Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Chris Lieto and Carfrae Dominate at Vineman Ironman 70.3

Former Ironman 70.3 world champion Mirinda Carfrae ran her way to a new women’s course record and new women’s run course record at the Vineman Ironman 70.3 presented by Avia on Sunday. Meanwhile, the USA’s Chris Lieto opened a gap on New Zealand’s Kieran Doe during the second half of the bike course, one that he would never relinquish to eventually go on and win the men’s race. Professionals were racing for $25,000 at the 20th Anniversary of the Vineman Ironman 70.3, one of the sports legendary races.

As anticipated the women’s field didn’t disappoint today when Canadian Melanie McQuaid led into the bike to run transition with a 1 minute, 15 second lead over a tightly arranged group of Leanda Cave, Tyler Stewart, Angela Naeth, Mirinda Carfrae and Dede Greisbauer. The finish order shuffled only slightly as Carfrae ran herself into first place, winning by nearly seven minutes, leaving the group to battle for the of the remainder of the prize money.

Lieto, in the midst of tight battle with Doe at the halfway point of the 56 mile bike leg, decided he needed to stamp his authority on one of his favorite races to try and secure the win. Doe entered the bike to run transition almost four minutes down to Lieto, and while not able to cut into Lieto’s lead during the run he managed to run well enough to take the second spot on the podium. The final three podium spots were tightly contested by James Cotter, Jamie Whyte, and Tim Marr.

Highlighting the amateur race were age group wins by Vineman veterans Cherie Gruenfeld (65-69), Harriet Anderson (75-79), and Sister Madonna Buder (80-84).

The 20th Anniversary Vineman Ironman 70.3 presented by Avia saw more than 2000 athletes enter the Russian River under the typical Sonoma County marine layer to start the day. The cool temperatures gave way to bright sunshine and warm conditions later in the day as athletes finished the race in Windsor, Ca.

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