Bevan Docherty and Kelly williamson win 2014 Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas

THE WOODLANDS, Texas (May 17, 2014) – Bevan Docherty (NZL) and Kelly Williamson (USA) enjoyed mostly favorable conditions on their way to milestone victories at today’s Memorial Hermann IRONMAN Texas presented by Waste Management.

Men’s Race

The day started with Austin-based Brandon Marsh, known for his consistently strong swim, leading the pro men out of the swim in a remarkable 46:38. A minute and 20 seconds behind him came Stephen Bayliss (GBR) and two-time Olympian, Bevan Docherty (NZL). The Netherland’s Bas Dierderen, Australian Tim Reed, and Woodlands-based Hungarian Balazs Csoke were shortly behind, with the next pack over three minutes further behind.

Bevan Dochertyy loving that winning feeling - Photo Credit: Nils Nielsen /
Bevan Dochertyy loving that winning feeling – Photo Credit: Nils Nilsen /

Once onto the rolling Memorial Hermann IRONMAN Texas bike course, Marsh held his lead until mile 65, a just reward for patiently racing. Behind him, Docherty and Rapp shuffled for position in the early stages of the bike, with Rapp eventually taking the lead at mile 40. In the end Rapp’s consistent work on the bike netted him the day’s fastest split of 4:21.

Rapp exited T2 with a 3:30 lead over Docherty, surely aware of what the Olympian was capable of. Rapp maintained his lead until mile 10 of the run, when the fleet-footed Kiwi finally passed him. Docherty then lost that lead briefly as he stopped at special needs, but took it again at mile 11. He continued to extend his padding over the men behind him as the miles ticked on. Rapp faded, while Matthew Russell (USA) and Justin Daerr (USA) moved up through the field. Docherty’s 2:49:17 run was the second-best on the day, enough to finalize a victory made especially sweet after the difficult year behind him.

“It’s been an emotional year. I have to be honest, there were times I considered retiring from the sport,” Docherty said after the race. “It wasn’t easy today. You forget how hard these races are—but it’s the biggest high of your life when you win races like this.”

Top five professional men’s results:

1.     Bevan Docherty            NZL                  8:09:37

2.     Matthew Russell            USA                 8:14:53

3.     Justin Daerr                  USA                 8:17:29

4.     Jordan Rapp                 USA                 8:17:58

5.     Chris McDonald            AUS                 8:22:51


Women’s Race

Champion-to-be Kelly Williamson, also based in Austin, led the women’s pro swim pack with her race-best time of 51:49. Tami Ritchie (USA) was close behind, with Germany’s Julia Gajer just 45 seconds back. A pack of Americans came in a couple minutes back, including Amber Ferreira, Bree Wee, Christina Jackson, and Jackie Arendt.

Kelly Williamson oout ran the field to take the win - Photo Credit: Nils Nielsen /
Kelly Williamson oout ran the field to take the win – Photo Credit: Nils Nilsen /

Once on the bike, Germany’s Julia Gajer took an early lead, which she would hold for the duration of the 112-mile ride. Not known as a strong cyclist, the 2013 IRONMAN Arizona champ said she always comes off the bike far behind, and has worked on her cycling all winter. Amber Ferreira took second at mile 50, overtaking Austria’s Eva Wutti, who later dropped out of the race. Wee and Williamson held their top five positions on the bike, as Sarah Piampiano (USA) used her race-best bike of 4:52:05 to blaze through the field.

Gajer’s nine minute lead out of T2 might have seemed intimidating to Williamson, but the running powerhouse — who, like Docherty had a disheartening 2013 — made short work of it. Williamson reduced her deficit to 5:30 by mile eight, and by mile 16, took the lead. Ferreira and Wee held steady in third and fourth, while Piampiano succumbed her position in the last couple miles to the hard-charging pair Tamara Kozulina (UKR) and Jennie Hansen (USA), who took fifth and sixth respectively.

Williamson’s race-best 2:54 marathon solidified her comeback from leg surgery last year, and made for an emotional finish in front of her many local supporters. “It led to a lot of doubts,” she said of her 2013 season. “I just had to keep digging at it. I knew I had it in me, but it wasn’t until I got out there and started feeling strong throughout. It’s tough to overcome struggles when your 12 years into your career.” She says that ideally she’d like to be in Kona this year, but for now she just plans to step back and enjoy “the best race [she’s] had, ever.”

Top five professional women’s results:

1.     Kelly Williamson            USA                 8:54:42

2.     Julia Gajer                     GER                 9:00:52

3.     Amber Ferreira              USA                 9:11:48

4.     Bree Wee                      USA                 9:14:27

5.     Tamara Kozulina            UKR                 9:15:19

One of more than 30 events in the global IRONMAN Series, Memorial Hermann IRONMAN Texas presented by Waste Management led athletes along a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile run throughout the Woodlands and its surrounding areas. The swim took place in Lake Woodlands while the one-loop bike course took participants through the scenic, rolling farmland of east Texas. Athletes then enjoyed a run entirely within The Woodlands that concluded with a spectacular finish on Waterway Ave. The event offers a total professional prize purse of $75,000 and 50 coveted age-group slots to the 2014 IRONMAN World Championship presented by GoPro, taking place on Oct. 11 in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i.

Visit for event information and official results. Media inquiries should be directed to [email protected].


The iconic IRONMAN® Series of events is the largest participation sports platform in the world. Since the inception of the IRONMAN® brand in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines at the world’s most challenging endurance races. Recognized for excellence through distinguished events, world-class athletes and quality products, IRONMAN has grown from a single race to a global sensation with more than 190 events across five unique brands: IRONMAN®, IRONMAN 70.3®, 5150â„¢ Triathlon Series, Iron Girl® and IRONKIDS®. For more information, visit



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.