Sunday, November 22, 2009

Ironman Arizona: A Fast First for Samantha McGlone

November 22 is a fast day in Arizona--if you're racing an Ironman. Samantha McGlone just shattered Michellie Jones' 2006 course record of 9:12:53 by winning the women's race in 9:09:19. And that's with celebrating as she neared the finish line, walking and slapping high-fives with the spectators.

You could say that McGlone was so elated over the win and record-setting performance because it's her first at the Ironman distance. She's no stranger to the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run race as she just finished fifth at Kona's Ironman World Championships in October, but until now her victories have only come at the international-distance and 70.3-distance races. In terms of local races, she won the 2006 Chicago Triathlon, then grabbed fourth the following year. This Canadian speedster also grabbed the 70.3 World Championship title in 2006, which granted her the opportunity to try her first Ironman distance race in Kona the following year. Since then, there's been no turning back from all disances for McGlone, aside from spending more time on the sidelines than at the races last year due to injury. And it makes you wonder if the pros are onto something in participating in endurance races close together--maybe that one makes you stronger for the next?--or if they're just as superhuman as they often seem.

But back to Arizona. The 30-year-old McGlone did not have a stellar swim by any means, leaving the water eight minutes behind (58:58) then-leader Leanda Cave (50:10). But it was on the bike where McGlone excelled, turning in the only sub-five-hour bike split (4:56:48) among the leaders and jumping near the head of the pack. With Cave ahead going into the run, it didn't take long for McGlone to pass her and take the lead on the run. But while Cave faltered, McGlone had to hold off second-place finisher Linsey Corbin who was quickly gaining on her as she aimed for a three-hour marathon. Had it not been for a four-minute penalty somewhere along the bike course, Corbin would have challenged McGlone for a sprint the finish as Corbin ran a 3:04 to McGlone's 3:10 to finish in 9:13:46, just 4:28 behind the winner. Kate Major nabbed third in 9:20:12, holding off Gina Kehr who pushed up to fourth over the run.

And an update on the men's finish: Turns out that Jordan Rapp's finish line also crushed a course record that was also set in 2006. Rapp's 8:13 bested Michael Lovato's 8:20:56. Congrats to the men and women at Ironman Arizona as the rest of the racers roll in! Check out the coverage here. Posted by Kate


  1. It was a great result for Sam, great time, great bike. You need to be a lot harsher on Corbin though, she wouldn't've been in a sprint for the win without the penalty, unless the rule violation she was doing that brought about the penalty hadn't been caught. Had she been riding legally, she'd've been further behind still.

    We should be pleased that her breaking the rules was caught, and we got a fairer race because of it.

  2. Hi Jim--

    Such a good point! I'm definitely glad Sam got the win. It didn't click when I was writing that Corbin's bike penalty was a drafting one and yeah she totally would have been back if she hadn't had the pull. Definitely pleased that she was caught--there have been a few races where I've seen packs fly by me and they don't get caught or they only get the four minute penalty when they've easily given themselves a 10-plus minute advantage (see Racine in July).
    Thanks so much for reading and posting!




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