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With the continuous addition of more races to the 70.3 race series, it is rare to see back-to-back champions at a half-Ironman race. The United States’ Andy Potts and Great Britain’s Chrissie Wellington accomplished a rare feat today by taking their third straight titles at Ironman 70.3 Timberman. Also of note is the fact that both athletes are early in their preparations for the Ironman World Championships, and will likely not race again until they enter the water in Kona.
As is usually the case, Potts started the day by dominating the 1.2-mile swim. Potts charged onto the rolling hills of New Hampshire and was well out of site before second-place swimmer and fellow American Tim O’Donnell headed into T1 nearly two minutes back of Potts. Potts showed his commitment to improving on the bike has paid off, biking his way to a 2:09:27 split. Despite also turning in a fast bike time, South Africa’s Raynard Tissink headed into T2 with a large gap to make up to Potts. It looked early on like Tissink may run his way to the lead, but Potts ran strong to hold onto first position. Potts reached the finish line in 3:50:51. Tissink’s field-leading 1:15:55 half marathon gave him second. O’Donnell used the run to make up for a slow bike split to earn a podium position.
Wellington made a strong statement in her last pre-Kona race by beating super swimmer Dede Griesbauer out of the swim in 25:40. Although Griesbauer was only seven seconds behind, Wellington had already gotten away and there was no catching her. Wellington enjoyed a lead throughout the 56-mile bike ride. Canada’s Angela Naeth turned in a blazing 2:21:49 bike split to head onto the run in second. Two more strong cyclists, Americans Griesbauer and Heather Jackson, were next onto the run course. Wellington’s 1:19:06 half marathon split was on par with some of the top men, giving her the 4:10:11 win and 10th position overall. More than 14 minutes later, Naeth earned second. Jackson earned third in 4:26:08.
Ironman 70.3 Timberman
Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire – August 22, 2010
1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run
1. Andy Potts (USA) 3:50:51
2. Raynard Tissink (RSA) 3:53:32
3. Tim O’Donnell (USA) 3:55:36
4. Joe Gambles (AUS) 3:57:35
5. Matt White (AUS) 3:59:55
1. Chrissie Wellington (GBR) 4:10:11
2. Angela Naeth (CAN) 4:24:59
3. Heather Jackson (USA) 4:26:08
4. Annie Gervais (CAN) 4:29:04
5. Dede Griesbauer (USA) 4:30:12