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Australia’s Joe Gambles and Canada’s Melanie McQuaid won today’s Ironman 70.3 Lake Stevens race. Gambles turned in an impressive performance in his first race since suffering injuries earlier this summer to take the victory. McQuaid, who is mostly known for her success on the Xterra off-road triathlon circuit, was steady across all three disciplines for her win.
The men’s race started with speedster Brian Fleishmann of the United States leading into T1 with an impressive 25:14 swim time. Australia’s Jemani Francis and Luke Bell were next out of the water. Gambles exited Lake Stevens with his work cut out for him. His 27:15 split put him two minutes down of the leaders and in tenth position. Once on the 56-mile bike ride, Gambles was able to pass every competitor except for fellow Australian Bell. Bell’s half marathon of 1:18:18 wasn’t enough and Gambles passed him to take his second straight victory on this course. Another Australian, Paul Ambrose, turned in the second fastest run of the day for second place. Bell hung on to third position, making it an all-Australian podium.
American Amanda Stevens led the women’s race early in the day thanks to a 25:56 swim time. Former Ironman 70.3 World Champion Joanna Zeiger and McQuaid were second and third out onto the bike course. As one of the strongest cyclists on the course, McQuaid used her strong swim position to get away from the pack. McQuaid started the run in first position and hoped she could keep the faster runners behind her. As McQuaid started the half marathon, American Tyler Stewart zoomed into T2 in second position. Stewart showed amazing poise on the bike, working her way from 14th out of the water to just a few minutes behind McQuaid heading onto the run. Despite neither McQuaid nor Stewart turning in amazing half marathon times, the pair reached the finish line a couple of minutes before their competition. McQuaid edged out Stewart for the win in 4:27:16. Stewart finished twenty seconds later with New Zealand’s Samantha Warriner finishing in third.
Ironman 70.3 Lake Stevens
Lake Stevens, Wash. – August 15, 2010
1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run
1. Joe Gambles (AUS) 3:57:47
2. Paul Ambrose (AUS) 03:59:07
3. Luke Bell (AUS) 3:59:53
4. James Cotter (USA) 4:00:55
5. Luke McKenzie (AUS) 4:01:32
1. Melanie McQuaid (CAN) 4:27:16
2. Tyler Stewart (USA) 04:27:36
3. Samantha Warriner (NZL) 4:29:09
4. Sam McGlone (CAN) 4:32:41
5. Amanda Stevens (USA) 4:33:13