Michael Weiss continued his meteoric rise through the Ironman ranks by claiming victory at the inaugural Ironman St. George. Weiss, a former Olympic Mountain Biker, became the first Austrian to win an Ironman title – and he did it in style. In the women’s race, Heather Wurtele put on an awesome display as she led almost from the start to the finish.
Australian Luke Bell was in inspired form in the water, quickly opening up a gap on the rest of the field. Leading from the gun, Bell swam the entire leg alone, exiting the water in 49:22. It was enough to give him just over 1:30 on a chase group that included Briton Paul Amey (51:09) and eventual runner-up, Ben Hoffman (51:13). Weiss, meanwhile, was just under six minutes behind the early leader.
However, the Austrian quickly started making up ground on the bike. While Bell looked strong for the first 20-miles, he started to slow after that and was soon caught by Hoffman, Matt Lieto and fellow Australian Chris McDonald. By the 56-mile mark, Weiss was sitting with this lead pack, and as they exited the hilliest part of the course, the Austrian made his move.
The chase pack were unable to respond, and the Austrian’s blistering bike leg (4:43:01) gave him a solid advantage going into T2.
But had he gone too hard too soon? There was plenty of speculation around the event that that might be the case. But as Weiss headed out on the run, it soon became apparent that the rest of the field were failing to eat into his lead. Quite the opposite, in fact, as the Austrian only increased the gap on the chasing Hoffman.
The only man to go sub-3 on a tough marathon course (2:58:03), Weiss crossed the line in 8:40:08. Hoffman held on for second (8:52:54), and McDonald was in third (8:54:42).
As we said, the women’s race was a much simpler affair.
Despite Gina Crawford emerging on the swim ramp first (51:18), she was part of a large group of ladies that included Heather Wurtele (51:19).
And it was Wurtele who worked hardest on the bike to build a lead that she would not relinquish. As the gap between the Canadian and the rest of the field extended from a little over eight minutes at 40 miles to 15 minutes at 80 miles and then 17 minutes at 112 miles, it was clear that the rest of the field were going to have to destroy the run if they were going to catch her.
Wurtele’s 5:20:29 bike split eclipsed Meredith Kessler’s 5:37:48 and Gina Crawford’s 5:45:26.
Despite the fact that Wurtele didn’t run the fastest marathon amongst the pros (3:19:01), she had already done the damage. Crossing the line in 9:35:25, Wurtele claimed her second Ironman victory. Kessler held the second place that she took into T2 (9:46:58), while Caitlin Snow ran her way into third (10:07:26).
Ironman St. George
Top 5 Men
1. Michael Weiss (AUT) 8:40:08
2. Ben Hoffman (USA) 8:52:54
3. Chris McDonald (AUS) 8:54:42
4. Kirill Kotsegarov (EST) 8:58:19
5. Clemens Coenen (GER) 9:02:13
Top 5 Women
1. Heather Wurtele (CAN) 9:35:25
2. Meredith Kessler (USA) 9:46:58
3. Caitlin Snow (USA) 10:07:26
4. Gina Crawford (NZL) 10:11:50
5. Kathleen Pallardy (USA) 10:20:45
FILED UNDER: News / Race Results TAGS: Ben-Hoffman / Caitlin-Snow / Chris-McDonald / Gina-Crawford / Heather-Wurtele / Ironman / Kirill-Kotsegarov / Luke-Bell / Meredith-Kessler / Michael-Weiss / Paul-Amey / St.-George / Utah