Americans Tim O’Donnell and Kelly Williamson each used their running speed to win the Memorial Hermann Ironman 70.3 Texas and snap up 1500 KPR points in addition to prize money, including an extra $5,000 for being the first American finishers. With Lance Armstrong in the mix, you knew there was going to be action on the bike, but it was the run where the strength of the veteran triathletes played out. Lance rocketed out front early on, then backed off, only to surge again and come into T2 in 1st place. Within 30 seconds of running, Lance was passed by Frenchman Stephane Poulat (FRA) who is shortly thereafter passed by Sebastian Kienle of Germany. In the end it came down to a surge and sprint race by Kienle and Tim O’Donnell who battled back and forth for the lead in the final mile. O’Donnell held the final surge to nip Kienle by 10 seconds when he collapsed over the finish line. Ronnie Schildknecht put in a strong performance for 3rd over Michael Raelert, who gave a gutsy performance after being sick all week and getting a flat tire and losing the lead group on the bike.
The women’s race was just as exciting as Kelly Williamson of Texas shot to the lead on the bike early on. With her powerful run in her pocket, Williamson has been working on not losing so much time on the bike so that she can lead from the front rather than use her run to catch up. Although she lost the lead on the bike to Anja Nuemberg (DEU) and Amy Marsh (USA), she was not far off enough to take the lead within the first few miles of the run and hold it for a race best 1:18:04 and the win. Yvonne Van Vlerken caught up, passing Amy Marsh for 2nd. Cait Snow‘s second best run was not good enough to catch Amy Marsh, who came in 3rd.