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Americans Andy Potts and Sarah Piampiano battled it out in close races at today’s Ironman 70.3 New Orleans to earn the early-season victories.
After a week of tough conditions that forced the race expo and check-in to be moved inside, all 70.3 miles of the race—which has a history of being turned into a duathlon due to the weather—were able to go on without issue. Despite the tough lead up and an unexplained delay of about 30 minutes, the action was able to kick off at just past 7:30 a.m. local time.
Super swimmer Potts led the men out of the water in 18:35, with fellow Americans Eric Limkemann and Matt Chrabot coming into T1 just a few seconds later. Up-and-coming pro Drew Scott (USA) and 70.3 specialist Tim Reed (AUS) got out of the water and onto the bike about 40 seconds back of that lead pair. Chrabot and Potts were the pace makers up front on the 56-mile bike ride, turning in similar bike times to come into T2 within a few seconds of each other. They were followed by Trevor Wurtele (CAN), who had the fastest bike split of the day, and Cody Beals (CAN) about 90 seconds later, and then Mark Bowstead (NZL) and Tim Reed (NZL) over a minute after that. Potts and Chrabot ran together for much of the half-marathon, with Potts breaking away in the last few miles. Potts turned in a 1:15:54 half marathon to take his second-straight victory at this race in 3:39:49. Chrabot cruised in for second at 3:40:30, with Reed turning in the fastest run (1:15:34) of the day to excel up to the podium in 3:42:36.
Americans Jennifer Spieldenner and Lauren Goss were the first two women out of the water (at 19:51 and 19:52, respectively), earning a more-than-a-minute lead over the next group of Tami Ritchie (USA), Katy Blakemore (USA) and Ashley Clifford (USA). Piampiano, who is not known as the strongest swimmer, came into T1 after a 24:33 swim and some work to do to catch the leaders. It was a close bike ride among the top women, with Goss emerging as the leader after 56 miles of riding. It was a slim advantage as the women trickled into T2 fairly quickly, with seven others starting the run within 5 minutes of the leader. Goss looked strong out front for the first half of the run, but she eventually gave way to Danielle Mack (USA). It was Piampiano who was moving the quickest as she was able to run from seventh off of the bike to first at the finish line. Her 1:26:21 half marathon gave her the 4:15:17 victory. This is the second victory for Piampiano at this race as she won in 2012 in the duathlon format. Mack finished second at 4:17:16, with Blakemore rounding out the top three at 4:17:24.
2015 Ironman 70.3 New Orleans
New Orleans, La. – April 19, 2015
1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run
1. Andy Potts (USA) 3:39:49
2. Matt Chrabot (USA) 3:40:30
3. Tim Reed (AUS) 3:42:36
4. Cody Beals (CAN) 3:43:14
5. Ben Hoffman (USA) 3:43:41
1. Sarah Piampiano (USA) 4:15:17
2. Danielle MacK (USA) 4:17:16
3. Katy Blakemore (USA) 4:17:24
4. Lauren Goss (USA) 4:19:32
5. Hallie Blunck (USA) 4:21:10