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Bennett, Williamson win shortened Muncie '70.3'
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Saturday 7th July 2012


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Two hours for a '70.3'?! That was the unfortunate situation today for race winner Greg Bennett at Ironman 70.3 Muncie.

The usual 1.9k / 90k / 21.1k (or 1.2 / 56 / 13.1 if you prefer imperial miles!) course was revised to a 1-mile / 30-mile / 10km 'slightly long Olympic distance' thanks to an "Excessive Heat Warning issued by The National Weather Service" on Friday. The full explanation was issued to athletes in THIS LETTER, which outlined "an earlier start time, condensed start times between swim waves and aid stations located every half-mile along the run, as well as additional cooling stations and tents set up along the course and at the finish line" as enhanced safety precautions.

Third last year, we had highlighted Leanda Cave as returning to race again this year, but she was a DNS due to a back "niggle" as she outlined here. Jodie Swallow however was racing, alongside Rich Allen.

Ladies

Kelly Williamson has been, in much over-used speak this season, "on fire" (performance wise), and surely a serious contender for the 70.3 World Champs in Las Vegas in September. Wins in San Juan and Texas are highlights of her 70.3 season to date.

Jodie Swallow was first out of the water in her usual fashion, but Williamson was only 10 seconds in arrears at T1. Swallow - along with perhaps Amanda Stevens and Julie Dibens - is one of the 'benchmarks' in ladies middle/long distance triathlon swimming, showing Williamson is clearly the real deal in the water alongside her brilliant running. That pair had two minutes over the majority of a surprisingly high quality field which included multiple Ironman winners Carfrae, Lawn and Keat.

Williamson and Swallow added another minute to their advantage during the ride, while US athlete Missy Kuck was only a minute back on the Williamson/Swallow double starting the revised 10km run.

Williamson showed the awesome run speed that has been her trademark this year to finish a clear four minutes ahead of Swallow, an ITU and 70.3 World Champion. Carfrae was the fastest of the chasers, and while she gained two minutes on Swallow it was still only good enough for third. Joanna Lawn (NZL) fourth and Rebekah Keat (AUS) fifth made it a very impressive top five as Kuck faded on the run back to sixth.

Men

Greg Bennett has been one of the dominant athletes in the U.S. non-drafting Olympic distance scene for many years now - so no surprise to see his name at the top of the leaderboard at the finish.

Aussie Joshua Amberger dominated the swim, his 19:49 split a full minute clear of Bennett, Daniel Bretscher (USA), Christian Kemp (AUS), James Duff (USA) and Ben Hoffman (USA). Great Britain's Rich Allen was a few seconds off the back of this group, but a strong cyclist, he was still in the frame.

Bennett and Kemp made up their one minute deficit during the ride to join Amberger starting the run at T2, while Allen, Hoffman, Bretscher and Duff were the chase group just over one minute back - all to play for on the 10km run.

Bennett had the freshest/fastest legs for the run, the Olympic Games fourth place finisher taking the win as early pace setter Amberger held strong for second. Kemp was based by both Hoffman and Bretscher to finish the race in fifth place.

Pos Men Women
1st Greg Bennett (USA) 2:00:24 Kelly Williamson (USA) 2:10:53
2nd Joshua Amberger (AUS) 2:01:37 Jodie Swallow (GBR) 2:14:55
3rd Ben Hoffman (USA) 2:03:24 Mirinda Carfrae (AUS) 2:15:33
4th Daniel Bretscher (USA) 2:03:43 Joanna Lawn (NZL) 2:18:33
5th Christian Kemp (AUS) 2:04:31 Rebekah Keat (AUS) 2:19:37

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