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American Timothy O’Donnell and Canadian Tenille Hoogland win Ironman 70.3 Calgary.
Voted by Triathlete magazine as one of the Top 10 Most Scenic Races in the World, the Viterra Ironman 70.3 Calgary took place this Sunday under sunny skies and light winds. Top professionals toed the starting line to vie for a place at the 2011 Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Las Vegas. The race also offered 40 qualifying age-grouper spots for the 70.3 world championship. Taking the wins for 2011 were Americans Timothy O’Donnell and Tenille Hoogland. However, O’Donnell stated this week on Twitter that he will not be racing at the 70.3 world championship, but will concentrate his efforts on the 2011 Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona.
Athletes began the course with a one-loop swim in the waters of Ghost Lake set against the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains in Provincial Park. They then headed onto a point-to-point bike course with challenging rolling hills and expansive views of the Canadian prairies. The bike course was actually a bit long, measuring just under 94K. Racers then headed out for their half-marathon run on an out-and-back course heading through North and South Glenmore Park and Weaselhead Natural Environment Park.
Brian Fleischmann of Colorado Springs, Colo. holds the swim course record at Ironman 70.3 Calgary and was expected to head into T1 first. But that was not the case. Rather, Graham O’Grady of New Zealand had the top swim split of the day with a time of 24:27. He just finished fourth at Ironman 70.3 Vineman just two weeks ago; he also had a win at the half-iron distance in Portland earlier in July. O’Grady was followed by O’Donnell who was two seconds back and Fleischmann an additional two seconds behind him. Out on the bike, those three men were able to stay in contention, with O’Donnell able to pass O’Grady to finish the bike first with a time of 2:37:16. Fleischmann remained in third heading out onto the run just over 30 seconds behind O’Grady. Bike finish times for O’Grady and Fleischmann were 2:41:31 and 2:42:05, respectively. On the run, Jordan Rapp, a late entry into the race, was able to make up time and moved ahead of O’Grady and Fleischmann. O’Donnell finished first, followed by Rapp and Fleischmann, rounding out the podium finishers.
Tenille Hoogland of Austin, Texas holds the course record and as expected, she was the first out of the water with a time of 26:37 (but didn’t break her fastest time). Following her were Sara Gross, racing on her home turf of Canada, and then Jenny Fletcher of Santa Monica, Calif. On the bike, Hoogland held onto the lead and was first out onto the run with a bike split of 2:55:15. Mackenzie Madison of Eugene, Ore. had a strong bike leg and was able to move into second with a bike split of 3:03:52. Gross came into T2 in third just 21 seconds back. Out on the run, Hoogland stayed strong and crossed the finish line first, but it was a surprising sprint to the finish. Despite her significant lead out of T2, Gross time trialed it and came in second, just six seconds back. Madison was able to hang on for a podium finish, although dropping back into third.
Ironman 70.3 Calgary
Calgary, Alberta, Canada – July 31, 2011
1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run
1. Timothy O’Donnell, 3:56:24
2. Jordan Rapp, 4:02:38
3. Brian Fleischmann, 4:03:26
4. Graham O’Grady, 4:04:09
5. Paul Attard, 4:10:08
1. Tenille Hoogland, 4:34:21
2. Sara Gross, 4:34:27
3. Mackenzie Madison, 4:36:52
4. Danelle Kabush, 4:37:18