The best part about Steelhead 70.3 today was the fact that the race was able to be run as a triathlon! This race is particularly notorious for bad weather conditions, more often than not resulting in a duathlon due to safety concerns. Competitors would have been thankful the weather was better than average this weekend, allowing the full course to be raced on.
Radka Vodickova (CZE) smashed the field out of the water to set up a race that would change leads many times throughout the day, a completely different scenario to other races this weekend. Caitlin Snow (USA), Melanie McQuaid (CAN) and Miranda Tomeneon (CAN) emerged from the water over three minutes behind, with spectators having to wait another three minutes to welcome the remainder of the field.
It was McQuaid who dominated the bike to enter transition two with a 1:08 advantage over Vodickova, with eventual winner Snow a further three and a half minutes back. Despite this it is the run that Snow favours, and she certainly displayed this today with a 1:19:36 run, to take a clear three minute victory over Vodickova who managed to outrun a fading McQuaid.
This change of leads made for a more exciting race than seen in Boulder and the Philippines, and Snow’s 4:13:53 finishing time was up there with the quality of the other women’s champions this weekend. Caitlin Snow had her work cut out for her from the beginning, having to chase hard out of the water, with well over a three minute deficit to eventual second place getter Radka Vodickova (CZE). Snow’s run was the quickest of any woman at any race this weekend, with a 1:19:36 indicating she is in good form leading into Vegas and Kona. Snow runs with a very quick turnover and small steps, and has anyone in front of her running scared, no matter what the gap. If you get a chance to watch her run in Kona be sure to pay attention, her efficiency is quite impressive.
Vodickova ran to second place and McQuaid held onto third, fading over the run. First age grouper home was Sarah Cameto (USA) in 4:35:10 and an impressive seventh overall.