Smith, Snyder win Ironman
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.
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.
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.