Sam Long continued his impressive 2021 season by running away from Aussie Sam Appleton, while Emma Pallant-Brown managed to run her way past Olympic mixed team relay silver medalist Taylor Knibb to take the women’s race at Ironman 70.3 Boulder.
Another impressive run for Pallant-Browne
Emma Pallant-Browne has always been renowned as a fantastic runner, and the British athlete had to use that talent to bridge a gap of 1:34 to the youngest American Olympic triathlete ever, Taylor Knibb. Fresh off her impressive relay race in Tokyo, Knibb led the women out of the water, with Brazil’s Pam Oliveira on her fieet. South Africa’s Jeeni Metzler was almost a minute down, with Meredith Kessler and Pallant-Browne about 1:40 behind as they started the bike.
Riding on the same bike she used in Tokyo – with draft-legal aero bars and no disc wheel, Knibb managed to say ahead of the rest of the women, hitting T2 with a lead of 1:09 on Metzler and 1:15 on Pallant-Browne, and used her World Triathlon transition skills to open up a bit more time on the women chasing behind.
By 10 km into the run, though, Pallant-Browne had made up all the time on the American and was in the lead, never looking back as she blasted through a 1:17:40 run split to take the win in 3:59:54. Metzler would eventually catch Knibb, too, but the American managed to hold her off by just 12 seconds to take second in her half-distance debut (4:02:20 to 4:02:32), with American Skye Moench taking fourth in 4:09:43 and Canada’s Tamara Jewett rounding out the top five in 4:10:51 after posting the day’s fastest run split of 1:16:51.
Long unstoppable … once he gets on land
In the battle of the Sams it was Aussie Appleton who led the way out of the water with Sam Long 3:55 behind in 26th place starting the bike. By the halfway point of the bike ride, though, Long had moved himself to second, but was still 2:09 behind Appleton. Long continued his relentless pursuit and managed to get to T2 six seconds up, with American Collin Chartier in third place, 3:28 behind, followed by Bermuda’s Tyler Butterfield and American Justin Metzler in fourth and fifth, just over 4:30 back.
Long would continue his incredible bike/ run combination with a 1:12:01 half-marathon run to easily outdistance Appleton for the win, crossing the line in 3:37:35 to the Australian’s 3:41:00. Chartier would hang on for third (3:43:05) with South African Bradley Weiss taking fourth (3:44:14) and Metzler finishing fifth (3:45:40).