It looked like it was going to be another sprint to the line for Olympic silver medalist Lisa Norden (SWE) as American Heather Jackson moved to just 50 seconds down during the marathon, but in the end Norden held off the charge to take Ironman Lake Placid in impressive style.
American super-swimmer Lauren Brandon led the women out of the water, with Brazil’s Pamella Oliveira 2:24 back and Norden into T1 in third, 4:09 behind Brandon. Jackson was sixth out of the water, 8:54 back.
Norden, who is such a good cyclist that she won the Swedish national road title a few years ago, steadily moved to the front on the bike – by the halfway point of the challenging Lake Placid bike course she was 4:26 up on Brandon, 5:28 ahead of Oliveira and 6:06 up on Jackson.
By the end of the bike Norden’s lead was 6:11 on Jackson, with American 50-year-old wonder Dede Griesbauer in third, 18:04 behind the Swede.
By the 16 km point of the run Jackson had trimmed the lead down to 2:42, and a few miles later she was less than two minutes behind Norden. Through 31 km of the run the lead had shrunk to 50 seconds, but that’s where Jackson’s charge stalled as she suddenly found herself just trying to get to the finish line, dealing with cramps that forced her to stop and stretch, before getting back to running again. Through the next timing check five km later the lead was over five minutes, and Norden appeared to have the race in hand.
Which she did, crossing the line in 9:11:26 after a 3:16 marathon. Despite her issues late in the race Jackson managed to get to the line in second in 9:18:52 after a 3:19:01 marathon. Switzerland’s Joanna Ryter ran a blazing 2:57:31 marathon to run her way to third in 9:31:47, with Oliveira taking fourth in 9:42:02.
You can find full results from today’s race here.