Ap­ple­ton, Jer­donek earn Ea­gle­man vic­to­ries

Aus­tralian cruises to men’s ti­tle; Jer­donek leads USA women’s sweep

Dorchester Star - - FRONT PAGE - By CHRIS KNAUSS ck­nauss@star­dem.com

CAMBRIDGE — Aus­tralian Sam Ap­ple­ton led from start to fin­ish and Amer­i­can Lind­sey Jer­donek held off a fast­clos­ing chal­lenger Sun­day morn­ing to win the 2017 Iron­man 70.3 Ea­gle­man triathlon.

Ap­ple­ton dis­tanced him­self from fel­low male pro­fes­sion­als with a swim time nearly 3 min­utes faster than runner-up and two-time Ea­gle­man cham­pion Cody Beals of Canada.

Jer­donek, of Sag­amore Hills, Ohio, held off fel­low Amer­i­can and pro ath­lete Alissa Doehla, who man­aged to close within 19 se­conds of the win­ner with a blis­ter­ing run.

CAMBRIDGE — Aus­tralian Sam Ap­ple­ton led from start to fin­ish and Amer­i­can Lind­sey Jer­donek held off a fast­clos­ing chal­lenger Sun­day morn­ing to win the 2017 Iron­man 70.3 Ea­gle­man triathlon.

Ap­ple­ton dis­tanced him­self from fel­low male pro­fes­sion­als with a swim time nearly 3 min­utes faster than runner-up and two-time Ea­gle­man cham­pion Cody Beals of Canada. Ap­ple­ton com­pleted the 70.3-mile cir­cuit in 3 hours, 46 min­utes, 34 se­conds. Beals fin­ished sec­ond in 3:54:49, and Matthew Rus­sell of the U.S. took third in 3:58:51.

Jer­donek, of Sag­amore Hills, Ohio, held off fel­low Amer­i­can and pro ath­lete Alissa Doehla, who man­aged to close within 19 se­conds of the win­ner with a blis­ter­ing run. Jer­donek com­pleted the race in 4:23:13. Doehla placed sec­ond in 4:23:32, and Dede Gries­bauer took third in 4:28:26 for an Amer­i­can sweep on the awards plat­form.

Nearly 2,000 ath­letes be­gan the race fea­tur­ing a 1.2mile swim in the Chop­tank River at Great Marsh Park, a 56-mile bi­cy­cling course through Dorch­ester County, and a 13.1-mile run along the county’s coun­try roads and his­tor­i­cal Cambridge.

Age-group ath­letes com­pet­ing had the op­por­tu­nity to claim one of 75 qual­i­fy­ing slots for the Iron­man 70.3 World Cham­pi­onship set to take place in Chat­tanooga, Ten­nessee in the fall.

Doehla’s split time for the run was 1:23:44. She was the only fe­male to run in un­der 1:30 and her time would have placed her in the top 10 of the pro men run times.

Jer­donek, who swam for the Univer­sity of Mary­land, was for­tu­nate the run­ning seg­ment wasn’t any longer.

She said she wasn’t sure of her place­ment dur­ing the run. “It en­abled me to just re­ally fo­cus on my­self and pac­ing and just try­ing to start grad­ual know­ing that the heat would be a fac­tor. But Alissa was right be­hind me at the very end, which I didn’t know un­til right at the last minute.”

Canada’s Sheila Tre­leaven led early with a swim split of 26:28. Gries­bauer, Jer­donek, and Great Bri­tain’s Le­anda Cave also fin­ished un­der 27 min­utes.

Cave’s pres­ence ex­em­pli­fied the high tal­ent level of the ath­letes. In 2012, she won both the Iron­man 70.3 World Cham­pi­onships and the Iron­man World Cham­pi­onships, the first fe­male triath­lete in his­tory to ac­com­plish both feats in a sin­gle year. She fin­ished fourth over­all Sun­day with a time of 4:29:26.

Jer­donek and Gries­bauer be­gan to make it a two-woman race mid­way through the bike seg­ment, and Gries­bauer held a slim 15-sec­ond lead at the end of the bike. But Jer­donek tran­si­tioned from bike to run 31 se­conds faster and held the lead the rest of the race.

“She [Gries­bauer] put the hurt on me,” Jer­donek said. “Some­times she’d get away and I’d try to get back with her just be­cause I knew she’s so ex­pe­ri­enced at pac­ing and I didn’t ex­actly know what I would be do­ing. So I just wanted to stick with her and that pretty much de­stroyed my legs, but well done to Dede.”

Ap­ple­ton and An­drew Yoder, of Columbia, Penn­syl­va­nia, set a quick pace for the men in the swim. They were two of only three pro men to com­plete the 1.2-mile course in un­der 25 min­utes. They posted times of 24:28 and 24:31, re­spec­tively, with Kevan Ryan third fastest in 24:58.

Yoder (4:01:25) main­tained his sec­ond-place sta­tus after the bike but got passed by Beals, Rus­sell of Sara­sota, Florida, and Adam Ot­stot (3:59:33) of Wil­liams­burg, Vir­ginia, in the run.

Ap­ple­ton eas­ily won his first Ea­gle­man and ap­peared only slightly winded as he talked with the event an­nouncer se­conds after the race.

“It was so great out there. This is my first time down here, or over here,” Ap­ple­ton said. “I had a great time. It was so hot but the course is beau­ti­ful and the sup­port was great, and I loved it out there.”

After drink­ing some flu­ids and tak­ing part in the awards cel­e­bra­tion, he said: “I’m for­tu­nate enough my girl­friend’s aun­tie and un­cle live on Vue De Leau Street, just down the road here, about five min­utes away. I came down and hung out with them this week­end and was for­tu­nate enough to have a re­ally good race. It’s a beau­ti­ful lo­ca­tion. I’ve never been to this part of Amer­ica be­fore.”

Ap­ple­ton, who also re­sides in Boul­der, Colorado, said the flat bi­cy­cling por­tion of the race was the most dif­fi­cult.

“It was warm and the bike course is re­ally flat most of the way, but flat doesn’t al­ways mean easy be­cause you’re us­ing the same mus­cles the whole time. When you’ve got hills you stand up us­ing dif­fer­ent mus­cles and then on the down­hills you’re get­ting a bit of a rest. But here it’s just flat, so you’re just locked in that po­si­tion for two hours. It’s ac­tu­ally quite a de­cep­tively hard course.”

PHO­TOS BY CHRIS KNAUSS

Aus­tralian Sam Ap­ple­ton crosses the fin­ish line to win the 2017 Iron­man 70.3 Ea­gle­man triathlon Sun­day morn­ing at Great Marsh Park in Cambridge.

Amer­i­can Lind­sey Jer­donek crosses the fin­ish line to win the 2017 Iron­man 70.3 Ea­gle­man triathlon Sun­day morn­ing at Great Marsh Park in Cambridge.

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