Originally from Ironman.com
Germany’s 2008 Olympic gold medalist, Jan Frodeno, was at, or near, the lead throughout the swim and bike before blowing away a stacked field on the run as he set a new course record in Oceanside. Canadian Heather Wurtele trailed off the bike, but ran her way to the title as she also set a new course record while winning the women’s race.
Frodeno on fire
It was hardly a surprise to see Andy Potts and Frodeno lead the way out of the water at Oceanside Harbor. Potts routinely leads the first leg of almost any triathlon he races (he’s a former college swimmer), while Frodeno’s ITU career was filled with front-pack swims. Those two were quickly joined by another former ITU star, Matt Chrabot, on the bike. That trio led the way throughout the 56 mile ride. Behind them a large group would eventually form, but even super-bikers Sebastian Kienle (two-time IRONMAN 70.3 world champion) and Andy Starykowicz (fastest IRONMAN bike split ever – 4:02 in Florida last year) couldn’t get closer than a couple of minutes to the lead group.
Once on the run the race quickly became the Frodeno show as the German opened up a minute gap on Potts in just over a mile. The lead grew throughout the 13.1-mile run as Frodeno’s 1:11:49 run split, the fastest of the day, was quick enough to get him to the line 20 seconds faster than Pott’s time from last year – the German’s 3:49:25 set a course record.
Potts hung on for second, while Kienle overcame a three-minute deficit after the swim to work his way to the final podium spot.
Frodeno credits his impressive 2014 racing to being healthy at last after struggling with an Achilles tendon injury that forced him to drop out of the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship last year. In July he’ll take on his first full-distance race at the IRONMAN European Championship in Frankfurt – an anxiously awaited debut.
Wurtele wins again
A few years ago Heather Wurtele typically required a lead off the bike in order to win races. Those days are long gone, though. The Canadian has shown she can post super-quick run splits when needed. Two weeks ago, in winning IRONMAN 70.3 Monterrey, Wurtele posted a 1:19 run split – today she went even faster (1:17:56) to run her way to the win here in Oceanside.
The day began with Meredith Kessler and Julie Dibens leading the way out of the water. Dibens, in her first race after taking a year off to recover from foot and knee surgery, would pull away on the bike, enjoying a lead of around two minutes on a group of that included defending champion Heather Jackson, Meredith Kessler and Wurtele.
Once on the run, though, there was no stopping Wurtele, who moved to the front by the four-mile point of the race and never looked back. Jackson gamely tried to stay within touch of the tall Canadian, but would eventually finish just over a minute back as Wurtele broke Jackson’s course record (set last year) with her 4:13:12 clocking.
Kessler managed a third-place finish just weeks after her win at IRONMAN New Zealand, while Dibens managed to hold off Caitlin Snow by 30 seconds for fourth.