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With a $100,000 prize purse and the final North American opportunity to earn KPR points ahead of the August Kona qualifying deadline, Sunday’s Ironman Mont-Tremblant welcomed a unique mix of professionals. Some traveled to Quebec in hopes of gaining some last-minute points, while others who have already registered for the Ironman World Championship were simply looking to take home a big paycheck and one more full-distance experience ahead of Kona. It was Americans Jordan Rapp and Mary Beth Ellis who each earned the confidence-boosting wins and a $20,000 paycheck.
American Brian Fleischmann was first out of the 2.4-mile swim with a 49:16 swim split. He was followed by American Eric Limkemann (50:08), Australian Paul Ambrose (50:56), Rapp (51:33) and American Justin Daerr (51:39). The big question was when Canadian Lionel Sanders—who tends to have a slower swim and then monster bike and run splits—would make his way to T1. Sanders was 12th out of the swim at 56:27, putting him about 7 minutes back of the leader. Rapp made it clear early on in the bike that he intended to push the pace. He took the lead fairly early on and then worked to build it. Sanders was sitting at about 6 minutes back when he suffered a flat tire and struggled to get it changed, putting him on the side of the road for nearly 6 minutes and taking him out of contention. With Sanders down the road, Rapp continued to push, using a race-best 4:25:01 bike split to earn an 11:32 lead over Ambrose to start the marathon. After the strong effort on the bike, Rapp was equally impressive on the run. He built his lead with every stride, turning in a 2:55:53 marathon—the fastest of the day—to claim the 8:17:37 win. Daerr ran up a spot, crossing the finish line in second at 8:36:12. Ambrose rounded out the top three at 8:38:12. All three of the podium finishers were in need of KPR points and will be closely watching the rankings over the next two weeks.
Ellis was impressive in her second Ironman in four weeks (she finished second at Ironman Switzerland on July 19), posting a wire-to-wire win. She led the women out of the swim, posting a 50:22 swim split ahead of Australia’s Liz Blatchford (52:03) and the United States’ Tami Ritchie (52:09). Ellis was dominant on the 112-mile bike ride, using a 4:53:21 bike split to earn a 10-minute lead over Blatchford to start the marathon. Initially Ellis was steady, not giving up any time to those behind her. Eventually she slowed, but her lead was great enough that she was able to narrowly pull off the victory. She concluded her day with a 3:20:02 marathon to get her the ninth Ironman win of her career—and second at this race—in 9:09:05. Blatchford made it a close race, posting a 3:10:56 marathon to finish less than a minute later in second at 9:09:55. Both Ellis and Blatchford will be considered contenders in Kona and had already comfortably secured their spots. American Lisa Roberts was stellar on the marathon, using a 3:00:37 marathon to run from fifth off of the bike to third at the finish line.
2015 Ironman Mont-Tremblant
Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, Canada – Aug. 16, 2015
2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run
1. Jordan Rapp (USA) 8:17:37
2. Justin Daerr (USA) 8:36:12
3. Paul Ambrose (AUS) 8:38:12
4. Eric Limkemann (USA) 8:41:33
5. Lionel Sanders (CAN) 8:42:13
1. Mary Beth Ellis (USA) 9:09:05
2. Liz Blatchford (AUS) 9:09:55
3. Lisa Roberts (USA) 9:13:45
4. Jackie Hering (USA) 9:20:09
5. Karen Thibodeau (CAN) 9:38:13