Monday, August 27, 2007

Snowsill, outruns World's best in the Windy City - Waldo gets 2nd

While Ironman athletes took to the streets of Lousiville, Kentucky, Penticton, Canada and Jeju, South Korea, some of the World’s top speedsters headed to the Windy City for the Accenture Chicago Triathlon – the largest multisport event on the planet.

The list of pros at the start line in Chicago’s Monroe Harbor was perhaps the deepest and most versatile of any triathlon this season. In the women’s race, the top woman in all three major distances (Olympic, 70.3, Ironman) were all on hand in the form of Emma Snowsill, Samantha McGlone and Michellie Jones. After just under two hours of racing, Snowsill proved to be too quick for the long-course girls.

The Aussie ITU-sensation led a very elite group out of the water, which included Americans Becky Lavelle and Rebeccah Wassner and Britain’s Julie Dibens. Once the top women made their way onto the flat and fast bike course, Dibens took charge and Lavelle gave chase. The Brit stormed down the Chicago Lakefront at over 25 mph and hit T2 with about half-a-minute on Lavelle and an almost two-minute advantage over the fleet-footed Snowsill.

As soon as Snowsill found her stride it became clear that the rest of the women didn’t stand a chance. The queen of the Lifetime Fitness Triathlon Series destroyed the field with a 35:10 10km run (faster than all but 10 men), to win in 1:59:45. Lavelle ran past Dibens for third, with reigning Ironman 70.3 World Champion Samantha McGlone running her way to fourth, just one second behind Dibens. Ironman World Champ Michellie Jones was ninth (2:06:05).

If Snowsill is the queen of the Lifetime Fitness Series (Minneapolis, New York, Chicago, L.A, Dallas), then her countryman, Greg Bennett is king. He’s already won in Minneapolis and New York this season and at Chicago, he reminded the rest of the top pros that he’s the fastest runner in the sport.

Aussie Craig Walton, considered by most to be triathlon’s best swimmer, was actually beaten out of Lake Michigan by Brazil’s Paulo Miyashiro. However, the Aussie was mere seconds back and quickly made up the difference by posting the fastest bike split of the day (54:42). Only Bennett and American bike-phenom David Thompson were able to keep pace, but Thompson’s swim-deficit would force him to settle for third.

Walton entered T2 with a lead of just over 90 seconds, but he needed a little more than that to hold off the hard-charging Bennett. As Snowsill did in the women’s race, Bennett pieced together a ridiculous 10km run (31:58) and made winning look easy. Bennett stopped the clock in 1:48:48, with Walton 47 seconds back. Thompson, one of the sport’s best bike-run specialists, showed he’s improved his swim a bit (21:03 in the water) and the extra time spent in the pool helped him to a third place finish.

Accenture Chicago Triathlon
August 26, 2007
Chicago, Ill
1.5-k sw, 40-k ru, 10-k ru


1. Emma Snowsill (AUS) 1:59:45
2. Becky Lavelle (USA) 2:01:24
3. Julie Dibens (GBR) 2:01:47
4. Samantha McGlone (CAN) 2:01:48
5. Mirinda Carfrae (USA) 2:04:07


1. Greg Bennett (AUS) 1:48:48
2. Craig Walton (AUS) 1:49:35
3. David Thompson (USA) 1:51:07
4. Paul Matthews (AUS) 1:51:33
5. Paulo Miyashiro (BRA) 1:52:06

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