WIND - a four letter word, similar to other four letter words used to emphasize things such as frustration, difficulty, etc. During the HONU 70.3 our local triathlon crew experienced a killer bike ride along the Kohala Coast while visiting the windy city of Hawi. They woke up to strong winds and a difficult swim, then a taste of the IMHI bike course, followed by a nice hot run around a golf course. Chris McCormack and Samantha McGlone took top honors in the pro field while Duncan Thomas found himself sandwiched between Charlie Brockus and Cliff Rigsbee taking 2nd in the M55-59. Ronnie Gosnell returns to competition and served up a solid fourth place in the M45-49 division. Lee Carter found himself in the company of Kevin Moats, who happens to hold the IMHI age group record, M50-54, and produced a stellar fourth place after a moderately short hiatus from competition. Terry Thomas had a strong day and produced a fourth in the W55-59 division. See local results and detailed coverage from Timothy Carlson below. VB.
56 04:51:08 GOSNELL, RONNIE SANTA BARBARA CA USA 4/90 M45-49
124 05:11:40 THOMAS, DUNCAN SANTA BARBARA CA USA 2/46 M55-59
161 05:19:51 CARTER, LEE SANTA BARBARA CA USA 4/55 M50-54
180 05:22:08 FLORES, SHANE SANTA BARBARA CA USA 21/63 M25-29
207 05:26:09 SATO, STUART SANTA BARBARA CA USA 8/55 M50-54
238 05:33:46 BRIGHT, COULTER SANTA BARBARA CA USA 34/136 M40-44
549 06:22:19 SPANGLER, JARED SANTA BARBARA CA USA 46/63 M25-29
582 06:27:15 HOFMANN, JACKIE KAILUA KONA HI USA 23/46 M55-59
664 06:39:13 THOMAS, TERRY SANTA BARBARA CA USA 4/17 W55-59
|Chris McCormack, Samantha McGlone repeat winners at Honu 70.3
By Timothy Carlson
|On a tough, hot windy day on the Kohala Coast, Chris McCormack breezed to a victory over fellow Aussie and training partner Luke McKenzie while Samantha McGlone had to push to fend off the sizzling bike split of runner-up Tyler Stewart to win the Ironman 70.3 Hawaii title Saturday.“It was a good day for anyone trying to prepare for Ironman Hawaii this October,” said defending Ironman Hawaii champion McCormack. “The winds were gusting in your face and from the side and that made it the toughest condition I’ve faced in my three years here.”In fact, McCormack’s bike didn’t seem so bad. His 2:13:52 effort was just 2 minutes 20 seconds off his 2007 bike course record – while putting a 7 minute gap on McKenzie on the split.“You could tell I was worn out from pushing the bike so hard, because my run was a bit soft,” said McCormack, who ran 1:21:26 – 3 minutes 14 seconds slower than last year. He finished in 4:04:22 – 7 minutes and six seconds slower than his 2007 overall course record.McKenzie, who had spent the past 10 days training with McCormack on the Kona Ironman course, was happy with his runner-up finish.“Basically I’m training hard for Ironman Japan in three weeks and I didn’t taper at all,” said McKenzie, who won the Olympic distance Honolulu Triathlon two weeks ago. “Of course, neither did Chris. His performance today just shows how strong an athlete he is.”While McCormack had time to savor his 7 minute 43 seconds margin for his third consecutive victory in the June 70.3 contest in Kona, McGlone had to dig a little deeper and essentially won this one in the water.
For once, McGlone wasn’t trailing her most serious rivals on the swim. In fact, McGlone’s 28:11 swim was second-best to Gina Kehr, the 2006 second place Ironman Hawaii finisher still on the comeback trail after the birth of her second child.
McGlone emerged from the choppy Pacific Ocean with a 15-second lead over New Zealander Alison Fitch and a 5-minute 12-second cushion over dangerous Tyler Stewart, the woman who set a world best for the Ironman bike leg last year at Ironman Florida.
On the bike, Fitch rode past McGlone with a 2:29:35 bike split which gave her the 20-second lead over McGlone going into T2, while Kehr faded from contention with a 2:54:37 bike and eventually dropped out. Meanwhile, Stewart’s race-best 2:26:05 split ate up all but 1 minute and 7 seconds of McGlone’s advantage.
On the run, McGlone used her 2006 Ironman 70.3 World Championship form to finish with a second-best 1:28:49 run and hit the line in 4:30:38. That gave McGlone a 3:43 margin of victory over Stewart, who cruised past Fitch’s 1:34:14 run with a third-best 1:30:42 split for the half marathon. Aussie Kate Bevilaqua, who pushed eventual winner Joanna Lawn to the brink at this year’s Ironman New Zealand, made up for a sluggish 2:33:25 bike with a race-best 1:27:30 run that carried her past Fitch for third place.
While McGlone’s 4:30:38 performance was strong for such adverse winds, it remains 2 minutes 22 seconds slower than Michellie Jones’ 2005 race record and 1:32 slower than Jones’ 2006 winning time of 4:29:06.
But don’t let numbers fool you. Samantha McGlone is on a mission to avenge her 2007 Ironman Hawaii loss to Chrissie Wellington last October. “Sam’s time in these winds was remarkable, and she didn’t even look like she was trying hard,” said McCormack. “She looked like she could have gone out and done it again.”
For his part, Macca didn't care a fig about numbers in a race that offers no prize money and no Kona slots for the pros. "You can't project anything for the future from this race," said McCormack. "But I can say that coming here and training (and racing) on the Big Island to get familiar with the course and conditions for the Ironman makes a big difference come October. I think it made a big difference for Peter Reid and Normann Stadler, it made a big difference for me, and I see Sam McGlone training here getting ready to take on Chrissie Wellington, too. If it took Mark Allen seven years to figure out Hawaii, anything you can do to shorten the learning curve is a gerat idea."
Ironman 70.3 Hawaii