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American TJ Tollakson made a statement on the bike, while Mirinda Carfrae raced on tired legs to take the wins at today’s Ironman 70.3 Eagleman triathlon in Cambridge, Md.
The race featured a unique dynamic. Several of the athletes who would normally be considered top contenders at an event like this had just raced at last weekend’s Rev3 Quassy triathlon in Middlebury, Conn. Despite a somewhat lethargic field, the day proved to have plenty of excitement and speed.
American John Kenny had a strong swim and headed into T1 with a nearly one-minute lead over his competition. The main chase pack included the main contenders including New Zealand’s Terenzo Bozzone, Russia’s Stanislav Krylov and the United States’ Matt Reed and Tollakson.
Despite finishing on the podium at Ironman St. George just five weeks ago, Tollakson had some of the freshest legs of the bunch. He took advantage of that fact by pushing a fiery pace on the bike. The effort paid off as Tollakson headed into T2 with a blazing 2:03:41 bike split. That time gave him a more than four-minute lead over the main chase pack containing New Zealand’s James Bowstead, Bozzone, Krylov and Reed. Despite the strong pace on the bike, Tollakson was still able to stay poised on the run. His 1:22:28 half marathon was more than enough to keep him at the front to the finish line. Tollakson took the win with a time of 3:54:39. Australia’s Richie Cunningham ran a race-leading 1:16:56 half marathon to earn second. Krylov rounded out the podium.
Super swimmer Amanda Stevens found herself in a familiar position as the first women into T1 thanks to a swim time of 26:05. Canada’s Tenille Hoogland was next at 26:27, with Carfrae heading in third in 28:52. Uber biker Tyler Stewart started the race with her work cut out as she swam more than six minutes slower than Stevens. Hoogland quickly jumped to the lead on the bike and was being pursued by New Zealand’s Sam Warriner, Carfrae and Stevens. Behind the main pack, Stewart was quietly posting the fastest bike split and working her way through the field.
After 56 miles the women’s pack was stretched out, with Hoogland holding the lead. Once on the run Hoogland faded, leaving room for the faster runners. With several women struggling through the half marathon, defending Ironman world champ Carfrae used her running strength to propel herself into the lead. Her 1:21:39 half marathon easily gave her the 4:15:31 victory just one week after finishing second to Julie Dibens at Rev3 Quassy. Despite being known mostly for her cycling skills, Stewart propelled herself from fifth off of the bike to second at the finish line. Warriner cruised in for third.
Ironman 70.3 Eagleman
June 12, 2011 – Cambridge, Md.
1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run
1. TJ Tollakson (USA) 3:54:39
2. Richie Cunningham (AUS) 3:57:43
3. Stanislav Krylov (RUS) 3:58:13
4. Matt Reed (USA) 3:59:42
5. James Bowstead (NZL) 4:00:27
1. Mirinda Carfrae (AUS) 4:15:31
2. Tyler Stewart (USA) 4:21:28
3. Samantha Warriner (NZL)4:23:02
4. Tenille Hoogland (CAN) 4:23:38
5. Amanda Stevens (USA) 4:23:56