American Sam Long and Great Britain’s Holly Lawrence led the way at today’s Ironman 70.3 Cozumel event. The top Canadian finisher in the race was Jackson Laundry, who took sixth, while Taylor Reid managed a top-10 finish.
Many of the race favourites including Laundry, Long. American Matt Hanson and Bermuda’s Tyler Butterfield found themselves well behind a pair of Mexican athletes, Irving Perez Pineda and Joaquin Pereda, out of the water, but by the 55 km point of the ride Long had moved to the race, with Laundry and Hanson about two-minutes down. By the end of the ride Long had opened up a lead of almost four minutes on countryman Nick Chase, with Butterfield, Martin Ulboa, Laundry and Hanson all just over four-minutes down.
The run in the hot, humid conditions saw some changes in the final standings, although no one could touch Long (3:42:44), who held Butterfield off by just over a minute for the win – Butterfield had the day’s fastest run split of 1:14:32. Former Xterra world champ Mauricio Mendez Cruz ran his way to third (3:46:57), ahead of Luxiano Taccone, Hanson and Laundry, who ran a 1:23:13 half marathon and finished in 1:23:13.
Canada’s Taylor Reid was 20th out of the water, then moved his way up to 12th off the bike, then moved up another couple of spots to finish 10th in 3:57:39.
No touching Lawrence for the win
The 2016 Ironman 70.3 world champion Holly Lawrence was the prohibitive favourite heading into the race and she easily lived up to that billing with a dominant performance. Second out of the water behind Lizeth Rueda, she was 11:28 ahead of the Mexican off the bike. Lawrence cruised through a 1:27:11 run split to finish the day in 4:07:17. Argentina’s Rmina Biagioli managed to run her way to second (4:17:14), while Cecilia Perez also managed to pass her countrywoman Rueda to round out the podium, finishing in 4:18:50.