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Impressive Jackson takes 70.3 California
Posted by: John Levison
Posted on: Saturday 30th March 2013


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British news before the start of today's Accenture Ironman 70.3 California, Oceanside was the withdrawal of Emma-Kate Lidbury from the starting line-up, having dislocated a shoulder last week. "It is too early in the season to risk it" she told, but with the possibility of racing 70.3 Texas next Sunday instead, this should be a blip rather than a major impact on her 2013 season. Aussie Annabel Luxford was also a DNS, though our strong pick for the win, Heather Jackson (USA) was there and not wanting to make it three consecutive runner-up finished at Oceanside.

Unlike the men's race, there was a clear break in the swim with a trio of Radka Vodikova (CZE). Amy Marsh (USA) and Camilla Pedersen (DEN) close on two minutes ahead of favourites such as Mirinda Carfrae (AUS), Heather Wurtele (CAN) and Brits Lesley Paterson and Rachel Joyce. While not a bad swim in absolute terms, we're more familair with seeing Joyce with that front group. As here season progresses, we suspect that normal service will be resumed on that front. Historically weak(er) on the swim leg, Jackson was barely 30 secondsbehind that group of favourites... which given her bike, run and course form, must have put her in a great frame of mind - and had everyone else worried.

Further gaps would develop on the bike too. While Vodickova lost significant time, Amy Marsh was able to lead solo into T2, but her lead of just over a minute on the foursome of Jackson, Wurtele, Pederesen and Linsey Corbin (USA) looked highly fragile - especially given Jackson has a 1:14 open half marathon on her CV already this year. Behind the leaders, Joyce, Paterson, Vodickova and 2012 winner Melanie McQuaid were almost another five minutes before reaching T2. Out of contention?

The win was never in doubt, Jackson cruising home to add Oceanside 70.3 to her Escape from Alcatraz win for a superb start to 2013, making short work of catching and passing Amy Marsh - who fell back to fifth - with Wurtele taking second and a storming run from twice XTERRA World Champ Lesley Paterson to take the final podium spot.

Rachel Joyce finished seventh, a solid day in all three disciplines without any especially approaching her real potential. After a longer than normal winter break due to an enforced layoff, she'll be glad to have chalked her first event off and be looking to improve ahead of her major summer goals.

Pos Women
1st Heather Jackson (USA) 4:13:48
2nd Heather Wurtele (CAN) 4:16:11
3rd Lesley Paterson (GBR) 4:17:46
4th Linsey Corbin (USA) 4:18:41
5th Amy Marsh (USA) 4:19:44
6th Camilla Pedersen (DEN) 4:20:04
7th Rachel Joyce (GBR) 4:21:12
8th Mirinda Carfrae (AUS) 4:25:43
9th Radka Vodickova (CZE) 4:25:45
10th Amber Ferreira (USA) 4:30:37

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