Former draft-legal racer Jason West (USA) confirmed his position as a premier half-distance racer today, following up his runner-up finish in Augusta last weekend with a win today at Ironman 70.3 Memphis. A solid second half of the run for South Africa’s Bradley Weiss wasn’t enough to catch West, but it was more than enough to net him second.
American Marc Dubrick led the way out of the water, hitting T1 with a lead of a minute on a group of 10 that included many of the race favorites including Tim Reed (AUS), Bradley Weiss (RSA), along with American’s Jason West and Ben Hoffman. That group eventually moved to the front with Hoffman, fresh off a full-distance third-place finish in Chattanooga last weekend, leading through 30 km. He would also surge over the last 20 km of the ride to lead into T2 by 26 seconds over Weiss, with Reed leading the rest of the group about a minute behind the leader.
Out on the run course, though, Hoffman quickly went backwards – the marathon from last weekend no-doubt catching up with him – as West surged to the front early with Dubrick and Weiss just a few seconds behind. Through 5 km West managed to get clear with Dubrick staying close at eight seconds behind and Weiss at 40 seconds down. West, fresh off a runner-up finish from 70.3 Augusta last weekend, continued to push and opened up more time on the men behind, hitting the halfway point of the run with a lead of 1:03 on Dubrick and 1:22 on Weiss. The lead maxed out through 16 km, though, as Weiss started his own charge towards the front, steadily gaining ground on the American.
The charge came too late, though, as West was able to maintain the lead in the pouring rain as he crossed the line line, finishing in 3:45:05 after a speedy 1:09:17 half marathon. Weiss would finish in 3:46:40, with swim-leader Dubrick rounding out the podium in 3:49:29. Brazil’s Andre Lopes would take fourth in 3:52:04 with American Marty Andrie (3:43:40) managing to outsprint Brazil’s Danilo Pimental (3:53:58) for fifth.