For the second year in a row, Heather Wurtele (CAN) claimed the top spot in a fiercely competitive IRONMAN 70.3 North American Championship race in St. George, Utah, while Radka Vodickova (CZE) continued her 2016 podium streak with a 2nd place finish at IRONMAN 70.3 Vietnam in Danang this past weekend.
“Congrats to Heather and Rads! Heather’s year keeps getting better. First, she was named Canadian Long Course Triathlete of the Year and then took first place at IRONMAN 70.3s in Monterrey and Oceanside. Now, she adds this repeat victory of the 70.3 North American Championships where she even had both the fastest bike and run times among the pro women – even in ridiculously lousy weather,” said the Human Interest Group Director Michael Cardoza.
“Radka too had a good weekend at IRONMAN 70.3 Vietnam with an amazing swim and second fastest run. As she has demonstrated in Geelong, Subic Bay, and her first place win at Putrajaya, you can count on Rads to be on the podium. If I hadn’t known how fit Zena (Caroline Steffen) is right now I would have bet on Radka for the win, but it’s always a good battle when athletes like Liz (Blachford) and Zena toe the line.”
“It really is impressive how consistent these two ladies are. Every day, Heather and Radka show up to be their best, and their work paid off again this weekend.”
Team Wurtele’s Heather Extends 70.3 North American Champion Title
Reigning IRONMAN 70.3 North American champ Heather Wurtele extended her title another year by overcoming harsh elements and strong competitors on the St. George course.
Kicking off the race, Wurtele exited the swim among the top 10 pro women with a time of 27:59 (1:26/100m). She confidently advanced to the lead pack on the bike, and with about one-third of the bike course remaining, Wurtele rode past her two competitors to take the front spot and eventually claimed the fastest bike time (2:22:33). Exiting T-2, Wurtele started the 13.1 miles run in the rain with eventual runner-up Holly Lawrence. Lawrence shadowed Wurtele through the first several miles until the dominating steady and strong run of Wurtele took over. Wurtele’s run was clocked at 1:22:55, also the fastest during the day.
Wurtele kept the IRONMAN 70.3 North American championship title by crossing the finish line first with a time of 4:16:48, about one minute faster than her victorious performance in 2015. In 2013 and 2014, Wurtele took 3rd place on the St. George course.
With the title of IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion on the horizon, Wurtele next takes on IRONMAN 70.3 Victoria, Mount Tremblant, and Racine during the summer.
Radka Vodičková Rockets to 70.3 Podium for 4th Time in 2016
IRONMAN 70.3 champion and Olympic triathlete Radka Vodičková stepped to the podium for the fourth time this season after an impressive and speedy 2nd place finish at IRONMAN 70.3 Vietnam in Danang over the weekend.
First out of the water among the pro women with a time of 23:25, Vodičková was joined by fellow elite competitors Caroline Steffen and Liz Blatchford on the bike. Vodičková kept the heat on Steffen and Blatchford throughout the rest of the race: she scored a bike time of 2:19:22 (3rd fastest) and run 1:28:22 (2nd fastest). Ultimately, Vodičková finished the race at 4:15:46.
Most recently, Vodičková captured 1st place at IRONMAN 70.3 Putrajaya after 2nd place in Subic Bay and 3rd in Geelong. In the coming months, Vodičková seeks victories at IRONMAN 70.3’s Haugesund and Asian Championship Cebu before competing at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships.
IRONMAN 70.3 North American Championship St. George
Heather Wurtele (CAN) 4:16:48
Holly Lawrence (GBR) 4:18:04
Meredith Kessler (USA) 4:22:02
IRONMAN 70.3 Vietnam
Caroline Steffen (CHE) 4:12:18
Radka Vodičková (CZE) 4:15:46
Liz Blatchford (AUS) 4:19:46