The pros came out in fine form at the second-oldest Ironman in North America. With little wind and a high of 74 degrees, Sunday’s Ironman Lake Placid promised to be an exciting race and it delivered. Super-biker TJ Tollakson took the men’s race in 8:25:15 with a bike split just 10 seconds off of the course record. Heather Wurtele blew up the women’s race on the run, winning in a new course-record time of 9:19:03.
Written by: Erin Beresini
Last year’s champion, Ben Hoffman, was back to defend his 2010 title, but it would be a fight against a deep field of champions, including five-time IM winner, Jason Shortis, four-time IM champ, Eduardo Sturla, and 70.3 champs Luke Bell and TJ Tollakson. Tollakson and Bell came out of the water close together with Hoffman ready to chase them down on the bike. By mile 40, Hoffman edged Bell out for second, still chasing Tollakson. And then Bell dropped out. He was sick going into the race, he said, and the chest infection he’d been fighting forced him out. Tollakson was first into transition, with a bike time of 4:33:33, just 10 seconds off of the bike course record. He held his command of this race throughout the run, entering the Olympic speed skating Oval to cross the finish line as this year’s champion. Hoffman took second, racing 5 minutes faster than he did to win last year. Shortis filled out the podium in third.
The field was stacked with several Ironman champions vying for the win today, including two-time Ironman St. George champ, Heather Wurtele, 2009 Ironman Coeur d’Alene champ, Tyler Stewart, and 2009 IM France champ, Tine Deckers. Wurtele led the women’s swim with Deckers on her heels and that’s exactly the position the women held until Deckers took over around mile 50. The two women swapped the lead throughout the bike until Wurtele put a gap of a few minutes on Deckers going into the run. By mile 4, Wurtele had almost 9 minutes on Deckers and never let up, continuing to run away and finishing with a new course record of 9:19:03.
Ironman Lake Placid
Lake Placid, N.Y. – July 24, 2011
2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run
1. TJ Tollakson (USA) 8:25:15
2. Ben Hoffman (USA) 8:33:29
3. Jason Shortis (AUS) 8:47:18
4. Eduardo Sturla (AUS) 9:04:16
5. Daniel Bretscher (USA) 9:07:05
1. Heather Wurtele (CAN) 9:19:03
2. Tine Deckers (GER) 9:34:41
3. Tyler Stewart (USA) 9:38:09
4. Jackie Arendt (USA) 9:56:21
5. Jacqui Gordon (USA) 10:07:22