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Hauschildt, Kanute earn IRONMAN 70.3 Texas titles in Galveston

No defence of her 2017 title for Great Britain's Kimberley Morrison at IRONMAN 70.3 Texas - but a performance she can take many positives from...

Chief Correspondent
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Fourth place for defending champion Kimberley Morrison

12 months ago, Great Britain’s Kimberley Morrison won her second IRONMAN 70.3 title at IRONMAN 70.3 Texas. She didn’t win this year. She didn’t make the podium. But, having gone exactly four minutes faster and with only the names of Hauschildt, Carfrae and Wurtle in the only athletes in front of here, the hard-riding Drag2Zero athlete can take away plenty of positives from her return to Galveston. Another good step in her steady progress up the professional ranks.

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Women’s Race

Laurence Delisle (USA) led the way in the water, over a minute clear with a speedy 24:17 clocking for the 1.9km. Morrison was 3:15 back at this stage in fifth position, with Heather Wurtele (CAN), Melissa Hauschildt (AUS) among those with a few seconds entering T1.

Everyone knows that Morrison’s trump card is her bike, so of course she played it – and well. By the midpoint of the ride she was alone and clear at the front of the race, Delisle now in second and 2:27 back, with Hauschildt, Wurtele, Carfrae and Haley Chura (USA) part of the chasing five. By T2 Morrison had extended her lead to  3:47, with the chasers now down to two – Hauschildt and Wurtele, Carfrae now five minute down starting the run.

Morrison’s running has been a steady, but incremental work-in-progress for several seasons now, and with that trio of talent chasing her, she would need to use everything she had.

Two-time IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion, Melissa Hauschildt was the quickest of her chasers, but Morrison held off the pass until around the mid-point of the half marathon. Shortly after, Wurtele passed the Brit too and at the 10-mile mark, it was the returning Mirinda Carfrae showed she still has speed in her legs to move into third. Hauschildt took the win (via a 1:18:07 run), while Carfrae (1:18:49) was able to pass Wurtele (1:20:18) late on for second.

1:25:34 was the run split for Morrison – probably one of her best to date. No podium, but plenty to be pleased about.

Men’s Race

Ben Kanute made a huge breakthrough when taking the Silver medal last year at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship, He would take the win in Texas but it was a competitive race, in part due to the cycling fireworks of Andrew Starykowicz (USA), who powered his was to a 2:00:56 bike split to hold a lead of 1:38 at the end of the bike over Kanute, with Michael Weiss (AUT) 5:37 back.

While Starykowicz did lose time on the run and end up in third, his 1:18:12 (against the 1:14:16 of Kanute) – in combination with his bike split – was pretty impressive for a guy that a) many people assume ‘can’t run’, and b) was all but killed by a truck two years ago.

Speaking to Bahrain Endurace 13 Media, Kanute said, “Windy and cold this morning along with a deep field made for a tough race. Really happy to be able to break the tape!” He thanked his coach and added, “It has been a great start to the season, and I am looking forward to keeping the momentum rolling.”

Ben Kanute wins IRONMAN 70.3 Texas
Photo credit: Bahrain Endurance 13

Fantastic too to see Matthew Russell (USA) back racing. His crash with a vehicle during the 2017 IRONMAN World Champs was so horrific that many assumed he would never be able to race again. Today, he finished seventh and closed with a 1:14:15 run split. Respect!

IRONMAN 70.3 Texas – Galveston – Sunday 8th April 2018
1.9km / 90km / 21.1km

Pro Women

1st – Melissa Hauschildt (AUS) – 4:07:55
2nd – Mirinda Carfrae (AUS) – 4:09:50
3rd – Heather Wurtele (CAN) – 4:09:59
4th – Kimberley Morrison (GBR) – 4:11:40
5th – Jodie Robertson (USA) – 4:14:58
6th – Haley Chura (USA) – 4:20:14
7th – Holly Benner (USA) – 4:23:05

17th – Emma-Kate Lidbury (GBR) – 4:33:43

Pro Men

1st – Ben Kanute (USA) – 3:43:44
2nd – Michael Weiss (AUT) – 3:45:40
3rd – Andrew Starykowicz (USA) – 3:46:30
4th – Matt Hanson (USA) – 3:46:48
5th – Paul Matthews (AUS) – 3:49:09
6th – Trevor Wurtele (CAN) – 3:49:22
7th – Matthew Russell (USA) – 3:49:33

John Levison
Written by
John Levison
TRI247's Chief Correspondent, John has been involved in triathlon for well over 30 years, 15 of those writing on these pages, whilst he can also be found commentating for events across the UK.

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