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A cool morning greeted the small, but strong, pro field as they jumped into Henry Hagg Lake looking for a piece of the $20,000 pro prize purse. In it’s third year of existence, 2009 would be the first year the race offered a prize purse for professional athletes. The prize purse attracted a group of Ironman and Ironman 70.3 champions such as Luke McKenzie, Maik Twelsiek, Kieran Doe, Samantha McGlone and Amy Marsch.
Doe led the men out of the water and immediately began to put the heat on the rest of the strong field. The first string of men that lined up in pursuit of Doe included Brandon Marsh, McKenzie and Twelsiek. On two wheels the race shaped up quickly with Doe starting to ride away from the duo of McKenzie and Marsh. Twelsiek was closing and the only one of the three to be gaining on Doe.
By the time then men hit the thirty mile mark on the bike, Doe still held a 3minute 10second lead but had stopped putting time into the charging Twelsiek who had Mckenzie in tow. Leaving T2 the New Zealand native Doe still lead but it had been chopped to 1min45seconds (McKenzie) and 2minutes (Twelsiek)
When the men hit the turn around the shape of the race had changed as McKenzie had taken over the lead and was followed by the smiling German Twelsiek, sitting 15 seconds behind the Aussie. The fading Kieran Doe was now being pursued by a charging Brandon Marsh as the two men were now battling for podium positions. It took some time but McKenzie finally opened up the gap at the 10-mile mark as he surged, increasing his margin on Twelsiek and securing his win and a $6000 payday as the Hulaman Champion. Twelsiek followed less than two minutes later. Marsh finished in third and a dejected Doe crossed the line in fourth.
On the women’s side, Buffalo Springs Ironman 70.3 Champion Amy Marsh led out of the water and immediately put the heat on Kelly Couch and 2006 Ironman 70.3 World Champion Samantha McGlone. Similar to Doe, Amy Marsh gradually kept putting time into the trailing ladies and had opened up a two-minute gap on Couch by the 30-mile mark of the bike ride. The 30-mile mark also showed that McGlone’s race three weeks earlier at Ironman USA in Lake Placid was taking a toll as she kept losing ground to the two front runners. A hard charging Haley Cooper who had passed McGlone now occupied the third position.
As the women hit T2, Marsh had increased her lead to three minutes over Kelly Couch, seven minutes to Cooper and 11 minutes further back was a struggling McGlone. Gradually pecking away at Marsh’s lead, Couch finally took control just past the eight-mile mark and ran away to victory and her share for the $20,000. The rest of the money positions remained the same as Marsh held on to second trailed by Cooper and McGlone in third and fourth respectively.
Hulaman Half-Ironman Distance Race
Washington County, Ore. – Aug. 16, 2009
1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run
1. Luke McKenzie 3:47:07
2. Maik Twelsiek 3:48:44
3. Brandon Marsh 3:55:55
4. Kieran Doe 3:59:13
5. Damian Hill 4:02:26
1. Kelly Couch 4:13:48
2. Amy Marsh 4:16:28
3. Haley Cooper 4:24:23
4. Samantha McGlone 4:33:30
5. Uli Bromme 4:34:14
Press release provided by Hulaman Half.