s 8:43:07 course record set in 2013.

Women’s Pro Top 5

Name Country Overall 3.8 km Swim 180 km Bike 42.2 km Run
1 Katrina Matthews GBR 8:40:50 58:57 4:36:15 2:58:29
2 Skye Moench USA 8:46:35 1:01:42 4:33:44 3:03:50
3 Meredith Kessler USA 8:59:01 58:59 4:44:27 3:08:08
4 Ruth Astle GBR 9:04:03 1:05:37 4:32:13 3:18:12
5 Fiona Moriarty IRE 9:21:51 1:10:32 4:45:02 3:17:12