Australia’s Richie Cunningham and Great Britain’s Emma-Kate Lidbury took the wins at the 2013 Ironman 70.3 Texas triathlon in Galveston, Texas.
With the U.S. 70.3 Championship moving from Galveston to Ironman 70.3 St. George (May 4), Ironman 70.3 Texas saw a considerably less competitive professional field for 2013. Despite the lower Kona Pro Ranking points and a smaller prize purse, a few big names still came out to compete.
American Allen Gardner was the first athlete out of the water with a time of 22:51 for the 1.2 miles. Colombia’s Andres Casillo Latorre was next into T1, with Cunningham not far behind. Cunningham impressed all day. He followed up the strong swim with field-leading splits on the bike (2:08:01) and the run (1:12:45). The effort was good enough for the victory and a finish time of 3:48:24. Australia’s Tim Berkel was second off of the bike and that’s where he finished, crossing the line three minutes after Cunningham. Australian Chris McDonald had a strong day across the three disciplines to claim third.
American Haley Chura, a former NCAA collegiate swimmer for the University of Georgia, led an impressive field of swimmers into transition with a split of 24:33. Tami Ritchie (USA) was next at 25:15, with Lidbury, defending champion Kelly Williamson (USA) and Caitlin Snow (USA) following. With superstar runners Williamson and Snow in the field, Lidbury made a tactical decision to push the pace on the bike. She dominated the 56 miles in 2:19:14 to lead off of the bike. American Jessica Jacobs also had a strong bike, and came into T2 in second position. Snow and Williamson struggled to keep pace on the bike and started the run in 10th and 11th positions, respectively. Would the fast runners have enough in the tank to run their way up to Lidbury? The answer would be no. Lidbury cruised through the half-marathon and earned the victory in 4:13:52. Williamson turned in the fastest run of the day to claim second, with Snow also posting a strong run time to round out the podium in third.
Ironman 70.3 Texas
April 7, 2013 – Galveston, Texas
1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run
1. Richie Cunningham (AUS) 3:48:24
2. Tim Berkel (AUS) 3:51:35
3. Chris McDonald (AUS) 3:53:15
4. Jose Jeuland (FRA) 3:54:31
5. Pedro Gomez (PRT) 3:54:50
1. Emma-Kate Lidbury (GBR) 4:13:52
2. Kelly Williamson (USA) 4:16:04
3. Caitlin Snow (USA) 4:17:38
4. Liz Lyles (USA) 4:17:48
5. Jessica Jacobs (USA) 4:20:19