Several top pros travelled to San Juan, Puerto Rico for their shot at valuable Kona Pro Ranking points and a $50,000 prize purse. In the end Americans Tim O’Donnell and Kelly Williamson turned in well-rounded efforts across swim, bike and run to take the early-season titles.
In his race debut for 2012, O’Donnell led the men out of the water with a 23:42 split, giving him a slight advantage over Puerto Rico’s Edgardo Velez and Belgium’s Axel Zeebroek heading onto the bike. Zeebroek took control on the bike, posting a 2:05:50 split and starting the run in first place. O’Donnell also posted a strong bike time, giving him the second position to start the half-marathon. Australia’s Leon Griffin spent the day trying to make up for a swim that saw him start the bike two minutes down on the leaders. He started the run in third place and within striking distance of O’Donnell and Zeebroek. O’Donnell and Griffin posted the exact same half marathon time of 1:17:17. O’Donnell took the win in 3:51:32, with Griffin finishing second at 3:53:08. Despite a slower run than many of the top men, Zeebroek managed to hold on for third.
Former ITU athlete Tenille Hoogland of Canada led the women into T1 thanks to a 25:48 swim. The Czech Republic’s Radka Vodickova was next, followed by Germany’s Nina Kraft and Williamson. Once on the bike, it was American Linsey Corbin who dominated the bike leg on her first triathlon aboard a Trek Speed Concept. After coming out of the swim two minutes down on the leaders, her 2:19:37 bike split gave her a roughly two-minute advantage starting the run. The run was all about Williamson. She dominated the field with a 1:20:13 half marathon, giving her the 4:14:06 win. Corbin easily finished second in 4:18:38. Vodickova rounded out the podium.
Ironman 70.3 San Juan
San Juan, Puerto Rico – March 18, 2012
1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run
1. Timothy O’Donnell (USA) 3:51:32
2. Leon Griffin (AUS) 3:53:08
3. Axel Zeebroek (BEL) 3:54:56
4. Michael Lovato (USA) 3:57:54
5. Oscar Galindez (BRA) 3:58:46
1. Kelly Williamson (USA) 4:14:06
2. Linsey Corbin (USA) 4:18:38
3. Radka Vodickova (CZE) 4:23:23
4. Magali Tisseyre (CAN) 4:26:10
5. Ariane Monticelli (BRA) 4:31:32