Words: IRONMAN® | Photo: Nils Nilsen/IRONMAN
Colorado shone brightly today at the inaugural IRONMAN Boulder triathlon as Justin Daerr (USA) and Danielle Kehoe (USA) each took home their first ever IRONMAN wins in comeback fashion with times of 8:20:26 and 9:19:54, respectively.
Amongst the most respected IRONMAN 70.3 athletes in the world, Richie Cunningham (AUS), doing his first IRONMAN race since coming in fourth at IRONMAN Arizona in 2009, started the day looking like a man on a mission. He led co-favorite Justin Daerr (USA) and Karol Kristov (EST) by almost three minutes out of the water. It didn’t take long for today’s race to become a two-man affair as Cunningham and Daerr separated themselves from the rest of the field. Kristov would hang on in third for the rest of the ride, but starting the run he was 25 minutes behind.
Daerr remained between four and five minutes behind Cunningham for most of the ride, but started to gain some time over the closing miles of the ride. Once on the run course Daerr steadily gained time on his fellow Boulder resident and was 1:30 back at the halfway point of the marathon. A few miles later Cunningham stopped to stretch out a cramp and Daerr quickly moved ahead, cruising to his first IRONMAN title after seven top-five finishes.
Scott Defilippis would run his way to third to round out the podium, finishing almost 34 minutes behind.
1. Justin Daerr USA 8:20:26
2. Richie Cunningham AUS 8:30:38
3. Scott Defilippis USA 8:54:19
4. Steven Zawaski USA 9:01:53
5. Mark Hillers USA 9:14:44
When it came to picking favorites for today’s race, Danielle Kehoe’s (USA) name wasn’t one that appeared on a lot of pre-race lists. Most of the talk was about Laura Bennett (USA) who was making her IRONMAN racing debut, after being one of the most decorated short course athletes in U.S. triathlon history (numerous world titles along with a fourth place finish at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing).
Bennett dominated the swim, coming out of the water 1:36 ahead of Carrie Lester (USA) and almost nine minutes ahead of Uli Bromme (USA) and Kehoe who would be last out of T2.
Lester didn’t take long to move to the front of the ride, but Bennett hung tough for a long way, keeping the gap to about a minute until the 75-mile point. After that, though, Lester steadily pulled away, finishing the bike with a five-minute lead on Bennett and almost nine-minutes on Kehoe, who had moved through the rest of the women’s field to finish the bike in third.
Lester, who has been recovering from a stress fracture, pulled out of the run just four miles in, which left Bennett in the lead for the next 10 miles. Kehoe steadily ate into her lead and by the 16-mile point of the marathon she was in front. Just months after she collapsed while in the lead at IRONMAN 70.3 New Orleans with just two miles to go, Kehoe surged through the last 10 miles of this race, sprinting across the line for her first professional triathlon win.
Bennett would finish in second, while Christine Hammond rounded out the podium.
Top five professional women’s results:
1. Danielle Kehoe USA 9:19:54
2. Laura Bennett USA 9:43:59
3. Christine Hammond USA 9:53:04
4. Morgan Chaffin USA 9:57:28
5. Uli Bromme USA 10:01:13
One of more than 30 events in the global IRONMAN Series, IRONMAN Boulder led athletes along a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile run on a course that utilized a variety of the city of Boulder and its surrounding areas. The race started at the Boulder Reservoir with a single-loop swim. Once out of the water, athletes embarked upon a 112-mile, one-loop bike course that looped around Carter Lake and along the eastern plains of the Front Range before ending downtown at Boulder High School. The two-loop run course was almost entirely on Boulder Creek Trail and ended with a triumphant finish up Pearl Street. The event offered a total professional prize purse of $75,000 and 50 coveted age-group slots to the 2014 IRONMAN World Championship presented by GoPro, taking place on Oct. 11 in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i.
Visit www.ironman.com/boulder for event information and official results. Media inquiries should be directed to .
The iconic IRONMAN® Series of events is the largest participation sports platform in the world. Since the inception of the IRONMAN® brand in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines at the world’s most challenging endurance races. Recognized for excellence through distinguished events, world-class athletes and quality products, IRONMAN has grown from a single race to a global sensation with more than 190 events across five unique brands: IRONMAN®, IRONMAN 70.3®, 5150™ Triathlon Series, Iron Girl® and IRONKIDS®. For more information, visit www.ironman.com.