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Chrissie Wellington continues to dominate the field with her second straight Ironman win, while Aussie Luke Bell pumped out the fastest bike and run splits of the day for his first M-dot victory of the year.
No, it wasn’t a tornado spectators saw ripping through the fields of Lawrence, Kansas on June 14, it was Great Britain’s Chrissie Wellington. The reigning Ironman world champion only felt what it was like to be in second place for the brief amount of time it took her to exit the water and hop on her bike.
She established the lead over first-out-of-the-water Pip Taylor of Australia early on in the bike and never let it go. In a 2008 Kona déjà vu moment, Wellington suffered a temporary setback due to a punctured tire, but this time she had her CO2 cartridges all in order and changed it quickly—with enough time left over to still post an impressive 2:26:51 bike split, and an overall time of 4:14:52. Her nearest competitor, Taylor, came in five minutes later in 4:19:42. Although her chip time is missing, New Zealand’s Joanna Lawn finished third. Texan Amy Marsh was fourth in 4:21:38, less than a half an hour behind her pro-triathlete husband Brandon Marsh, who finished fifth overall in 3:55:46.
After losing the Ironman Florida 70.3 title last month by a margin of just three seconds, Australia’s Luke Bell wasn’t taking any chances on another photo finish. After exiting the water in a comfortable fourth place, Bell blazed on the bike and never looked back. He quickly sped past Aussie Stephen Hackett and American Timothy O’Donnell, pedaling his way to the day’s fastest bike in 2:11:05. Bell managed to hold off the competition on the run, where he posted the fastest run split of the day as well (1:13:15) for a first place finish in 3:49:35. O’Donnell posted an impressive 1:14:14 run split, coming in second in 3:50:44. American James Cotter of Austin, Texas finished third in 3:54:05. Two-time Ironman world champion Tim DeBoom also toed the line in Lawrence, finishing 10th in 4:04:32.
Despite the early weekend threats for thunderstorms across Kansas, the skies stayed silent and the athletes enjoyed mostly calm winds and a high of 81 degrees F. This was a welcome change from the 2008 race, where the run course had to be shortened due to thunderstorms and the risk of lightening.
Kansas Ironman 70.3
Lawrence, Kansas – June 14, 2009
1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run
1. Luke Bell (AUS) 3:49:35
2. Timothy O’Donnell (USA) 3:50:44
3. James Cotter (USA) 3:54:05
4. Stephen Hackett (AUS) 3:55:25
5. Brandon Marsh (USA) 3:55:46
1. Chrissy Wellington (GBR) 4:14:52
2. Pip Taylor (AUS) 4:19:42
3. Joanna Lawn (NZL)
4. Amy Marsh (USA) 4:21:38
5. Kim Loeffler (USA) 4:28:38
For complete results click here.