Americans Andy Potts and Ashley Clifford were victorious at the inaugural running of Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga on Sunday.
Potts led the men out of the water in 21:59, with Brian Fleischmann (USA), James Seear (AUS), Terenzo Bozzone (NZL), Greg Bennett (AUS) and Joe Umphenour (USA) following within a few seconds. Fleischmann took charge early in the bike, but that front group out of the water all stayed in close contention through the early miles. Australia’s Leon Griffin was the big mover on the bike, making up for a nearly 90-second deficit out of the water to lead the men onto the run course. It wasn’t much of an advantage though as Potts, Bozzone, Bennett, Seear and Fleischmann all followed closely. It quickly became a race between Griffin, Potts and Bozzone as the others fell off the fiery pace. It took almost the whole run, but Potts was finally able to shake his competition, posting a 1:14:22 run split to take the 3:49:43 victory. Griffin cruised in for second, with Bozzone rounding out the top three.
American Anna Cleaver was first out of the swim with a time of 26:40. Americans Jackie Hering (27:01) and Clifford (27:09) were the closest pursuers. Through the midway point of the bike that trio remained close, with only a few seconds separating them. They stayed that way until the end of 56-mile bike ride, with Cleaver leading Hering and Clifford into T2 by a matter of seconds. Cleaver fell off the pace quickly, leaving Hering and Clifford to battle for the win. Clifford was able to build a small gap, ultimately posting a 1:23:30 half-marathon to earn the 4:20:34 victory. Hering finished just over a minute later for second, with American Kelly Fillnow running her way to third.
Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga
Chattanooga, Tenn. – May 17, 2015
1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run
1. Andy Potts (USA) 3:49:43
2. Leon Griffin (AUS) 3:51:15
3. Terenzo Bozzone (NZL) 3:52:38
4. Chris Baird (USA) 3:54:22
5. Brian Fleischmann (USA) 3:57:19
1. Ashley Clifford (USA) 4:20:34
2. Jackie Hering (USA) 4:21:41
3. Kelly Fillnow (USA) 4:25:11
4. Jesse Donavan (USA) 4:28:34
5. Heather Leiggi (USA) 4:31:33