East County Sports

World No. 1 Madden claims Boulder 70.3

2022 LOCAL COVERAGE

 

By Nick Pellegrino
ECS staff writer

UPDATE: On Tuesday, Boulder County health officials confirmed an outbreak of monkeypox. Officials from Ironman have been informed and they are contacting all runners and teams to avoid spreading the disease throughout the world. LEARN MORE/KUSa-TV

BOULDER, Colo. — Ranked as the world’s top competitor in triathlon’s Men 65-69 category, whispers were gathering whether San Diego’s Kurt Madden — who started his professional career in East County — still deserved his lofty position.

Despite a series of podium finishes in 2022, Madden has yet to step to the top of the platform with a victory. However, that changed on Saturday (August 6).

Competing at altitude in the Ironman Boulder 70.4, Madden added the full 3,500 points to his computer score by taking the division’s title with a victory of almost two minutes.

“It was a day combined with the beauty of an excellent swim and bike, combined with a beast of a run (half-marathon) at 5,000 feet in elevation and a temperature of 90 degrees,” said Madden.

The combination allowed Madden, along-timer athlete for Tri-Dot, to collect his first Ironman victory of the season. Madden finished in a time of 5:32:07, bettering runner-u fellow American Robert Smeby of Malibu (5:39.06) by just under two full minutes.

The top seven finishers, all Americans, finished under six hours among the competitive field.

The fast times came courtesy of a break in the weather on the day of the event, with temperatures in the mid-80s after reaching near-triple figures early in the week.

As usual, Madden led through the opening swim, while in the 700-acre Boulder Reservoir, a popular spot for fishing and boating.

A challenging cycling course was considering hilly, even by Ironman standards, followed by an equally hilly half-marathon course.

The bike course featured a mid-race U-turn along Higgens Road, giving every competitor an opportunity to gauge each other.

Madden’s next competition will be in Pentican, British Columbia, Canada, on Aug. 28.



Pro races
Courtesy, Tri247.com

BOULDER, Colo. — A testing day in Boulder saw Matthew Sharpe step up in style to 70.3 racing and Rach McBride win the women’s race. FULL STORY

Women

It was no surprise at all to see Lauren Brandon (USA) show the way on the swim.

Indeed her time of 25:52 was only a fraction behind men’s one-two Sharpe and Andrie.

Holly Lawrence was able to stay with her early on, but by the time they exited the water there was 55 seconds between them. That was rapidly reduced in T1 as Brandon’s helmet and visor had got knocked off her bike.

The pair then rode together, albeit with Lawrence driving it throughout and late on she finally shook off Brandon but all the while Rach McBride was closing on both, so much so that they surged into the lead just ahead of T2.

Men

Matthew Sharpe was to the fore right from the start, using his swim strength to create a gap alongside Marty Andrie (USA) in what was a non-wetsuit swim that started half an hour late due to delays for some athletes getting to the start.

They had over a minute on the rest, with the chase group including American duo Justin Metzler and Ben Hoffman. Not much more than 10 miles into the bike leg it had become a lead group of four as Sharpe and Andrie then joined forces with Metzler and Hoffman.

The lead swapped a few times but the big move as the race wore on came from Tripp Hipple (USA), more than three minutes back after the swim. He bridged that gap, but no sooner had he done so he was hit with a five-minute drafting penalty.

His response was to power clear and the next big surge came from Kennett Peterson who also went straight past the chase group and assumed the lead heading into T2 as Hipple stopped at the penalty tent.

Meanwhile, hometown product Sam Long, a graduate of Boulder High, was pointing to this race as “a life-long goal.:

However, after finishing second at the COVID-19 delayed 2021 Ironman World Championships in St. George, Utah, in March, Long was injured and did not compete.

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