The ever-popular Ironman 70.3 Indian Wells – also one of the last major international races of the year – has just been won by Casper Stornes and Solveig Lovseth. In doing so, both athletes caused quite a surprise.
For Stornes, the day started off pretty well right away, as while fourteen men came out of the water within a minute of each other, he was right there in fourth position. On the bike, many of these men stayed together for a long time, while Sam Long rode from further back just to the front and kept getting closer. Meanwhile, the leading group began to fall further and further apart until finally four men started the half marathon at about the same time: in addition to Stornes, Sebastian Wernersen, Justin Riele and Long.
During that run, Wernersen first took the lead for a while, but after only a few kilometers Stornes began to set the race pace and took the lead solo. Even though his lead was never really big, it was soon clear that Stornes was strong enough to win the race. He did so in a time of 3:38:59. Marc Dubrick finished second in 3:40:15 and Sam Long finished third in 3:40:27.
In the women’s race Lovseth had a much less fortunate start. At 2:31 minutes behind, she exited the water in thirteenth place, with women such as Jodie Stimpson, Tamara Jewett and Jackie Hering ahead of her, among others. On the bike, however, she proved capable of something that seems almost impossible on paper: within fifteen kilometers she had already made up her deficit, and another fifteen kilometers later she was leading solo, with a lead of almost two minutes over Stimpson and also the American Emily Tato. It wasn’t a reason for Lovseth to slow down, because once back in T2 her lead had already increased to nearly six minutes over a group of six competitors.
That six-minute lead did shrink slightly during the run, but it proved more than enough to win the race. Lovseth won in a time of 4:08:24. Tamara Jewett finished second in 4:10:19 and Jackie Hering third in 4:14:09.