Lawrence and Appleton far too strong at Ironman 70.3 Santa Rosa

Holly Lawrence continues her domination streak, while Aussie Sam Appleton took out the win for the men at Santa Rosa Ironman 70.3. Trizone looks back at last weekend’s race.

Holly Lawrence starts strong

After winning Oceanside 70.3 and powering to the finish to win the Ironman 70.3 North American Championships in St. George last weekend, Holly Lawrence is on a winning streak.

Santa Rosa Ironman 70.3 was no exception, with Lawrence making it to the first transition just three seconds behind Kaitlin Curbeau. Once Curbeau was on the bike though, Lawrence quickly powered past her to take the lead of what would be the fastest women’s bike split by a whopping 3:28.

Carrie Lester works hard on the bike

7:20 behind Lawrence though, Aussie Carrie Lester peddled hard, with American Kelsey Withrow 8:56 behind Lawrence and Finnish athlete Kaisa Lehtonen 9 minutes back. Seemingly out of the running, American triathlete and fierce runner Sarah Piampiano was ten minutes behind Lawrence at T2.

Sarah Piampiano surges into second place

As the half marathon progressed, Lawrence’s lead grew to 8:07, but it wasn’t Carrie Lester in second, she’d since dropped to third. Sarah Piampiano had motored through the field and made it to second place. Despite Piampiano setting the fastest run time in the women’s field with a 1:19:45 half marathon, she wasn’t able to catch Lawrence, who ran to the finish in a new race record time of 4:13:20.

  1. Holly Lawrence (GBR) 4:13:20
  2. Sarah Piampiano (USA) 4:18:12
  3. Kaisa Lehtonen (FIN) 4:23:57
  4. Carrie Lester (AUS) 4:24:31

Sam Appleton leads from the start

Throughout 2017 Sam Appleton has been working on his swim, and it’s paying off in spades; the athlete finished the Santa Rosa swim leg in just 23:28, three seconds ahead of Tim O’Donnell, and five seconds ahead of renowned strong swimmer Andy Potts. With a fierce chase pack right behind him, Appleton worked hard into the transition, and Joe Gambles seemed out of the running, coming into T1 a whole 29 seconds behind Appleton.

Joe Gambles creeps up in the bike leg

As Appleton powered along on the bike he maintained his lead spot, but behind him, Gambles had moved into second place 40 seconds behind the leader. 2:25 behind Appleton was Justin Rossie, and right behind him was O’Donnell working hard.

Appleton sets new course record for bike split

Appleton’s bike leg was so impressive, he set a new course record of 2:03:26 which secured him a solid 3:39 lead on Gambles and 4:39 lead on Rossie. Garcia, Potts, O’Donnell and Jordan Rapp by T2.

Appleton surged through the half marathon maintaining his lead, running to victory with the third-fastest run split and finishing in 3:46:47. Gambles came in second with a faster run split of 1:14:47, and O’Donnell had set the fastest run time of 1:14;46, finishing in third on the podium.

  1. Sam Appleton (AUS) 3:46:47
  2. Joe Gambles (AUS) 3:50:32
  3. Tim O’Donnell (USA) 3:54:19
  4. Andy Potts (USA) 3:55:09

Trizone wishes Holly Lawrence, Sam Appleton and all the athletes who competed a huge congratulations.

Shawn Smith

A cyclist and tech geek at heart with a passion for new shiny things and a huge appetite for triathlon. I spend most of my time between managing two of Australia's best triathletes and a traditional corporate life.