Joe Gambles takes fourth Ironman 70.3 Boulder win while Jodie Swallow, Rachel Joyce and Leanda Cave fill an all-British podium
The home race for many pro athletes living in the high-altitude triathlon mecca of Boulder, Colorado, Ironman 70.3 Boulder always attracts a strong field and with Joe Gambles searching for a quartet of wins and a deep women’s field, this year’s event was no exception.
In the men’s race, Joe Gambles (AUS) left the water in seventh place – only nine seconds back in 23:15 – and then proved unstoppable on two wheels, blowing by the rest of the field after less than a mile to take first on the road.
Gambles put in a 2:03:03 bike split that was over three minutes faster than his nearest challenger and gave him a four minute lead over fastest swimmer of the day James Seear (AUS), who headed a chase group including Tim Don (GBR) and Richie Cunningham (AUS).
It was Don who took up the challenge to run the Aussie down and with 11km of the half marathon completed, the Brit had more than halved Gambles’ advantage.
Gambles managed to up his running game to stay out of sight of the charging Don and crossed the line in 3:42:13 to set a new record and take his fourth straight victory at the event.
Don’s incredible running form saw him smash the half marathon in only 1:11:49 and take second in 3:44:05 while Cunningham rounded out the podium in 3:46:54.
Swallow led the opening miles of the bike leg, but a determined Joyce was set on tracking her down. Once the catch had been made, the British pair worked together to distance the rest of the pro field. Joyce was first to T2, her 2:14:55 split the fastest of the day.
Swallow was around 20 seconds behind, with Cave another five minutes back, and put in a fast start to the run, giving herself 30 seconds of space. Joyce, second in Kona last year, steadily eroded the gap over next few kilometres, getting within spitting distance of the leader.
Swallow powered on tenaciously while Joyce, having missed a gel at an aid station, fell back. Swallow drove ahead to take the win in 4:07:37. Joyce claimed second in 4:09:00 while Cave bested Rebekah Keat (AUS) by 20 seconds to take third in 4:13:03.
Top 3 Men
Joe Gambles (AUS) 3:42:13
Tim Don (GBR) 3:44:05
Richie Cunningham (AUS) 3:46:54
Top 3 Women
Jodie Swallow (GBR) 4:07:37
Rachel Joyce (GBR) 4:09:00
Leanda Cave (GBR) 4:13:03