Weekend Wrap-up: Ironman Maastricht, Ironman Vineman, Ironman Budapest 70.3, Ironman Ecuador 70.3

Day of Comebacks at Ironman Maastricht

Igor Amorelli of Brazil and Mary Beth Ellis of USA won the second edition of Ironman Maastricht-Limburg in the Netherlands.

Ellis aced her comeback after losing months to Lyme disease.   She started with the women’s best 48:18 swim, and a women’s best 5:14:41 bike split creating a 22:46 margin out of T2.   Her 2nd best run split of 3:17:08 brought het a winning time of 9:24:42 for a spectacular 26:25 victory margin over Saleta Castro Noqueria of Spain and 38:48 over 3rd placer Tineke den Berg of Netherlands.

In another comeback story, Amorelli combined a race-best 46:16, a 2nd best best 4:40:41 bike split on a tough course with 1400 meters of climbing, and the 3rd best run of 2:57:15 to take the win by a 5:27 margin over Mark Bennink of the Netherlands and 7:40 over Bas Diederen, also of the Netherlands.

Amorelli suffered a broken arm last April in a bike crash.

Ironman Maastricht-Limburg
Limburg, Netherlands
July 31, 2016
S 3.8k/B 180k/ R 42k


1. Igor Amorelli (BRA) 8:28:17
2. Mark Oude Bennink (NED) 8:33:44
3. Bas Diederen (NED) 8:35:57
4. Erik-Simon Strijk (NED) 8:53:15
5. Diego Van Looy (BEL) 8:55:05
6. Mike Schifferle (SUI) 9:04:39
7. Michael Van Cleven (BEL) 9:06:42
8. Lucky Berlage (BEL) 9:15:17
9. James Curran (IRL) 9:15:58 *M30-34
10. Frederik Waer (BEL) 9:22:24 *M30-34


1. Mary Beth Ellis (USA) 9:24:42
2. Saleta Castro Noqueria (ESP) 9:51:07
3. Tineke van den Berg (NED) 10:03:30
4. Sarissa De Vries (NED) 10:05:50
5. Pleuni Hooijman (NED 10:10:20 *F30-34
6. Estelle-Marie Kieffer (FRA) 10:19:41 *F40-44
7. Fiona Ford (AUS) 10:27:50 * F45-49
8. Katrine Brock (DEN) 10:30:43 *F18-24
9. Mélissa Lapp (FRA) 10:31:46 *F25-29
10. Beate Zschorlich (GER) 10:36:27 *F40-44


IRONMAN Vineman Crowns First Champions

Kyle Buckingham and Sarah Piampiano made waves at the classic wine country race, operated this year as an IRONMAN race for the first time.

It was a beautiful day to race on an iconic course in Sonoma County for the 2016 IRONMAN Vineman. The day started with foggy and cool conditions allowing for fast racing, until the sun came out and heat greeted the professionals and age-groupers out on the run course.

 Kyle Buckingham takes the men’s race

On the men’s side the swim was split up pretty quickly and three distinct groups formed that would stay close together for most of the day. Barrett Brandon and Rafael Goncalves led with a 2-minute gap on a chase group containing Kyle Buckingham and Richie Cunningham. A further 2 minutes back were Jonathan Shearon and Chris McDonald.

These groups would stay somewhat intact until midway through the bike when Kyle Buckingham rode to the lead and never looked back. McDonald and Shearon pushed the pace at times closing the gap to Buckingham, but in the end he rode away from his competitors, and came off of the bike with a 5-minute lead on Cunningham and McDonald, a further minute on Shearon and another 4 to Brandon.

Onto the run it was more of the same with Buckingham putting time into his chasers and at one point having over 10 minutes on second place, McDonald. Nearing the end of the run leg McDonald managed to claw back a few minutes, but Buckingham still managed to cross the line with 7 minutes in hand and a finish time of 8:27:58. McDonald finished a steady day with a strong run for second, while Shearon rounded out the podium in third.

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 Piampiano surges ahead

A trio of three containing Jess Smith, Kate Bevilaqua, and Monica Juhart worked together in the swim to distance themselves from pre-race favorite Sarah Piampiano early in the day. They achieved their goal coming out of the water with a whopping 11minute gap on Piampiano.

The only thing more impressive than the gap they achieved was the quickness at which Piampiano erased it. By 50 miles into the ride, Piampiano was at the front and working her way ahead. By the ride’s end she would clock a 4:57 time and net a gap of nearly 20 minutes on Smith, her closest chaser, and 22 on Juhart, in third.

Rumour from the course was that Piampiano was struggling with cramps, but they apparently didn’t slow her down. She continued to demolish her chasers and finished with a time of 9:19:05, 44 minutes ahead of second place Ashley Paulson and near an hour on Smith. There is no doubt Piampiano is in good form as we look to Kona in a few months.

