Heading into Ironman 70.3 Victoria, much of the talk was about the impressive field which had been assembled. The men’s start list included last year’s winner Cody Beals, as well as the 2016 champion Taylor Reid. The young American Sam Long was also on the start line, and eager to follow up his Chattanooga win with another strong performance. On the women’s side, the race included names like Mirinda Carfrae – a three-time Ironman world champion, Jen Annett – last year’s runner-up in Victoria, and Heather Wurtele – the 2019 Ironman 70.3 Campeche winner.

Cody Beals on the run at Ironman Mont-Tremblant 2018. A race he would go onto win.

In the men’s race, it was American Eric Lagerstrom who took the early lead out of Elk Lake. It took nearly two minutes for the next athletes to come out of the water – Beals, Reid and Nicholas Chase. On the bike, Beals took control of the race with Trevor Wurtele, Reid, Lagerstrom, Long and Nathan Killam chasing behind him.

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Entering T2, Long posted the fastest bike split of the day (2:11:33) and looked to continue his momentum as he began the run. Out in front, Beals tried to hold off Long, but it wasn’t enough as the American went on to post the fastest run of the day (1:15:48) and take the win by just 40 seconds. Beals finished second, and Reid ran himself onto the podium. Lagerstrom finished fourth, and Wurtele crossed the line in fifth.

In the women’s race, Jennifer Spieldenner took the early lead out of the water and had over two minutes on Carfrae and Wurtele. However, on the bike, Wurtele went to work quickly and posted the fastest bike split (2:26:12) to take the lead onto the run. Carfrae managed to stay close to the Canadian on the bike, and came out of T2 with a small 2:30 deficit.

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On the run, the Australian was able to catch Wurtele and gap the rest of the field. Carfrae went onto run a 1:22:28 half-marathon to take the win at Ironman 70.3 Victoria. After a superb bike, Wurtele struggled on the run and was fighting to hold onto second place. In the end, Wurtele was able to hold off any late surge from behind and took a well-deserved second-place finish. Jen Annett came across the line a minute thirty behind Wurtele, good enough for third.

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