Ironman 70.3 New Orleans hasn’t had good luck with weather in recent years, with high winds causing organizers to swap the swim for a two-mile run last year and in 2011. Thankfully this year saw highs in the 70s and low winds, allowing for a solid day of racing, highlighted by a men’s sprint finish and surprise female standout performance.
American Brandon Marsh and German Andreas Raelert led the men out of the swim with the same time of 23:34, trailed two minutes back by Canadian Trevor Wurtele, who won the race last year as a duathlon. Wurtele’s race-best bike split of 2:05:54 put him closer to Raelert, and he stayed steady running to try to close the gap. According to online reports, around the eight-mile mark the two athletes were running side-by-side with a three-minute gap on third place. The race came down to an exciting sprint finish, where Raelert edged out Wurtele by five seconds. On their shared Twitter feed, wife Heather said of Wurtele’s performance, “So proud! … He didn’t win last year just because it was a duathlon!”
The women’s race held a bit more of a surprise with American first-year pro (and still-working auditor) Haley Chura taking the win against more experienced athletes. Chura put her swimming background at the University of Georgia to use with a 23:50 swim leg—faster than any of her competitors by more than two minutes and right up there with the men’s times—which started out her day strong. She ultimately held her lead to finish in 4:18:20. Second-place Marsh posted a 4:20:39 followed by Kristin Andrews at 4:22:59.
Ironman 70.3 New Orleans
New Orleans, La. – April 21, 2013
1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run
1. Andreas Raelert (GER) 3:46:54
2. Trevor Wurtlete (CAN) 3:46:59
3. Santiago Ascenco (BRA) 3:50:38
4. Brandon Marsh (USA) 3:51:44
5. Mitchell Robins (AUS) 3:52:25
1. Haley Chura (USA) 4:18:20
2. Amy Marsh (USA) 4:20:39
3. Kristin Andrews (4:22:59)
4. Joanna Lawn (NZL) 4:23:12
5. Kimberly Schwabenbauer (USA) 4:23:42