Lance Armstrong Wins Ironman 70.3 Florida

  • By Paul Moore
  • Published May 20, 2012

Lance Armstrong won the 2012 Ironman 70.3 Florida with a dominant display on a hot and windy day. Armstrong combined a 24:52 swim with a 2:01:13 bike (more than ten minutes quicker than anyone else) and a 1:15:56 run to finish in 3:45:38. In the women’s race Jessica Jacobs recovered from a slow start to take the victory with a late surge on the run.

The Men’s Race
Full-time dentist and part-time pro David Kahn led the men out of the water in 23:29. The surprise package of the race, Francesc Godoy from Barcelona, was on his toes (23:32) before a gap to a second group of the men, which included Lance Armstrong (24:52). Maxim Kriat was eighth out in 25:12.

Out on the bike, there were no surprises. Quickly bridging the gap to the early leaders, Armstrong had a 30-second cushion over Godoy and 60-seconds over Kahn by Mile 15. That lead just grew. In just three miles his lead over Godoy and Kahn had grown by a further minute, while Kriat was running 3:30 down on the leader. Lance continued to blitz the bike, taking a three-minute cushion past the 30-Mile mark and pushing hard. Behind him, the race to come off the bike in second was hotting up. Godoy was holding off Kahn nearing the midway point, but the group behind those two – led by Kriat – was closing in. However, Lance was ripping them to pieces. Sitting at an average of 28.71mph, he was 6:05 up by Mile 38.5. It was a masterclass from the seven-time Tour de France champion, whose 2:01:13 bike split (which was more than ten-minutes faster than the second quickest split, a 2:11:43 from Maxim Kriat) brought him into T2 10:40 up on Godoy, and 10:45 ahead of Kriat.

As the chasers exited T2, Armstrong was almost two miles up the road and averaging 6-minute mile pace. It was quick and it was consistent and neither Kriat nor Godoy – running in second and third – were able to bring the gap down to less than ten-minutes in the first nine miles. And then Lance got quicker. Yes, as he went through Mile 10 he was down to 5:52 pace and Kriat had once again failed to make any sort of a dent on his lead. It was an exceptional performance and in the end Armstrong sealed an easy win with a 1:15:56 half marathon and a finishing time of 3:45:38. Maxim Kriat held on for second (3:56:56), with Francesc Godoy in third (3:59:45).

The Women’s Race
Amanda Stevens (25:04) enjoyed a healthy lead over Nina Kraft (26:41) coming out of the water, while eventual winner Jessica Jacobs was way down (33:33). At the start it looked like Kraft had her bike legs on as she quickly ate into Stevens’ advantage. By Mile 15 the gap was down to one minute, with Jennifer Tetrick and Mandy McLane a further 45-seconds down the road. Stevens, who was racing her first event of the year after returning from injury, was clearly keen to see where her fitness was and started to push. She had a 2:09 lead at 38.5 Miles from Tetrick with Nina Kraft a further 4:20 down the road and Stevens was looking comfortable.

But Tetrick was holding firm, and a race best 2:22:01 was enough to bring her in T2 less than a minute down on Stevens (2:26:21). With a 1:30:04 PB, Tetrick looked like the one with the legs to take home the tape and by Mile 5 she had halved Stevens’ lead. It was a sign of things to come. As Stevens began to falter, Tetrick got stronger and by Mile 9 has 2:22 ahead of her fellow American. Then came Jessica Jacobs. The three-time Ironman champion had started the run a minute further back on Tetrick, but with a couple of miles to go she was flying. A 1:21:53 half marathon gave her a 90-second advantage on Tetrick as she crossed the line in 4:24:30. Amanda Stevens held on for third (4:28:19).

Ironman 70.3 Florida

Top 5 Men
1. Lance Armstrong (USA) 3:45:38
2. Maxim Kriat (USA) 3:56:56
3. Francesc Godoy (ESP) 3:59:45
4. Andreas Castillo (COL) 4:01:08
5. Mauro Cavanha (BRA) 4:02:04

Top 5 Women
1. Jessica Jacobs (USA) 4:24:30
2. Jennifer Tetrick (USA) 4:26:09
3. Amanda Stevens (USA) 4:28:19
4. Nina Kraft (GER) 4:28:43
5. Tamara Kozulina (USA) 4:31:14

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Paul Moore

Paul Moore

Paul Moore is the Online Editor for Triathlete Europe. When not glued to a computer he can be found writing books - most recently Ultra Performance: The Psychology of Endurance Sports and The World's Toughest Endurance Challenges. Both are available on Amazon. Paul has also written Ultimate Triathlon: A complete training guide for long-distance triathletes which is also available on Amazon.