Tim O’Donnell won the men’s race despite course controversy and disqualifications behind him. Great Britain’s Rachel Joyce dominated the women’s race, upsetting an almost entirely American field.
Boulder-based pro Tim O’Donnell dominated the race at almost every moment. He was first out of the Boulder Reservoir with a swim split of 49:20. On the bike, he powered through, maintaining his impressive lead of the three-loop course with a bike split of 4:24:26. From there it was onto the hilly marathon, which O’Donnell lead until the end.
“Each lap (on the bike) I slowly increased it, and was luckily able to open it up during the run,” O’Donnell said. “That was my game plan. I wanted to ease into the bike and just take that first lap as just kind of building into the race. My plan was to get away during the swim but I wasn’t able to do that because there’s some great swimmers here. It worked, so I just went with it.”
As O’Donnell powered through the finish line tape, he quickly embraced wife Miranda Carfrae, another champion who is seven months pregnant with their first child. “Being able to win at home and share it with all the people important to you, it’s an individual sport but it really isn’t,” said O’Donnell. “To be able to share the experience with them, especially the victory, is special. There’s always a little extra motivation when there’s a little one on the way. We’re all obviously very excited right now. There’s a lot of great energy.”
Behind him though, there was controversy with Justin Daerr’s marathon, and after extensive consideration it was ruled he went off-course in the run, and he was disqualified. This moved Matt Chrabot up from third to second.
“Justin didn’t do the prescribed course in its entirety. Unintentionally. There was a bit of confusion on his part,” race operations manager Dave Christen said. “We ended up identifying that by looking at the timing and different things that we have available to look at. Justin didn’t complete the entire course. That’s probably the cleanest summary of what happened.
A devastated Justin commented on the incident on his blog: “I was notified about 90 minutes after finishing that I had been DQed for missing a timing mat at the far east end of the run course on the first loop of the marathon. During the race, I came within 30-50 meters of the actual turnaround, but I misunderstood the way the run course had been marked, as did the biker accompanying me. The actual turnaround was just above a rise on the path so I could not see it as I turned around prematurely. I’ve since learned that another pro made the same mistake.”
Taking full responsibility, and eager to ensure all his fellow competitors know his mistake was absolutely unintentional he also added “The DQ will stand and I take full responsibility for the error. To my competitors on this day: please know that I had no intention of ever trying to gain an unfair or illegal advantage over you while racing. I hope that the way I have raced over the years will allow you to take me at my word. I’m heartbroken, to say the least, but with time I’ll be ok.”
Unfortunately Australian triathlete Leon Griffin was also disqualified for not completing the correct run course.
- Tim O’Donnell 8:13:30
- Matt Chrabot 8:34:36
- Patrick Mckeon 8:42:24
The women’s race saw an huge upset for the American-heavy field, with Great Britain’s Rachel Joyce taking out first in 9:13:32, even beating Heather Jackson of the USA who finished in 9:20:42. Joyce set both the fastest swim and run times of the day, while Jackson set the fastest bike split of the day. American Danielle Mack came in third, finishing a huge twenty minutes after Jackson in 9:42:16. Kelly Williamson, who was tipped to make it to the podium, finished in fourth place in 9:44:08.
- Rachel Joyce 9:13:32
- Heather Jackson 9:20:42
- Danielle Mack 9:42:16