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The second annual Viterrra Ironman 70.3 Calgary got off to a cold, wet start at Ghost Lake, just outside the city of Calgary. Kieran Doe of New Zealand and Mirinda Carfrae of Australia took the wins.
Written by: Bethany Mavis
Triathlete magazine ranked 70.3 Calgary as one of the top 10 most scenic triathlons in the world, and once the clouds lifted, the scenery did not disappoint, as athletes rode their bikes through miles of green Canadian prairies with majestic Rocky Mountains in the distance.
Doe joined the lead group of five men, including Brian Fleischmann of the U.S. and Paul Matthews of Australia, out of the water, but took the lead in the early miles of the bike course and maintained it into T2. Doe looked strong through T2 but had Matthews only a few minutes behind him. Because of the wet conditions, both Doe and Fleischmann slipped during the run and crossed the finish with bloody scrapes, but Doe held off his competitors, finishing in 3:58:45, the only sub-four-hour finisher. “I was at the front out of the water, attacked the bike, to build up speed and tried to hold on strong for the run,” Doe says. “I think it all went to plan, really.” Fleischmann finished in 4:02:14, and Matthews rounded out the podium with a 4:03:41 finish. New Zealand’s Jamie Whyte finished a minute after Matthews, and American Kirk Nelson turned in a 1:18:08 run split, the fastest of the day, to finish fifth. “I’m from New Zealand, so [the weather] didn’t really affect me,” Doe says. “I’m used to it.”
In the women’s race it was Canadian Tenille Renne Hoogland first out of the water, a couple minutes ahead of Carfrae and Canadian Heather Wurtele. Wurtele used her strength on the bike through the somewhat hilly bike course, which actually measures at about 58 miles rather than the standard 56, to enter T2 two minutes ahead of Carfrae and Hoogland. However Carfrae passed Hoogland in the first quarter mile out of transition and slowly reeled in Wurtele. Carfrae used her blazing fast 1:20:15 run, only three seconds slower than Doe’s, to take her second 70.3 Calgary title in 4:21:32. “I got off the bike in third place, so then I just put my head down and tried to put together a good half marathon, and get to the front,” Carfrae says. “This was my best race last year, so I didn’t feel as good as I did last year, but I think I still raced fairly well. I’m really pleased that I’m starting to become more consistent in my racing, regardless of how I feel.”
Wurtele finished in second, and Montana’s Linsey Corbin, who won her first Ironman last month in Coeur d’Alene, rounded out the podium, cowboy hat in hand. “It was tough,” says Corbin. “I really had to work hard. I swam sort of average, and I felt pretty good on the bike, but the other girls were so strong on the bike, you know, so you just do the best you can. And I got pretty cold with the rain, so it was kind of hard to work my legs, and then on the run, I was just really determined to get in that top three, and dig deep, but it was painful. But a lot of fun. I’m happy with how it turned out. It was a good fitness builder and good prep work for Kona.” Hoogland held on for fourth, and American Lauren Harrison took fifth.
Ironman 70.3 Calgary
Calgery, Alberta, Canada – August 1, 2010
1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run
1. Kieran Doe (NZL) 3:58:45
2. Brian Fleischmann (USA) 4:02:14
3. Paul Matthews (AUS) 4:03:41
4. Jamie Whyte (NZL) 4:04:43
5. Kirk Nelson (USA) 4:05:08
1. Mirinda Carfrae (AUS) 4:21:32
2. Heather Wurtele (CAN) 4:24:45
3. Linsey Corbin (USA) 4:30:09
4. Tenille Renee Hoogland (CAN) 4:31:09
5. Lauren Harrison (USA) 4:44:32