Americans Ben Hoffman and Kelly Williamson continued to have successful breakthrough seasons with victories at today’s K-Swiss Ironman 70.3 Branson event in Missouri.
American Brian Fleischmann led the men out of the swim with a fast time of 23:46. He was followed closely by American Stephen Hackett. The pair headed on the bike with a lead over the chase pack, but super-cyclist Tom Lowe of Great Britain eventually caught them. Despite being one of the last pro men out of the water, Lowe turned in a 2:12:15 bike split to take a lead onto the run. Hoffman had quietly worked his way up from seventh out of the swim to third off the bike. He used that momentum to run a 1:17:34 half marathon and pass the two remaining men in front of him to take the win. Lowe ran a respectable 1:21:35 to hold onto second. Fleischmann crossed the finish line in third, but was reportedly later disqualified, giving American Michael Lovato the final podium spot.
Australian Pip Taylor was the first out the water in the women’s race, thanks to a 25:01 swim split. Germany’s Nina Kraft was right on her heels. American Kelly Williamson was third out of the water and quickly went to work to catch the competition. Her 2:36:06 bike split was easily enough to give her the lead heading into T2. Despite swimming nearly five minutes slower than the leaders, Canada’s Angela Naeth used the fastest cycling split of the women to position herself in second heading onto the run. Taylor was third onto the run. From there, the top three did not change and Williamson crossed the finish line for the win in 4:25:47. Naeth was second in 4:33:47, with Taylor finishing third in 4:41:57.
Ironman 70.3 Branson
Branson, Missouri – September 19, 2010
1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run
1. Ben Hoffman (USA) 4:02:53
2. Tom Lowe (GBR) 4:05:38
3. Michael Lovato (USA) 4:11:04
4. James Cotter (USA) 4:14:36
5. Brent Poulsen (USA) 4:15:14
1. Kelly Williamson (USA) 4:25:47
2. Angela Naeth (CAN) 4:33:47
3. Pip Taylor (AUS) 4:41:57
4. Nina Kraft (GER) 4:42:41
5. Marisa Asplund (USA) 4:59:16