A big performance from Helle Frederiksen, in the big state of Texas, saw her the win six minutes ahead of the rest of the field, claiming a second victory for 2015 and showing she is in on track for being in peak form for the big Championships later in the year.

With a few big thunderstorms in the preceding days, race morning was calm and overcast. There was a touch of wind on the bike course, but much lighter than in 2014, setting it up for a great race.

It was no surprise that speedy swimmer, Lauren Brandon, was first out of the water  (25:01) with a 40 second lead over Frederiksen and Brianna Baird. A further 90 seconds back was a pack of four, lead out by 2013 winner Emma-Kate Lidbury, and included Kaitlin Anelauskas (USA), Kelly Williamson (USA) and Christina Jackson (USA). Alice Hector (GBR) and Sara Gross (CAN) were next out a further minute back, followed by another pack of five, including Sarah Cameto, Angela Naeth (USA), Lauren Barnett (USA), Rebecca Preston (AUS) and Kathy Rakel (USA). Last week’s Ironman New Orleans Champion, Sarah Piampiano, was a further two minutes back, exiting the water in 18th.

Onto the bike and Frederiksen moved into the lead, overtaking Brandon, and coming into T2 first (2:19:49 bike split). Lidbury posted the fastest bike split of the day, so closing the gap to Frederiksen to just under a minute, and only 23 seconds behind Brandon.

Big movers on the bike were the strong bikers of Naeth, Beth Shutt and Piampiano ensuring they moved up from 11th, 17th and 18th out of the swim, to enter T2 in fourth, fifth and sixth (respectively), however Frederiksen was in a league of her own out of transition and set about putting time back into the field, posting the second fastest split of the day (1:19:39) to take the win in 4:07:52

“The run I was determined to go out fast,” Frederiksen said. “We’ve been putting in some good run mileage of late and I had the confidence to just run it out. Again all great signs, lots of learning, like all half-distance events to date. I’ll take a lot from this race.”

“The race was great for me, an all round solid performance, which I was looking for when coming here. I wanted to execute well-rounded swim, bike and run performances and I did that. So I am happy.”

naeth2Naeth, having come into T2, just over two minutes down on Brandon and Lidbury in second and third, used her third fastest run split (1:21:43) to pass both women moving into second place around mile eight, and maintaining that position to the line.

“Galveston is a great race and venue. The three loop run course is awesome for crowd support and really seeing where you are in the race.” Naeth exclaimed. “I’m happy with the effort, as I’m in the midst of gearing up for Ironman Texas. It was a good hit out!”

Lidbury, who has recently moved back to Southern California held on for third to round out the podium. “In short, solid swim and bike and a ‘hold on tight’ run. It felt like the swim was never ending!” Lidbury said. “The wind and weather wasn’t as bad as it was on the bike last year, so it felt a lot kinder and I just put my head down and pedaled well. The run got pretty grim towards the end, but I know what I want to work on to improve this.”

“This was about a lot more than just a podium finish for me. It was great to race with confidence and feel like I’m back in business. I’ve recently made some big changes to my training setup and have returned to Southern California, so I’m looking forward to getting my head down and getting stuck into the 2015 season. This is a solid result from which I can do exactly that.”

Rapidly moving through the field on the run was Kelly Williamson. Having been 14th into T2, she posted the fastest run split (1:19:08), ensuring she passed 10 of the women, to cross the line in fourth, having run out of road, just 41seconds off the podium.

“This course is three loops so very ‘turny’ and winding,” Williamson said. “I saw Emma-Kate with maybe one and a half miles to go but I didn’t see her after that point with the out and backs. I was just running my ass off that final one mile hoping she would magically appear!”

 

Post race we thought we test a few of the myths and Texan stereotypes to see if the state lived up to its reputation!

WITSUP: How many cowboy hats have you seen?

HF: Hmmmmm interestingly I don’t think I’ve seen any which actually disappoints me as I was sure I’d see Kelly Williamson handing them out as swag – haha!

AN: Haha, no. Galveston is not your typical Texas (at least to me!)… On the Gulf, many were in there skivvies at the beach.

EL: Always plenty of cowboy gear in Texas! I love the Texan accent. It never ceases to make me giggle. The Texans are a warm and welcoming bunch; their kindness and hospitality is terrific and this really shines through at this race too.

KW: I think I saw few but living in Texas I’m a bit immune to them…

 

WITSUP: How much country music have you listened to whilst in Galveston?

EL: I try to avoid country music wherever possible, but unsurprisingly the local radio channels were full of the stuff. Lucky I brought my electronic dance CDs, haha!

KW: Definitely! I listen to country music all the time. As a matter of fact, we are driving back to Austin as I type and we just heard Hank Williams Junior “All My Rowdy Friends Have Settled Down”. Good stuff!

  

Full Results:

NAME COUNTRY DIV RANK SWIM BIKE RUN FINISH
Frederiksen, Helle DNK

1

0:25:42

2:19:49

1:19:39

4:07:52

Naeth, Angela CAN

2

0:29:37

2:19:36

1:21:43

4:13:50

Lidbury, Emma-Kate GBR

3

0:27:11

2:19:24

1:28:31

4:17:58

Williamson, Kelly USA

4

0:27:14

2:29:35

1:19:08

4:18:39

Piampiano, Sarah USA

5

0:31:22

2:19:50

1:26:03

4:20:19

Shutt, Beth USA

6

0:31:18

2:19:33

1:27:04

4:21:03

Brandon, Lauren USA

7

0:25:01

2:21:11

1:32:33

4:21:28

Barnett, Lauren USA

8

0:29:40

2:22:12

1:30:03

4:24:37

Hector, Alice GBR

9

0:28:17

2:27:50

1:28:09

4:27:20

Jackson, Christina USA

10

0:27:27

2:28:40

1:29:33

4:28:41

Preston, Rebecca AUS

11

0:29:40

2:26:35

1:30:33

4:29:38

Anelauskas, Kaitlin USA

12

0:27:12

2:24:11

1:34:49

4:30:09

Baird, Brianna USA

13

0:25:45

2:32:15

1:31:22

4:32:13

Graves, Sarah USA

14

0:36:46

2:27:15

1:26:19

4:33:55

Cameto, Sarah USA

15

0:29:36

2:26:26

1:35:38

4:35:01

Johann, Carly USA

16

0:31:05

2:24:51

1:38:26

4:37:30

Gross, Sara CAN

17

0:28:29

2:34:54

1:31:49

4:38:20

Hinz, Bailey USA

18

0:30:22

2:35:38

1:32:47

4:41:59

Alvarez, Palmira MEX

19

0:35:50

2:30:18

1:33:35

4:43:25

McCracken, Amelia USA

20

0:35:36

2:31:10

1:38:58

4:48:49

Lamacchia, Leslie USA

21

0:35:27

2:37:06

1:39:33

4:55:32

Rakel, Kathy USA

0:29:42

2:34:46

0:00:00

0:00:00

Text by Laura Siddall – Follow Laura on Twitter

About The Author

Stef Hanson. Chief.

Chief and founder of WITSUP

Serious about what I do, but don’t take myself too seriously

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