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Craig Alexander, Belinda Granger On Top At Honu 70.3

  • By Kelly Dunleavy O’Mara
  • Published Jun 1, 2013
  • Updated Oct 12, 2013 at 9:02 PM UTC
Photo: Franko Vatterott

Ironman 70.3 Hawaii, nicknamed “honu” for the Hawaiian sea turtle, is the only Kona qualifier held on the Big Island. As fitting preparation for the Ironman World Championship in October, it consistently draws top contenders hoping to test their legs and local hotshots looking to test their mettle.

Men
Two Ironman world champions were ready to duel in the Hawaiian heat. Craig Alexander (AUS) and Pete Jacobs (AUS) raced neck and neck for most of the day until a mechanical about halfway through the bike took Jacobs out of contention. After falling 19 minutes behind Alexander, Jacobs still went on to finish as the 8th pro and 17th overall.

Jacobs was first out of the water in 25:01, with a group right behind. Paul Matthews (AUS) and Luke Bell (AUS) both swam 25:06. Alexander came out in 25:11 with Damon Barnett (USA) one second ahead. Local Hawaiian pro Tim Marr (USA) was on their feet in 25:15.

That group pushed each other on the bike, with Jacobs and Alexander fighting for the lead early. By 12 miles in, Alexander and Matthews had pulled nearly one minute up on Jacobs and Bell. But by the time the men entered T2, Jacobs had fallen nearly 20 minutes due to what he later explained were issues with his back. He ultimately posted a bike split of 2:39:37. Alexander was first into transition after a race-best 2:13:59 bike. Barnett and Matthews came in just over four minutes down after biking 2:18:01 and 2:18:57, respectively. Bell was fourth off the bike, nearly 10 minutes behind Alexander, having biked 2:23:30.

Alexander ran away with the race, comfortably maintaining his lead with a second-best run of the day (1:23:08) to win in 4:05:43. Matthews pulled away from Barnett with a 1:25:01 run to take second in 4:12:13, while Barnett ran 1:27:32 to hold onto third in 4:14:14. He held off a fast charging Bell, who ran 1:23:40 to finish in 4:15:44. Jacobs came back to run a 1:24:11 and finish in 4:33:00.
A number of age group men had among the fastest bike and run splits of the day, including David Condon (USA), who biked 2:17:49 to post the fifth fastest time in 4:20:09.

Women
Local Hawaii hometown favorite Bree Wee (USA) led the race for most of the day—to cheers from the crowd—but couldn’t hold on, getting passed by Belinda Granger (AUS) at mile ten of the run. Granger went on to win in 4:44:36, while Wee fell to third. Wee, used to swimming the clear waters, was first out of the swim in 28:29. Granger followed over a minute back in 29:54 with Julia Grant (NZL) and Elly Franks (AUS) close behind in 30:15 and 30:49, respectively.

Those positions held on the bike. Wee pulled even farther ahead with the fastest bike split of the day (2:30:31), coming into T2 a full seven minutes ahead of Granger, who had the third fastest bike (2:36:26). (The second fastest bike split went to age group racer Laura Siddall (GBR), who biked a 2:36:10.) Grant stayed in the third pro woman position after a 2:40:09 bike, followed by Adrienne Hengels (USA). Hengels used a 2:37:56 bike to make up a slow swim.

Wee held onto first until mile ten of the run, but couldn’t hold off a speedy Granger or Grant. Granger made up four minutes in the first half and went on to run a 1:33:58. Siddall had an impressive race to take the second overall position and the amateur title after a 1:33:32 run and a 4:45:56 finish. Grant used a race-best run in the heat of 1:31:51 to pass Wee in the closing miles, finishing in 4:46:46 for third place and the second pro woman. Wee ran a 1:48:08 to finish in 4:51:05, followed by another amateur, Michelle Andres (USA) in 4:53:08.

Ironman 70.3 Hawaii
Kohala Coast, Hawaii – June 1, 2013
1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run

Men
1. Craig Alexander 4:05:43
2. Paul Matthews 4:12:13
3. Damon Barnett 4:14:14
4. Luke Bell  4:15:44

David Condon 4:20:09*

Women
1. Belinda Granger 4:44:36
2. Julia Grant 4:46:46
3. Bree Wee 4:51:05

Laura Siddall – 4:45:56*
Michelle Andres – 4:53:08*

*Amateur racer with top-five overall finish time

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