Thunderstorms, cold weather and delays couldn’t keep 2700 athletes from competing in Austin’s Ironman 70.3 last Sunday.
The early morning storm blew over Austin’s Walter E. Long Park causing traffic delays for thousands of registered participants and fans en route to Decker Lake. Officials postponed the race start by 15 minutes due to the traffic backup allowing athletes extra time to prep their bikes and transition zones.
Professional triathlete, Colin O’Brady, made his debut at the 70.3 distance on Sunday and agreed with the official’s decision to delay the swim start. O’Brady said, “The delay allowed for more time to warm up and get settled into the hectic start of the morning.” As soon as the gun was fired, the rest of the race went off without a hitch.
Matt Chrabot, a professional triathlete and 2012 US Olympic Team alternate better known for his success in the Olympic Distance won his first ever Ironman 70.3 on Sunday. Chrabot’s patience on the run course helped him to fend off the Australian pro Richie Cunningham, and seal the win. The two pros battled back and forth through the first couple miles of the half marathon but ultimately Chrabot passed Cunningham at the start of the second loop and never lost the lead. Cunningham’s finish was impressive despite being hit by a car during training in July where he broke his shoulder.
“Cunningham, Richie”, USA, 3:51:52
The Women’s Race
Rebekah Keat took the women’s field out fast and held her lead through the entire race for the eventual win. Keat, an Australian professional Triathlete who had a disappointing finish in the Kona Ironman World Championships several weeks ago, certainly had to be happy with Sunday’s 70.3 win. The women’s race became a battle of the runners during the final 13 miles. The professional field consisted of Rachel McBride making her way from 4th place to 2nd place with her steady run speed, allowing her to pass Mandy McLane and Sarah Piampiano. The top five women kept their eyes on Ruth Brennan-Morrey who had the fastest half marathon of the day with a time of 1:19:50.
“Brennan Morrey, Ruth”,USA,4:24:09