Smith, Sny­der win Iron­man

Dorchester Star - - Front Page - By DAVID INSLEY dins­ley@star­dem.com

CAM­BRIDGE — Molly Smith’s goal was sim­ple: “just put one foot in front of the other.”

In the end, those feet car­ried her to vic­tor y.

Smith, a 37-year-old doc­toral stu­dent at the Univer­sity of Den­ver, made the trip from Colorado with her hus­band and fel­low racer, who served as a guide for, and ran the course with, a dis­abled triath­lete.

Tak­ing the lead about twothirds of the way along the 26.2-mile run at the end of

the 140.6-mile race, Smith fin­ished the 2017 Iron­man Mary­land triathlon in nine hours, 54 min­utes, and 26 sec­onds, tak­ing first place in the women’s cat­e­gory — in her first full-length triathlon.

“With my hus­band tak­ing part, I fig­ured, let’s put my name in, and we’ll see what hap­pens,” Smith said. Upon tak­ing the lead, she added, her first thought was, “’How did that hap­pen? ... Now, don’t screw this up.’”

D. J. Sny­der’s motto was sim­i­lar to that of Smith. “Keep push­ing,” he said of the mostly pan-flat course that ranged far and wide over Dorch­ester County, in­clud­ing a 112-mile bi­cy­cle ride and a marathon-length, 26-2-mile run. “I just had to keep push­ing the whole time.”

With a 63-minute swim, Sny­der, who placed 19th at Iron­man Boul­der in Colorado in June, av­er­aged 25.14 miles an hour on the bike course, and ran the marathon por­tion in 3:07:25, for a to­tal time of 8:51:11 adding in two changes of cloth­ing and equip­ment as the race pro­gressed.

Smith’s swim took 1:12:39; she rode the bike course in 5:03:39, and the run took her 3:31:48, for a to­tal of 9:54:26, count­ing in a lit­tle over four min­utes for two tran­si­tions, from swim to bike, and from bike to run.

Un­like in 2016, when sev­eral days of rain prior to the race made ev­ery­thing a quag­mire, and ad­verse wind and tidal con­di­tions caused the can­cel­la­tion of the 2.4mile swim por­tion at the last minute, things were much more tol­er­a­ble for the rac­ers on Satur­day, if a bit warm.

The tem­per­a­ture when Sny­der breasted the tape at Long Wharf Park on Satur­day was 81 de­grees, with party cloudy con­di­tions and a 10-mile-an-hour breeze com­ing in from the south­east.

“I was orig­i­nally here to cheer on my hus­band, who’s with an­other par­tic­i­pant with spe­cial needs,” Smith said; her hus­band Matt, him­self a long­time racer as well, fin­ished about half an hour af­ter she did. “I de­cided to try it, be­cause I wanted to see if it was maybe more fun tak­ing part than it was cheer­ing it.

“The weather was great, the course was great, the vol­un­teers were all great,” Molly Smith added. “It was just a great day.”

The Iron­man Mary­land race be­gan in 2005; known as the Ch­e­sa­peakeMan at the time, it un­der­went an of­fi­cial name change a few years back. A full-Iron­length race, it came about due to de­mand af­ter the suc­cess of the Ox­ford Triathlon, a half-length race that moved to Cam­bridge in 1989 and was re­named Ea­gle­man more than a decade ago.

PHOTO BY DAVID INSLEY

Molly Smith cel­e­brates her first-place fin­ish in Satur­day’s Iron­man Mary­land triathlon, held in Cam­bridge. She fin­ished the race in 9 hours, 54 min­utes, 26 sec­onds, swim­ming 2.4 miles, bi­cy­cling 112 more, and then run­ning a full 26.2-mile marathon to take top ladies’ hon­ors.

PHOTO BY DAVID INSLEY

D. J. Sny­der ap­proaches the fin­ish line at Long Wharf Park in Cam­bridge, to take top men’s hon­ors in the 2017 Iron­man Mary­land triathlon. He fin­ished the race in 8 hours, 51 min­utes, and 11 sec­onds.

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