He was first out of the water and first across the finish line: Canada’s Matthew Sharpe just won Ironman 70.3 Boulder. America’s Justin Metzler took second (+0:51), while fellow American Ben Hoffman (+1:04) completed the podium. In the women’s race, it was America’s Rach McBride who ran to the victory. McBride shared the podium with America’s Lesley Smith (+3:19) and New Zealand’s Hannah Wells (+6:37).
Swimming 25:27 minutes over 1900 meters, Sharpe was first out of the water. He was followed by America’s Marty Andrie, who was right at his feet, while some other strong pro athletes followed in a small group of four. On the bike, Metzler and Hoffman soon bridged the gap to Sharpe and Andrie, which initially saw a lead group of four take shape. In the second half of the bike part, Sharpe and Andrie lost touch with that group. Meanwhile, America’s Kennett Peterson had found a rhythm and moved up from behind to a first place. Peterson was first off the bike, followed by Metzler and Hoffman (+1:00). Sharpe racked his bike in 5th place (+1:46).
On the run, Sharpe placed an attack. In 5K he already closed the gap and ran to the front of the field. While Sharpe continued his strike and claimed the gold, Metzler and Hoffman settled in second and third place.
Being 3:18 minutes behind the leading lady – America’s Lauren Brandon – there was work to do for McBride after the swim. Slowly, but steadily, McBride moved to the front. So did America’s Holly Lawrence, who pulled off a strong bike part, but wasn’t able to keep up with McBride. McBride was first to rack the bike after 2:11:36 hours in the saddle. Lawrence followed in second place (+0:16), Brandon in third (+2:55) and Wells in fourth place (+5:01).
Once they got to run, McBride disappeared out of sight for Lawrence. From behind, Wells and Smith showed that they had enough energy left to run a great half-marathon too. Running 1:29:15 hour McBride got to claim the victory. Smith followed in second place, and Wells settled for third. Lawrence struggled with stomach issues and couldn’t continue her race.