Beals, Lester fastest ath­letes at Ironman 70.3

Record Observer - - Sports - By CHRIS KNAUSS ck­nauss@star­dem.com

CAM­BRIDGE — Re­turn­ing to the scene of his first pro vic­tory, triath­lete Cody Beals of Canada re­peated as the Ironman 70.3 Ea­gle­man win­ner Sun­day morn­ing.

Be­fore the tem­per­a­ture hit 90 de­grees, Beals swam 1.2 miles, biked 56 miles, and ran 13.1 miles through this wa­ter­front town and out into the coun­try­side.

Beals took the lead in the bike por­tion and added to his lead in the run to fin­ish with a time of 3 hours, 50 min­utes, 2 sec­onds, beat­ing his time last year of 3:51:05.

Over 1,800 ath­letes from around the world com­peted in the event, which be­gan with an in-wa­ter start at Great Marsh Park.

The triathlon awarded 30 qual­i­fy­ing slots to the 2016 Ironman 70.3 World Cham­pi­onship in Sun­shine Coast, Queens­land, Aus­tralia.

Australian pro­fes­sional triath­lete Car­rie Lester won the women’s di­vi­sion with a time of 4:23:03. In a close race for sec­ond and third, Beth Shutt, of Brockton, Mas­sachusetts, fin­ished with a time of 4:30:32, 28 sec­onds ahead of Lau­ren Capone, of Santa Bar­bara, Cal­i­for­nia.

Adam Ot­stot, of Wil­liams­burg, Vir­ginia, fin­ished sec­ond over­all with a time of 3:56:38, and Thomas Ger­lach, of Madi­son, Wis­con­sin, placed third in 4:01:0.

Wy­att Collins, of Larch­mont, New York, who placed 13th over­all, was the first ath­lete out of the wa­ter with a time of 23:25.

Beals, 26, was third in his di­vi­sion and 33rd over­all com­ing out of the wa­ter with a time of 27:41. He took the over­all lead with a bike split of 2:03:41 and added breath­ing room with a split of 1:16:21 in the run. His tran­si­tion times were 1:20 for swim-to-bike and :59 for bike-to-run.

Beals has fin­ished in the top three in nine Ironman 70.3 triathlons, with his two first-place vic­to­ries both com­ing in Cam­bridge.

“I’m ab­so­lutely over­joyed to de­fend here,” said Beals. “It was my first pro win last year and now my sec­ond win this year. It’s safe to say I’ll be back next year.”

Beals’ break­through race came in 2013 when he won the On­tario Long Dis­tance Cham­pi­onships and he joined the pro ranks in 2014.

He spoke highly of the many vol­un­teers that make the triathlon pos­si­ble in Cam­bridge.

“That’s the real unique thing we have here with the whole com­mu­nity ral­ly­ing be­hind this event,” he said. “The vol­un­teer sup­port, the spectator sup­port, the or­ga­ni­za­tion of this event, it’s all world class, so it’s a plea­sure to race here.”

Lester was out of the wa­ter in 28:14, fifth in her di­vi­sion. She took the lead in the bike cir­cuit in 2:19:33 and com­pleted the run in 1:32:57. Her tran­si­tion times were 1:38 for the swim-to­bike and 1:21 for the biketo-run.

Lester, 35, com­peted in her first triathlon in 2004. Five years later, she won both the Age Group Olympic and Long Course Dis­tance World Cham­pi­onships and de­cided to turn pro. In 2010, she won the Australian Ironman held at Port Mac­quarie. She has also won five other dis­tance races in­clud­ing Ironman Chat­tanooga in Septem­ber, 2015.

Mak­ing her Ea­gle­man de­but, Lester said she was glad that the early morn­ing tem­per­a­tures were rel­a­tively mild com­pared to what she had heard about pre­vi­ous races.

“It’s a tough course,” said Lester. “Some of these flat­ter cour­ses are just as bru­tal as some of the hil­lier cour­ses that I’ve been ex­posed to. It was a tough day. I’m a lit­tle bit shocked ac­tu­ally. From the moment I started

the swim I thought I was drown­ing, and I thought it was go­ing to be a re­ally hor­ri­ble day, but I just wanted to keep my head strong and here I am.”

De­spite her strug­gle, she said she would like an­other try at the Ea­gle­man cir­cuit.

“I would cer­tainly love to come and try and do bet­ter on this course. It’s a great course. It’s beau­ti­ful out there. There was a lot of times I felt like I was over in Europe, in the nice countr yside. It’s a re­ally beau­ti­ful course and I’d cer­tainly love to come back.”

Fol­low me on Twit­ter @csknauss Email me at

ck­nauss@star­dem.com

PHOTO BY CHRIS KNAUSS

Cody Beals of Canada fin­ishes first to re­peat as cham­pion at the Ironman 70.3 Ea­gle­man triathlon Sun­day morn­ing in Cam­bridge.

PHOTO BY CHRIS KNAUSS

Car­rie Lester of Aus­tralia cel­e­brates her vic­tory in the women’s di­vi­sion at the Ironman 70.3 Ea­gle­man triathlon Sun­day morn­ing in Cam­bridge.

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