Ironman 70.3 South Africa
It was an easy and big win for South Africa’s Matt Trautman at yesterday’s Ironman 70.3 South Africa. Due to the many COVID-19 rules that are still in place in the country, the race had a rather weak start field. While in the men’s race six athletes took on the battle, in the women’s race there were only two pros racing. It was South Africa’s Natia van Heerden who ended up taking the gold.
Trautman kicked off his race strongly, finishing the shortened swim in first place. He was closely followed by Cameron MacNair (ZAR), who enjoyed his slipstream. On the bike, especially during the first 45 km of climbing, Trautman extended his lead. Halfway into the race, he was already over three minutes ahead of his chasers. By the time Trautman entered T2, he had a buffer of 5:18 to MacNair, who was still in second place. On the run, all Trautman had to do was maintain his advantage and make his way to the finish line. He did so in a run time of 1:17:23, and that saw him break the tape in 3:47:25. South Africa’s James McCallum ended up taking second place (+6:50) and South Africa’s Michael Ferreira rounded the podium (+7:26).
In the women’s race, Van Heerden was also in the lead from the very start of the race. She created a buffer of approximately six minutes to South Africa’s Mariella Sawyer on the bike, and added another 1:30 to that on the run. Heerden took the win with Sawyer taking second (+7:35).
Ironman 70.3 Warsaw
Just like in South Africa, in Warsaw the women’s race didn’t have that many participants. Only four pro women started the event. It was Dutch athlete Diede Diederiks who proved to be fastest as she ran to a strong victory. The men’s race attracted more athletes with France’s Denis Chevrot taking the day.
Diederiks started her day in fourth as she lost some time – 2:20 – to the faster swimmers in the water. On the bike, she soon made up the gap, taking over the lead about halfway through the bike leg. She didn’t give up the lead from there on, extending her gap to the second woman during the half-marathon. With a run time of 1:24:19, Diederiks eventually claimed the gold. Britain’s Chantal Cummings took second (+9:28) and America’s Brittany Higgins took third (+13:29).
As the last of a group of six, Chevrot hit the gas on the bike, trying to drop Ireland’s Chris Mintern. He managed to do so and racked his bike back in T2 with an advantage of 36 seconds to his first chaser. Mintern didn’t let go easily and got back into the mix on the run. While he closed the gap to 20 seconds in the first few kilometers, he lost touch later. After five km, Chevrot took off. The Frenchman eventually clocked a half-marathon time of 1:15:24. Mintern dropped back to a sixth place in the final part of the run, while France’s Arnoud Guilloux (+2:40) and Poland’s Tomasz Brembor (+4:41) respectively ran to second and third place.