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After posting impressive podium finishes earlier in the year, Australia’s Joe Gambles and Canada’s Heather Wurtele claimed the Rev3 Quassy titles against tough fields in Middlebury, Conn.
The United States’ Eric Limkemann led the men out of the 1.2-mile swim at the Quassy Amusement Park with a time of 23:51. He was followed by David Kahn (USA), two-time Olympic medalist Bevan Docherty (NZL) and Brandon Marsh (USA). Several of the main contenders, including Gambles and 2011 Rev3 Series winner Andrew Starykowicz (USA), came into T1 with more than a minute to make up on that fast front group.
Starykowicz quickly erased that gap, taking the lead and building on it throughout much of the 56-mile bike ride. Limkemann tried to keep Starykowicz in his sight, while a group that included Maik Twelsiek (GER), Richie Cunningham (AUS), Gambles, Tim Don (GBR), Docherty, Christian Kemp (AUS), Kevin Collington (USA), Marsh and Kahn kept a legal distance from each other while trying to not let Starykowicz get too far ahead.
Starykowicz posted a bike split of 2:14:09 to earn a 1:46 lead over Limkemann and 2:40 over the large group of fast runners. Both Starykowicz and Limkemann struggled on the run after the hard efforts on the bike, leaving the big group to battle it out for the win. Ironman 70.3 U.S. Champion (and runner-up at St. George) Collington is known for being one of the fastest runners in the sport. He took his turn up front, with Cunningham, Gambles and Docherty all giving chase.
Gambles showed impressive resilience, posting a 1:13:50 half marathon to overtake a struggling Collington and take the top spot. He earned the victory in a time of 3:57:22. Cunningham, the 2012 Quassy winner, earned second at 3:58:14. Docherty claimed the final podium spot at 3:58:36. The men’s top-five, rounded out by Kemp and Collington, finished within three and a half minutes of each other.
Jennifer Spieldenner (USA) was the first woman out of the swim with Annabel Luxford (AUS) and Meredith Kessler (USA) not far behind. Pre-race favorites Wurtele, Mirinda Carfrae (AUS) and Heather Jackson (USA) exited the water with some time to make up on the front group.
Luxford, a former ITU athlete, shined on the bike ride and was able to maintain her gap over the others on the 56-mile bike ride. Her 2:30:19 bike split gave her the front position into T2. Her advantage stood at 2:15 over Wurtele, 4 minutes over Jackson, 6 minutes over Kessler and nearly 10 minutes over defending champion Carfrae.
Luxford struggled to keep pace with a fast-running Wurtele, who earned the lead by mile seven of the race. Wurtele, who has shown a drastic improvement on the run this year, posted a blazing 1:22:00 half marathon on the tough course to take the Rev3 Quassy win. Jackson’s deficit out of the swim likely ultimately cost her the win. She posted one of the fastest half marathons of the day at 1:21:26 to earn second. Luxford held off the faster runners behind her to earn third. Kessler had a well-rounded day to earn fourth, with Carfrae claiming fifth. The fastest run split of the women went to Kelly Williamson (USA) at 1:20:59, who had to settle for sixth.
Middlebury, Conn. – June 2, 2013
1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run
1. Joe Gambles (AUS) 3:57:22
2. Richie Cunningham (AUS) 3:58:14
3. Bevan Docherty (NZL) 3:58:36
4. Christian Kemp (AUS) 4:00:42
5. Kevin Collington (USA) 4:00:57
1. Heather Wurtele (CAN) 4:22:18
2. Heather Jackson (USA) 4:23:22
3. Annabel Luxford (AUS) 4:26:37
4. Meredith Kessler (USA) 4:28:36
5. Mirinda Carfrae (AUS) 4:32:22
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