Heather Wurtele was looking for the win at Ironman Coeur d’Alene against recently undefeated Meredith Kessler (who finished 35 minutes over 2nd place), in addition to validating her slot for Kona. Now, she has no choice but to find another Ironman race in order to qualify after her DQ at mile 21 of the run. Her KPR ranking is 20th (19th if you count out Chrissie Wellington) and July 29th will validate the 1st 25 qualifiers, then 5 more will qualify on August 27th. Her DQ was seemingly controversal, which is why she continued running (she was told she was DQed off the bike) until she was threatened with 6 months suspension and thwarting her Kona dreams (she was 9th last year).
The sportsmanship of Team TBB pro Christi Sym of giving up her bike to Heather should not be discounted. Everyone knows you cannot receive outside assistance during a race, but can receive help from other competitors; however, failing to return on your own bike to T2 goes beyond that scope. A very frustrating and unfortunate turn of events for Heather, but you can bet we will see her soon charging hard at an up and coming Ironman. My guess is that she will take on Lake Placid on July 22nd, which would not only give her a few weeks of recovery but would highlight her skills with a very hilly bike course. Does the nuance in the USAT rules surprise you as much as it surprised Heather?