American Matthew Russell and Australian Kate Bevilaqua took the wins at Sunday’s Soma Triathlon, a half iron-distance race in Tempe, Ariz.
The race takes place on a course very similar to next month’s Ironman Arizona, making it popular among both professionals and age groupers who plan on participating in the longer event. As an added bonus for professionals this year, the race offered up a prize purse of $15,000.
Russell, who comes from a duathlon background, took the win thanks to field-leading 2:10:43 bike split. First-year pro Kevin Taddonio earned second place with the fastest half marathon on the day (1:17:05). Third place went to Arizona’s own Lewis Elliot.
Bevilaqua found her way to the front of the race by the end of the 56-mile bike ride and narrowly held off American Charisa Wernick to take the victory. Lauren Goss, USA Triathlon’s 2010 Female Under-23 Athlete of the Year, earned third.
Tempe, Ariz. – Oct. 24, 2011
1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run
1. Matthew Russell (USA) 4:01:37
2. Kevin Taddonio (USA) 4:03:21
3. Lewis Elliot (USA) 4:07:25
4. Guy Crawford (NZL) 4:08:12
5. Flo Uriegl (USA) 4:08:45
1. Kate Bevilaqua (AUS) 4:26:33
2. Charisa Wernick (USA) 4:27:11
3. Lauren Goss (USA)4:28:24
4. Amy Kloner (USA) 4:29:57
5. Kathy Rakel (USA) 4:38:36