There were some new names and some old faces at the fourth running of Ironman 70.3 Syracuse in rural New York. Olympic silver medalist Lisa Norden (SWE) proved she can dominate across the triathlon spectrum, winning by over 20 minutes. On the men’s side, Joe Gambles (AUS) defended his title from last year with a solid win.
Although Gambles trailed coming out of the water, he took the lead on the second half of the bike and never looked back. Sam Douglas (AUS) came into T1 first in 25:30, with Gambles (26:28) and John Polson (AUS) (26:29) trailing him. Another minute behind them were Ryan Bates (USA), James Lamastra (USA) and Tim Snow (USA).
Gambles passed Douglas during the second half of the bike and entered T2 first after a race-best 2:11:38 bike split. Douglas biked the second-fastest of the day (2:13:57) and was only 1:12 behind Gambles starting the run. He was followed, nearly eight minutes back, by Polson, who biked a 2:22:51, and another three minutes back by Mike Hermanson (USA), who biked a 2:24:15.
On the run, Gambles widened his solid lead to a sizable win with a race-best run of 1:21:45 to finish in 4:02:58. Douglas slowed, running just a 1:26:56, but had a solid gap over Poulson and crossed the line in second in 4:09:28. Poulson ran a 1:24:24 to take the last spot on the podium in 4:16:48.
It was no surprise that Norden would lead in the water, coming out first in 26:52. Dede Griesbauer (USA) was right on her heels, though, with a 27:02 swim. The two of them had over a minute on Suzanne Serpico (USA) and Robin Sandos (USA), who were next into T1 with 28:23 and 28:33 swims, respectively. The rest of the women’s field, including Heather Lieggi (USA), Molly Roohi (USA), and Jennie Hansen (USA) were another four minutes back.
Norden rode away from Griesbauer with a race-best 2:23:52 and entered transition 13 minutes ahead of the American. Griesbauer rode the third-fastest time of the day (2:36:12), but couldn’t keep up with the flying Swede. Following her were Lieggi, Hansen and Roohi, who biked 2:37:45, 2:37:15 and 2:37:27, respectively, while Serpico and Sandos fell off the pace.
Instead of slowing down and enjoying the dominant win, Norden simply opened the gap wider on the run. She ran a race-best 1:30:46 on the slow course to cross the finish line 4:24:37, over 20 minutes ahead of the next woman. That woman was Leiggi, who ran a 1:33:35 to hold onto second in 4:47:26. But, Roohi and Hansen were coming fast behind her. Roohi ran a 1:32:08 to finish in 4:47:41, while Hansen’s 1:31:47 couldn’t close the gap and she finished just six seconds back in 4:47:47. Griesbauer fell off in the run with a 1:45:07 and the fifth spot went to age-group racer Darbi Roberts (USA), who finished in 4:50:01.
Ironman 70.3 Syracuse
Syracuse, N.Y. – June 23, 2013
1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run
1. Joe Gambles – 4:02:58
2. Sam Douglas – 4:09:28
3. John Polson – 4:16:48
4. Mike Hermanson – 4:23:25
Christopher Thomas – 4:22:03*
1. Lisa Norden – 4:24:37
2. Heather Leiggi – 4:47:26
3. Molly Roohi – 4:47:41
4. Jennie Hansen – 4:47:47
Derbi Roberts – 4:50:01*
* Age-group athlete with a top-five finish time.
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