A second victory and a second course record are impressive results from the first two races for Alistair Brownlee on SCOTT and in the long distance discipline. The field was the best of this season on the 70.3 distance and he impressed the triathlon world, especially with a superb performance on the bike. Sebastian Kienle completed the perfect day for SCOTT with a third place.
How it happened: The pressure was certainly on two-time Olympic gold medalist Alistair Brownlee. Everyone was wondering if the British star could successfully translate his ITU speed and aggressive style to the 70.3 distance against one of the toughest fields we’ll see in 2017. The answer was a resounding yes. Thanks to a 23:18 swim, a 2:01:39 bike and a 1:14:49 half-marathon, Brownlee not only took the Ironman 70.3 North American Championship victory he also crossed the finish line in 3:41:58 to break the course record.
The only time Brownlee didn’t lead the race was during the Swim as he entered the water in second place a couple of seconds behind Ben Kanute. With the athletes on the bike, the biggest question of the day was about to be answered. How would Brownlee handle a 56-mile non-drafting effort on a tough course with some of the best triathletes in the world chasing him? It turns out very well. After a few miles on the bike Brownlee quickly rode the hilly bike course on his own. Behind Brownlee, both Kienle and Sanders worked their way through the field but couldn’t close on Brownlee. He emerged from the bike with a three-minute lead over both Kienle and then Sanders.
Brownlee is known for his impressive run abilities and they appeared to be translating well onto the tough St. George half-marathon course. Brownlee crossed the finish line with that impressive 3:41:58 course record to take the statement victory. With a 1:12:19 split, Sanders outran Brownlee but it was only good enough for second today. He crossed the finish line at 3:42:31. Kienle was strong all day, rounding out the podium in 3:46:20.
1. Alistair Brownlee (GBR) 3:41:58
2. Lionel Sanders (CAN) 3:42:31
3. Sebastian Kienle (GER) 3:46:20
4. Tim Don (GBR) 3:48:26
5. Ben Kanute (USA) 3:50:29