Holly Lawrence extended her streak with a win at Ironman 70.3 Racine on a frigid Sunday morning that saw the race’s swim canceled and athletes let out with a time-trial bike start 30 seconds apart.
Lawrence did not know to celebrate even if she had broken the tape ahead of her competitors due to the staggered start. “Phew! A relief to take the tape even though I didn’t think I won till they checked the timing,” she said.
With the swim and bike as her strengths, Lawrence had to put pressure on her competitors on Racine’s undulating and bumpy bike course. She got off the bike with a four-minute lead. “It’s pretty hard when the swim is taken out of the equation because that’s where I get a bit of a lead to begin with,” said the reigning world champion, finishing just 57 seconds ahead of a hard-charging Jodie Robertson.
Lawrence collapsed after crossing the finish line, spent. “Every race, my aim is to come to the finish line with nothing left,” she said. “Especially with a time trial, you have to do that to give yourself the best possible outcome.”
Javier Gomez and Ben Hoffman scored twin 5th place finishes at WTS Hamburg and XTERRA Beaver Creek, respectively. With Hamburg a sprint triathlon and Beaver Creek an offroad triathlon, both athletes acquitted themselves well while operating out of their comfort zones.
“Tried my best to be on the podium but died a bit in the last kilometer,” said Gomez. “Happy with my fitness but not with my T2. Lost a few seconds and had to go too fast on the first kilometer. I paid it in the end!”
Hoffman said, “Racing at altitude left me feeling like I was in second gear all day, but there is some kind of fun in this type of pain. Congrats to the boys up front, back to the Ironman grind now.”