Oceanside CA –
Jan Frodeno (GER) and Heather Wurtele (CAN) enjoyed perfect conditions on their way to record breaking victories at today’s Accenture IRONMAN 70.3 California crossing the finish line in 3:49:25 and 4:13:12, respectively. Frodeno, Germany’s 2008 Olympic gold medalist, was at, or near, the lead throughout the swim and bike before blowing away a stacked field on the run as he set a new course record in Oceanside. Canadian Heather Wurtele trailed off the bike, but ran her way to the title as she also set a new course record in her victory.
It was hardly a surprise to see Andy Potts (USA) and Frodeno lead the way out of the water at Oceanside Harbor. As a former collegiate swimmer, Potts, who has won this race the last three years, routinely leads the first leg of almost any triathlon he races, while Frodeno’s International Triathlon Union (ITU) career was filled with front-pack swims. Those two were quickly joined by another former ITU star, Matt Chrabot (USA), on the bike. That trio led the way throughout the 56-mile ride. Behind them a large group would eventually form, but even super-bikers Sebastian Kienle (a two-time IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion) and Andy Starykowicz (fastest IRONMAN bike split ever – 4:02 in Florida last year) couldn’t get closer than a couple of minutes to the lead group.
Once on the run the race quickly became the Frodeno show as the German opened up a minute gap on Potts in just over a mile. The lead grew throughout the 13.1-mile run as Frodeno’s 1:11:49 run split, the fastest of the day, was quick enough to get him to the line 20 seconds faster than Pott’s time from last year, setting a course record of 3:49:25.
Potts hung on for second, while Kienle overcame a three-minute deficit after the swim to work his way to the final podium spot.
Frodeno credits his impressive 2014 racing to being healthy at last after struggling with an Achilles tendon injury that forced him to drop out of the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship last year. In July he’ll take on his first full-distance race at the IRONMAN European Championship in Frankfurt – an anxiously awaited debut.
Top five professional men’s results:
- Jan Frodeno GER 3:49:25
- Andy Potts USA 3:52:18
- Sebastian Kienle GER 3:53:21
- Joe Gambles AUS 3:55:00
- Brent McMahon CAN 3:55:46
A few years ago Heather Wurtele typically required a lead off the bike in order to win races. Those days are long gone as the Canadian has shown recently she can post super-quick run splits when needed. Two weeks ago, in winning IRONMAN 70.3 Monterrey, Wurtele posted a 1:19 run split – today she went even faster (1:17:56) to run her way to the win here in Oceanside.
The day began with Meredith Kessler (USA) and Julie Dibens (GBR) leading the way out of the water. Dibens, in her first race after taking a year off to recover from foot and knee surgery, would pull away on the bike, enjoying a lead of around two minutes on a group that included defending champion Heather Jackson, Kessler and Wurtele.
Once on the run, though, there was no stopping Wurtele, who moved to the front by the four-mile point of the race and never looked back. Jackson gamely tried to stay within touch of the tall Canadian, but would eventually finish just over a minute back as Wurtele broke Jackson’s course record (set last year) with her 4:13:12 clocking.
Kessler managed a third-place finish just weeks after her win at IRONMAN New Zealand, while Dibens managed to hold off Caitlin Snow by 30 seconds for fourth.
Top five professional women’s results:
- Heather Wurtele CAN 4:13:12
- Heather Jackson USA 4:14:15
- Meredith Kessler USA 4:19:52
- Julie Dibens GBR 4:24:54
- Caitlin Snow USA 4:25:24
One of nearly 70 events in the global IRONMAN 70.3 Series, Accenture IRONMAN 70.3 California led athletes along a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike and 13.1-mile run on a course that utilized Oceanside’s beachfront scenery. The swim took place in the Oceanside Harbor and the one-loop bike course featured breathtaking views as athletes rode through San Clemente State Park before dipping into the Marine Corps Base at Camp Pendleton. The run course took athletes on a winding journey along the pier, which is one of the longest fishing piers in California, and then out to Oceanside’s flat beachfront path. The event offered a total prize purse of $50,000 and 50 coveted slots to the 2014 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship, taking place on Sept. 7 in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, Canada.