Ironman Vineman
Windsor, California
July 30, 2016
S 3.8k / B 180k/ R 42k



1. Kyle Buckingham (RSA) 8:27:58
2. Chris McDonald (AUS) 8:34:53
3. Jonathan Shearon (USA) 8:39:24
4. Barrett Brandon (USA) 8:44:17
5. Richie Cunningham (AUS) 8:46:39

1. Sarah Piampiano (USA) 9:19:05
2. Ashley Paulson (USA) 10:03:38
3. Jessica Smith (USA) 10:17:17
4. Kyra Wiens (USA) 10:19:40
5. Katy Cargiulo (USA) 10:36:41


Huetthaler and Billard Bike it Home in Budapest

In the men’s race at IRONMAN 70.3 Budapest, a Hungarian stormed the swim just as he had done the week before at IRONMAN Switzerland. Balasz Csoke had the fastest swim in 23:03, and he started onto the bike course in first place just seconds ahead of a strong group including favorites like Ivan Rana (ESP), Horst Reichel (GER) and Bertrand Billard (FRA).

After only a few kilometers, the group caught up with the leader, and Billard, Reichel and the Hungarian David Hanko began to set the pace at the front. Shortly before the 40 kilometer mark, Billard eventually made his move. He started opening up a gap thanks to a gutsy bike performance, and hit T2 with a lead of 3:21 over Reichel and Hanko.

While the Hungarian struggled a bit on the run, Reichel had a fast run split gaining time on Billard. With 5 kilometers to go, the German runner-up was only a minute behind, but he couldn’t touch Billard anymore. Russia’s Ivan Tutukin ran onto the final podium spot with the fastest run split.

In the women’s race, Huetthaler was, as expected, behind in the water. After a longer injury, the 32-year old Austrian exited the water in fifth place, 2:35 behind leader Carina Brechters (GER). While the two Brits Vanessa Raw and Emma Pallant were making up time on the German leader oven the first kilometers, Huetthaler hammered to the front shortly after.

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It didn’t take much longer than 25 kilometers until Huetthaler had made her way into the lead; the Austrian had a lead of almost four minutes when she reached T2 ahead of the two Hungarians, Anna Halasz and Erika Csomor. Pallant had a great run, but she could only make it into the runner-up position ahead of Halasz, while Huetthaler celebrated a great win in her third race after a season off from racing.

Ironman 70.3 Budapest
Budapest, Hungary
July 30, 2016
S 1.9 km. / B 90 km. / R 21 km.



1. Bertrand Billard (FRA) 3:41:11
2. Horst Reichel (GER) 3:41:46
3. Ivan Tutukin (RUS) 3:43:05
4. Viktor Zyemtsev (UKR) 3:43:55
5. Daniil Sapunov (UKR) 3:43:59
6. Ognjen Stojanovic (SRB) 3:45:57
7. Ivan Raña (ESP) 3:46:04
8. Dávid Hankó (HUN) 3:46:56
9. Daniel Fontana (ITA) 3:54:59
10. Philipp Mock (GER) 3:59:24 *M25-29


1. Lisa Hütthaler (AUT) 4:06:36
2. Emma Pallant (GBR) 4:09:31
3. Anna Halász (HUN) 4:12:16
4. Vanessa Raw (GBR) 4:14:57
5. Erika Csomor (HUN) 4:16:16
6. Amanda Wendorff (USA) 4:22:20
7. Antonina Reznikov (ISR) 4:25:00 *F30-34
8. Katharina Grohmann (GER) 4:25:02
9. Sarah Lewis (GBR) 4:25:46 *F35-39
10. Lyndsay Fraser (THA) 4:26:02 *F30-34


Beals, Ecuador take IM Ecuador 70.3

Canadian Cody Beals started poorly on his swim and was 1:42 back going into T1.  Davide Giardini of Italy took the early lead with a 23:59  swim split.  A race-best 2:05:16 bike split by Beals turned the early swim deficit into a 1:58 lead over Giardini.   It was a lead he would maintain until the finish tape.  A 2nd best run split of 1:14:36 gave Beals a total time of 3:48:04, giving him almost a 9 minute margin over Mario De Elias of Argentina, who ran the race best split of 1:14:17.   3rd place finisher was Eduar Mercado of Venezuela.

Lauren Goss of the United States almost made it a wire to wire victory after battling it out with compatriot Laurel Wassner (USA).  They were five seconds apart going into T1 that gave them a one and a half minute advantage over a pack of three that includes Pamela Tastets (CHL), Fiama Rodriguez (VEN), and Diana Vizcarra (ECU).  On the bike, a women’s best 2:27:08 split by Wassner gave her a 2 second advantage over Goss.   Goss and Wassner paced each other for the first 5k, but Goss pulled away after that, gradually built a lead that became a 5:40 winning margin.  Goss finished with a time of 4:20:41.   Completing the posium spot was Pamela Tastets, finishing in 4:35:04.

Ironman 70.3 Ecuador
Manta, Ecuador
July 31, 2016
S 1.9km. / B 90 km. / R 21 km.



1. Cody Beals (CAN) 3:48:04
2. Mario de Elias (ARG) 3:57:01
3. Eduar Alexander Villalta Mercado (VEN) 3:58:32
4. Carlos Javier Quinchara Forero (COL) 4:00:00
5. Davide Giardini (ITA) 4:00:38


1. Lauren Goss (USA) 4:20:41
2. Laurel Wassner (USA) 4:26:21
3. Pamela Tastets (CHL) 4:35:04
4. Fiama del Valle Rodriguez (VEN) 4:42:33
5. Karina Navarrete (ECU) 4:46:24





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