Australian Luke Bell put in a hard working performance to take third place at Ironman Texas on Saturday. The event was won byÂ Spain’s Eneko Llanos and Britain’s Catriona Morrison. American Tim O’Donnell took second place in the mens event in his Ironman debut, and should be one to watch at Kona, along with his partner Mirinda Carfrae. The result pushed O’Donnell to the top of the Kona rankings along side Mirinda who tops the female rankings.
The day began with a non-wetsuit swim in the 78-degree waters of Lake Woodlands, which allowed the top swimmers to establish more of a gap than usual.Â John Flanagan (a former US national team swimmer) put over 2 minutes into the chase group on the swim which included O’Donnell and Bell, with fellow Australian Luke McKenzie not far behind.Â
Flanagan stayed at the front of the race for a surprisingly long time, finally getting caught by the â€œchaseâ€ group that included the noted bikers such as: Llanos, Bell, McKenzie,Â Lieto, and O’Donnell.Â Â LietoÂ made a break shortly after the halfway point of the ride, he quickly dropped the rest of the group.Â Lieto had extended his lead toÂ seven minutes by T2, with Bell in second and Mckenzie still in contention in 5th.Â
Lieto pulled the pin on the run due to achilles problems andÂ Llanos and Bell started dualling for top spot. Mckenzie started to suffer from stomach issues on the run, and was rapidly fading back through the pack. He bravely saw the race out, but this was not to be his day.
Llanos made his break from Bell at the halfway point of the marathonÂ and O’Donnell then ran past Bell into second.Â As Llanos started the third of three loops in the run course O’DonnellÂ caughtÂ the Spaniard.Â However whenÂ Llanos kickedÂ O’Donnell was not able to hold on and Llanos claimed a hard fought victory.
Catriona Morrison dominated the womans race, although she was not in the lead pack out of the waterÂ (leading out of the water were Americans Kelly Williamson and Dede Griesbauer).Â Belgian athletesÂ Sofie Goos and Tine Deckers took it to the rest of the field on the bike, before Goos suffered in a crash and fell off the pace.Â Tyler Stewart moved into 3rd off the bike withÂ a world-best 4:42 bike split. Morrison also had an impressive 5hr 53minÂ bike (which included a stop start penalty) to move into second place.
Once on the run Morrison was able to comfortably run away from the rest of the field to claim victory in 8:57, 10 minutes ahead of her nearest rival American Kelly Williams.
The Top-10 Men:
1 8:08:20 4 Eneko Llanos Vitoria-Gasteiz ESP
2 8:09:50 1:31 6 Timothy Odonnell Boulder CO USA
3 8:12:22 4:02 7 Luke Bell Cardiff CA AUS
4 8:20:41 12:21 11 Jan Raphael Hannover DEU
5 8:24:17 15:58 12 Jozsef Major Gyor HUN
6 8:28:07 19:47 32 Axel Zeebroek Ostende BEL
7 8:29:44 21:24 16 Justin Daerr Boulder CO USA
8 8:32:29 24:10 36 Patrick Evoe Austin TX USA
9 8:37:59 29:40 10 Petr Vabrouse Zlin CZE
10 8:38:40 30:21 14 Torsten Abel Tucson AZ DEUÂ
The Top-10 Women:
1 8:57:51 49 Catriona Morrison Broxburn GBR
2 9:07:54 10:03 47 Kelly Williams Austin TX USA
3 9:12:53 15:02 48 Sofie Goos Antwerp BEL
4 9:13:13 15:22 51 Tyler Stewart Novato CA USA
5 9:19:27 21:36 58 Tine Deckers Kessel Lo BEL
6 9:20:04 22:13 53 Kim Loeffler Colchester VT USA
7 9:24:09 26:18 60 Desiree Ficker Austin TX USA
8 9:27:20 29:29 63 Jacqui Gordon Pt Pleasant NJ USA
9 9:32:19 34:28 52 Joanna Lawn Auckland AU NZL
10 9:46:22 Lauren Harrison Los Altos, Ca. USA