Thomas, Lavelle Win Rev3 Florida Duathlon

The inaugural Rev3 Florida in Venice Beach was turned into a duathlon due to a strong rip tide.

Americans Jesse Thomas and Becky Lavelle earned the victories at the inaugural Rev3 Florida, while Australia’s Richie Cunningham and the United States’ Nicole Kelleher earned enough points to take the overall Rev3 Series titles.

Hurricane Sandy is sweeping through the East Coast, cancelling flights and wreaking havoc. But, it wasn’t the hurricane winds that caused Rev3 Florida to cancel the swim; it was the rip tide. The half-distance race in Venice Beach was turned into a run-bike-run for the professionals and a time-trial start duathlon for age-groupers.

Men’s Race

Jesse Thomas (USA) took advantage of the revised course to close out his season with a win, saying afterwards, “Somebody beer me.”

A large group of men came through the first, short run together, with Richie Cunningham (AUS) first out of transition after a 7:12 run. He was followed close behind by a large group, which included Jesse Thomas (USA).

By 20 miles into the bike, the race had gotten stretched out. Andrew Starykowicz (USA) lagged after the first run, but used a race-best bike split (1:59:56) to make up the difference quickly. Starykowicz and Thomas raced neck-and-neck for most of the flat and windy bike, with Collins a couple minutes back. In the last 10 miles, Starykowicz put just over three minutes into Thomas, who had the second-fastest bike of the day with a 2:03:08. Collins had the third fastest bike (2:06:40) and came into T2 6:30 down. Another few minutes behind Collins was a pack that included Zymstev (2:09:08), Cunningham (2:09:18), and Collington (2:09:18). Leto was with the group, but struggled after a blocking penalty and came in with a 2:18:19 bike split.

Halfway through the run, Starykowicz still held onto first, but Thomas had cut the lead to 1:30. Collins and Collington ran about four minutes behind Thomas, with Zyemstev and VanOrt another couple minutes back. Thomas used a 1:14:24 run to catch Starykowicz (1:17:44) with just about a mile to go. Thomas took the win in 3:26:17, with Starykowicz right behind in 3:26:50. Zyemstev ran a race-best 1:11:56 to take third in a 3:29:38, just ahead of Collins. Collins held onto fourth in 3:29:48 with a 1:14:36 run. VanOrt had the second-fastest run (1:13:09) to take fifth in 3:31:07.

Women’s Race

Two minutes after the men, the women headed out on their 1.5 mile run. Lesley Smith (USA) and Lauren Goss (USA) built up a 12 second lead, followed by a large group of girls that included, Becky Lavelle (USA), Nicole Kelleher (USA), Jessica Meyers (USA), Jessica Chong (USA), Caroline Gregory (USA), Emily Cocks (USA), Kim Schwabenbauer (USA), Jennifer Speildenner (USA), Mailaika Homo (USA) and Amanda Stevens (USA).

Less than a quarter into the flat and windy bike leg, Lavelle and Alicia Kaye (USA) took the lead. Rebekka Essmuller (GER), Kelleher, Goss and Homo followed about a minute back. Kelleher eventually fell back after 2:22:19 bike split, with Goss behind her. Lavelle, one of the premier non-drafting Olympic distance racers in the country, used her strong bike skills to pull ahead with a 2:19:30 bike and came into T2 first. Homo left T2 1:25 back after a 2:19:35 bike split. Kelleher was another minute back (2:22:19), Essmuller used a race-best 2:19:20 bike to come in 20 seconds behind her, and Speildenner used a 2:22:15 bike split to enter transition fifth, a minute behind Essmuller.

Lavelle ran away with it, with a 1:24:20 split, to take her first Rev3 win in 3:54:00. Kelleher ran a fast 1:23:15 to try and close on Lavelle, taking second in 3:55:28. Meyers ran up through the packs with her 1:24:40 to take third in 3:59:18. Smith ran a race-best 1:22:11 to make up for a 2:27:19 bike split and capture fourth and nearly catch Meyers with a 3:59:31. Goss took the fifth podium spot (4:00:47) after a 1:24:25 run.

Australia’s Richie Cunningham and the United States’ Nicole Kelleher earned enough points to take the overall Rev3 series titles and the $25,000 bonuses.

Rev3 Florida (Duathlon)
Venice, Fla. – Oct. 28, 2012
1.5-mile run, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run

1. Jesse Thomas (USA) 3:26:17
2. Andrew Starykowicz (USA) 3:26:50
3. Viktor Zyemstev (UKR) 3:29:38
4. Ben Collins (USA) 3:29:48
5. Kaleb VanOrt (USA) 3:31:07

1. Becky Lavelle (USA) 3:54:00
2. Nicole Kelleher (USA) 3:55:28
3. Jessica Jones-Meyers (USA) 3:59:18
4. Lesley Smith (USA) 3:59:31
5. Lauren Goss (USA) 4:00:47

Complete results.

Final Rev3 Series Standings
1. Richie Cunningham (AUS)
2. Jesse Thomas (USA)
3. Viktor Zyemstev (UKR)
4. Kaleb VanOrt (USA)
5. Kyle Leto (USA)

1. Nicole Kelleher (USA)
2. Becky Lavelle (USA)
3. Lauren Goss (USA)
4. Jess Meyers (USA)
5. Malaika Homo (USA)