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Americans Tim O’Donnell and Amanda Stevens claimed their first Ironman victories thanks to big leads off of the 112-mile bike ride. O’Donnell narrowly missed the elusive eight-hour mark, finishing in a course record time of 8:01:31.
Athletes welcomed ideal race conditions with the temperature sitting at 63 degrees F at the start and reaching the mid 70s by the end of the race. O’Donnell and Luiz Francisco of Brazil were out of the water first, with Igor Amorelli (BRA), Lucas Cocha (ARG) and others following with fast times thanks to the current.
By the 40K mark of the bike, O’Donnell had built a lead of five minutes over the closest pursuer, Francisco. By 80K that lead had swelled to seven minutes, and the American’s gap out front only grew to the finish line. O’Donnell marched into T2 with 14 minutes on Amorelli, 17 minutes on Francisco and 18 minutes on Stefan Schmid (GER). O’donnell’s dominant performance on the bike translated to the run.
He turned in a blistering 2:50:18 marathon to take his first Ironman victory and break the Ironman Brazil course record with a time of 8:01:32. Amorelli also had an impressive marathon (2:54:17) to finish in second 18 minutes later. Schmid rounded out the podium at 8:25:02.
Haley Chura (USA) turned in a dominant performance on the swim, outpacing several of the pro men on her way to a 46:21 split for the 2.4-mile leg. Stevens was second over two minutes later with another American, Hillary Biscay, following into transition in third.
By the 20K mark of the bike Stevens had caught up to Chura and then managed to steal the lead for herself. Sixty kilometers later Stevens had extended her lead to 4:30 over Chura, with the Netherlands’ Mirjam Weerd chasing in third.
The fastest rider of the women was Germany’s Silvia Felt, who managed to keep Stevens’ lead down to 5:30 over the 112 miles. Weerd was third into transition, but both Felt and Weerd slowed on the run, making Canada’s Sara Gross and the United States’ Jesse Donavan the biggest threat to Stevens’ lead.
Stevens’ 48:44 swim and 4:51:29 bike were enough to hold off the faster runners behind her and give her the first Ironman victory of her career. She crossed the finish line in 9:05:53. Gross posted the fastest marathon split of the women in 3:08:44 to cruise in for second. Donavan made it an all North-American podium with a third-place finish.
Florianópolis, Brazil – May 26, 2013
2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run
1. Tim O’Donnell (USA) 8:01:31
2. Igor Amorelli (BRA) 8:19:39
3. Stefan Schmid (GER) 8:25:01
4. Mario de Elias (ARG) 8:31:58
5. Santiago Alves Ascenço (BRA) 8:32:19
1. Amanda Stevens (USA) 9:05:52
2. Sara Gross (CAN) 9:08:37
3. Jessie Donavan (USA) 9:10:28
4. Mirjam Weerd (NED) 9:21:03
5. Haley Chura (USA) 9:24:42
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