Paula Findlay appears to have found her distance - in just her third half-distance race the Canadian Olympian took Ironman 70.3 St. George, the 70.3 North American Championship.
May 5, 2018 | NEWS|
Paula Findlay (CAN) has been struggling to figure out where her triathlon focus should lie these days. While the 2012 Olympian would love to compete in Tokyo in 2020, her runner-up finish in her half-distance debut last fall certainly indicated she had potential at the distance. In just her third 70.3 race Findlay showed her class once again, taking the Ironman Norh American Championship at Ironman 70.3 St. George.
Oliveira leads the swim, Kessler smashes the bike
The opening leg of the race saw a pair of Olympians lead the way as Brazil's Pamella Oliveira came out of the water a couple of seconds up on American Sarah True. Right on their heels was former ITU racer Alicia Kaye (USA), with super-mom Meredith Kessler (USA), competing just six months after delivering her son and a week after a sixth-place finish at Ironman Texas, 11-seconds back. Findlay put three Olympians in the top-five, coming out of the water a second behind Kessler.
Kessler was tough enough before she became a mom - she seems to have added to her ability to go hard now based on how quickly she surged to the front of the race on the bike. By 20 km into the ride she was at the front of the group of five with last year's runner up in St. George, Jeanni Seymour (RSA) 1:25 down.
By the end of the ride Kessler had pulled clear of the field, leading Kaye into T2 by 50 seconds. Findlay was 1:03 behind with True at 3:11 and Oliveira at 3:26.
Kessler gamely tried to hold on out in front, but Findlay quickly gave chase and, by the 5 km point was in front. True made a huge charge on the run and would eventually move into second, just over a minute down, but couldn't maintain that tempo and would be passed in the closing few kilometers by Seymour. Kaye hung tough for fourth while Kessler completed her amazing back-to-back race weekend schedule with fifth.
Ironman 70.3 St. George | Women
May 5, 2018 | St. George, USA.
1.9 km Swim
90 km Bike
21 km Run