Cody Beals and Sarah Haskins both used their race-best bike and run splits to dominate this Maryland classic.
by Shawn Skene
Youngster proves tough on Maryland course
Barrett Brandon (USA) emerged from the single loop swim in the Choptank River with a 55-second lead on TJ Tollakson (USA). Cody Beals (CAN), Raymond Botelho (USA), Thomas Gerlach (USA) and Jordan Rapp (USA) were all looking at a two-minute plus deficit before they reached their bikes.
Once out on the bike, Beals pushed to the front of the race placing Tollakson and Rapp (both considered strong cyclists) and the rest of the field under significant pressure. Beals dismounted his bike with the fastest time on the day (2:01:58) and 2:45 on Tollakson, 6:24 on Rapp and 6:57 on Brandon.
Beals immediately started the run at a pace no one could match. Behind the 25-year-old, the field was left to scrap for second and third as the gap to Beals’ closest rival stretched to over 10 minutes at 6.5 miles. The second-year pro closed out the race recording a finishing time of 3:51:05, the Canadian’s first IRONMAN 70.3 win. Rapp salvaged the day with a solid run and was rewarded with a second place finish (4:01:40), while Brandon finished off the podium with a time of 4:02:50.
Haskins nails the run
The three-time Big 12 swimming champion Lauren Brandon (USA) put on a swim clinic in Maryland today stroking out a 26:02, the fastest swim time in the women and men’s races. Sarah Haskins (USA), who is considered a strong swimmer exited the water 32 seconds later, while the remainder of women’s field faced deficits of well over seven minutes.
It wouldn’t take long for Haskins to put her stamp on the race as she stormed to the lead early in the first half of the bike, carrying a small advantage over Brandon by 30 miles. Coming into transition, Haskin had a 45-second gap on Brandon as the lead pair raced through T2, the next closest competitor over nine minutes off the pace.
Haskins was in a league of her own on the run and managed to clear the entire field by over nine minutes at the halfway juncture. Haskin closed out the second half strong, claiming her second IRONMAN 70.3 title of the year in only her second start at the half distance. Heather Leiggi use her solid performance on the bike and run to grab second (4:28:04) while Piampiano secured the last podium place.
Top 5 Pro Men
Top 5 Pro Women