Australia’s Big Sexy Triathlete, Chris McDonald, 3rd at St George Ironman Triathlon

Inaugural race won thanks to dominating bike splits, Kevin Mackinnon reports

Weiss and Wurtele take Ford Ironman St. George

Chris McDonald finsihed 3rd behind Austrian Michael Weiss and USA’s Ben Hoffman. McDonald has not had the ideal start to the season after having to pull out of Ironman China and instead race the 70.3 due to back problems. McDonald won the recent Rage Long Course triathlon in Las Vegas but this was his first Ironman for the season. Normally Chris would have already completed 1-2 Ironman races at this stage of the season. If you want to know about the “Big Sexy Triathlete” tag check out his website!

Read Chris McDonald’s blog to catch up on his season so far.

 


Michael Weiss became the first Austrian man to win an Ironman title, while Canadian Heather Wurtele claimed her second Ironman title as the two champions used dominating bike splits to claim the first Ford Ironman St. George event.

Weiss, who competed as a mountain biker at the 2004 Olympic Games, turned to triathlon in 2008 when he failed to make Austria’s Olympic team. His rise to the top level of the sport has been a rapid one – last year he finished second overall at Ironman 70.3 Monaco , 25th overall at the Ford Ironman World Championship and now, just two years after he entered the sport, has an Ironman title.

After trailing swim leader Luke Bell by almost five minutes, Weiss quickly moved through the field during the challenging bike here in St. George. By the start of the second lap of this incredibly scenic course Weiss had started to pull away from the rest of the men’s field. He would come off the bike with a lead of almost seven minutes (after a 4:43 bike split) and followed that up with the fastest run split of the day, a 2:58 marathon, that put him 12 minutes ahead of Durango, Colorado’s Ben Hoffman. Hoffman outran a group of athletes who started the run within minutes of each other (including Bell, Chris McDonald, Kirill Kotsegarov and Clemens Coenen).

McDonald (Australia) would eventually finish third, followed by Kotsegarov (Estonia) and Coenen (Germany) – five different countries were represented in the top five.

Wurtele led for virtually the entire race today – after exiting the water at the back of the first chase group, Wurtele was surprised to see New Zealand’s Gina Crawford sprint up the exit ramp to claim the top women’s swim split. Within minutes, though, Wurtele was back at the front and she stayed in that position throughout the rest of the day. Her 5:20 bike split was a full 17 minutes faster than eventual second-place-finisher Meredith Kessler’s and almost 34 minutes faster than Caitlin Snow managed on this tough course. Crawford, who was third off the bike, would eventually lose a position to Snow, who ran her way to third thanks to the day’s fastest marathon split, a 3:10. Rounding out the top five was Kathleen Pallardy, who was the third American to cross the line (after Kessler and Snow).

To check out all our coverage from today’s race, click on the link on the main page here on Ironman.com, or check out our live coverage site at www.ironmanlive.com

Top 10 men

1. MICHAEL WEISS 8:40:08
2. BEN HOFFMAN 8:52:54
3. CHRIS MCDONALD 8:54:42
4. KIRILL KOTSEGAROV 8;58:18
5. CLEMENS COENEN 9:02:13
6. PETR VABROUSEK 9:09:43
7. SERGIO MARQUES 9:11:09
8. CHRISTIAN BRADER 9:14:41
9. JOZSEF MAJOR 9:16:04
10. ALEX MCDONALD 9:21:59

Top 10 women

1. HEATHER WURTELE 9:25:36
2. MEREDITH KESSLER 9:46:58
3. CAITLIN SNOW 10:07:26
4. GINA CRAWFORD 10:11:51
5. KATHLEEN PALLARDY 10:20:45
6. TERRA CASTRO 10:33:57
7. JACKIE ARENDT 10:36:24
8. MIRANDA ALLDRITT 10:40:59
9. TRISH DEIM 10:53:21
10. SUSAN LANGLEY 10:58:41 

 

 

Karl Hayes

Head of Rest and Recovery

Karl is a keen age group triathlete who races more than he trains. Good life balance! Karl works in the media industry in Australia and is passionate about the sport of triathlon.