Two ripper races took place in South America over the weekend. In Argentina, it was a polished performance from one of the most consistent long-distance athletes in the sport, while in Colombia, it was a hometown victory in brutal conditions.

Text By Jordan Blanco and Rob Sheeley | Images By Witsup

Piampiano Triumphs At Inaugural Ironman Mar del Plata

Text By Jordan Blanco

USA’s Sarah Piampiano earned her third Ironman title with a solid victory in Mar del Plata, Argentina, over Belgium’s Tine Deckers and Canada’s Magali Tisseyre.

As a first year race, Ironman Mar del Plata attracted a strong female professional field, lured by the promise of sunshine and warm temperatures in the southern hemisphere in December. However, a cold front blew into town overnight on Saturday and a light drizzle and temperatures barely reaching 60f (15.5c) on race morning greeted athletes as they began their race day on Sunday.

Early morning winds were light, relative to the days leading into the race, but the surf entry and the large swells still provided plenty of challenge to the athletes. It was no surprise to see American Dede Griesbauer emerge from the Atlantic Ocean in the lead after the two-lap swim. The former Stanford swimmer had almost three minutes on Tisseyre and Ewa Bugdol by T1. Pre-race favorites, Deckers, Asa Lundstrom and Piampiano were looking at deficits of 6-10 minutes on Griesbauer after the swim.

Once on the bike, Griesbauer kept the pressure on and the chasers were failing to make inroads into her lead. The only athlete capable of matching Grisebauer’s strong pace was Piampiano, who was moving through the field after exiting the water in ninth place. With a flat course, the Mar del Plata course was expected to be fast but wet roads to begin the race and then building winds throughout the morning kept the racing challenging for all.

Griesbauer was first into T2, having extended her lead over Deckers to eight minutes. With the fastest bike spilt of the day, Piampiano arrived in T2 in third place, 90-seconds behind Deckers. Lundstrom was in fourth, 5 minutes behind Piampiano and Tisseyre was in fifth, another seven minutes down on Lundstrom.

Once on the run, Piampiano quickly found her stride and began her march towards the head of the race, first overtaking Deckers and then assuming the lead from Griesbauer during the second lap of the three-lap run course. Once in the lead, she continued to build her cushion and the second best run split of the day earned Piampiano another Ironman title.

Behind her, the final podium placings were far from settled. Deckers edged past Griesbauer into second place and it looked as if the American had enough of a cushion to hang onto third, as Lundstrom and Tisseyre were still nine minutes and 12-minutes behind with 10 miles to go. However, Tisseyre was easily the fastest woman on course of the three and was quickly eating up the time deficits. She had moved up to fourth place with a mile to go, 70-seconds behind Griesbauer and miraculously edged past the American just before the finishing chute to claim the final podium spot. Griesbauer finished in fourth with Lundstrom rounding out the top five.

Post-race, Piampiano was highly emotional.

“It’s been a tough few months after the DNF in Kona and a not so great race in Arizona. I felt that I was carrying baggage from those two disappointing results so this victory was exciting, allowing me to end my season on a high note.”

Ironman Mar del Plata 2017 Results

Rank LAST FIRST Swim Bike Run Total
1 Piampiano Sarah 1:03:12 4:52:20 3:10:57 9:11:03
2 Deckers Tine 59:14 4:55:52 3:19:56 9:19:22
3 Tisseyre Magali 56:00 5:12:19 3:07:42 9:24:37
4 Griesbauer Dede 53:08 4:52:48 3:33:08 9:24:54
5 Lundstrom Asa 1:02:52 4:57:40 3:20:28 9:25:36
6 Mahn Bruna 59:19 5:12:38 3:16:11 9:32:35
7 Bugdol Ewa 56:07 5:16:31 3:18:34 9:35:50
8 Tastets Pamela 58:54 5:13:19 3:23:25 9:41:41
9 Rusch Maggie 1:06:11 5:16:45 3:25:43 9:53:31
10 Hansen Jennie 1:08:47 5:14:22 3:51:24 10:22:05
11 McCoy Carrie 1:17:09 5:36:57 3:43:03 10:47:29
12 Barrena Laura 1:18:54 6:28:51 4:16:08 12:11:53
DNF Livesey Caroline 59:30 n/a n/a n/a

 

 

Castillo Captures Cartagena Crown

Text By Rob Sheeley

Searing conditions proved no barrier for local Diana Castillo when she took out her home race, Ironman 70.3 Cartagena, on the weekend.

Castillo prevailed by over four-minutes to Kelsey Withrow with Sarah Cameto a further 18-minuets back in third place.

Withrow emerged from the water first, narrowly ahead of Castillo. They had a break of almost two-minutes on Lina Raga while Cameto was in fourth.

Castillo and Withrow remained close throughout the bike leg with little separating the duo as they hit T2. Cameto made her way into third place but would need to make up nine minutes if she was to win the race.

Castillo slowly edged away from Withrow throughout the half-marathon. She held a 2:24 lead after 10km, which she almost doubled by the time she hit the red carpet to claim victory.

Withrow was resolute, holding onto second in a gallant display. She lamented what she described as some “tactical errors on the bike” post race, but another podium caps off a super 2017 for the American.

Cameto held onto third comfortably after producing the third-fastest run of the day.

Ironman 70.3 Cartagena 2017 Results

1 Castillo, Diana COL 0:26:33 2:28:50 1:29:29 4:28:49
2 Withrow, Kelsey USA 0:26:31 2:28:51 1:33:24 4:32:53
3 Cameto, Sarah USA 0:28:50 2:33:17 1:44:04 4:50:51
4 Raga, Lina COL 0:28:18 2:42:08 1:45:30 5:00:22
5 Harari, Lotty PAN 0:37:06 2:45:23 2:00:16 5:28:24

 

About The Author

Rob Sheeley is the Race Editor for WITSUP

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