The United States’ Andy Potts and New Zealand’s Samantha Warriner walked away with early-season wins at today’s Ironman 70.3 New Orleans race. Both Potts and Warriner claimed the victories thanks to impressive half-marathon performances in the heat.
Potts showed no signs of early-season jitters as he opened the day with a blistering 23:58 swim time. Potts headed into T1 with more than a minute-and-a-half lead over New Zealand’s Graham O’Grady and the rest of the the chase pack. Once on the bike, Potts held his position up front on the fast New Orleans course. New Zealand’s Terenzo Bozzone made a surge at the end of the 56 miles to narrowly lead into T2. It was a short-lived lead as Potts quickly regained the top spot. Potts made an impressive statement early in the season posting a 1:12:40 half marathon to earn the victory at 3:43:44. Bozzone came in second at 3:47:17, with Great Britain’s Paul Amey finishing third at 3:49:52. One notable athlete that did not finish the race is Australia’s Chris McCormack, who came off of the bike in ninth and then did not finish the run.
The women’s race saw more shuffling at the front of the pack throughout the 70.3 miles. American Dede Griesbauer led out of the swim at 27:58. Fellow Americans Meredith Kessler and Amy Marsh trailed not too far behind. Heading onto the bike, Marsh took advantage of her front-of-the-pack swim performance to take the lead . She was followed into T2 by Griesbauer and another American, Linsey Corbin. Despite coming off of the bike in fifth position, Warriner handled the early afternoon heat the best of all the women, running into first. She claimed the win thanks to a half-marathon time of 1:21:35 and an overall time of 4:16:44. Corbin came in second at 4:17:51, with Marsh claiming third at 4:20:23.
Ironman 70.3 New Orleans
New Orleans, La. – April 18, 2010
1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run
1. Andy Potts (USA) 3:43:44
2. Terenzo Bozzone (NZL) 3:47:17
3. Paul Amey (GBR) 3:49:52
4. Frederick Van Lierde (BEL) 3:50:19
5. Dirk Bockel (LUX) 3:54:02
1. Samantha Warriner (NZL) 4:16:44
2. Linsey Corbin (USA) 4:17:51
3. Amy Marsh (USA) 4:20:23
4. Meredith Kessler (USA) 4:22:06
5. Lauren Harrison (USA) 4:28:49