Canadian Heather Wurtele won her second Ironman title at the inaugarul Ironman St. George. Heather basically led from the gun and built up an 18-minute lead on the bike to win comfortably with an impressive time of 9:35:25. Heather and her husband Trevor spent the 3 weeks leading up to race training on the very tough course in southern Utah. She reportedly turned down her Kona slot to focus on winning Ironman Canada later this year.
While Heather was gettin’ it done in St. George, most of the AVIA crew was at the AVIA Wildflower Triathlons in central California. Eneko Llanos and Virginia Berasategui came over from Spain and would end up doing quite well as both finished 3rd. Magali Tisseyre was close behind Virginia in fourth and 3-time XTERRA World Champion Melanie McQuaid had a solid race to nab fifth. AVIA athletes would fill half of the women’s top ten with Amy Marsh of Team TBB in 9th and XTERRA’s favorite Scot Lesley Paterson in 10th. On the men’s side, veteran ITU athlete Joe Umphenour did very well to get 7th, while three-time XTERRA World Champ Conrad Stoltz used a very controlled effort to finish tenth.
A week earlier, Conrad, Melanie and Lesley were down in Las Vegas for the XTERRA West Cup at Lake Las Vegas. Conrad was a beast on the bike and needed to be because another AVIA athlete Josiah Middaugh was right on the Caveman’s tail. They would finish 1-2 to start the US Series. Nico Lebrun made the long trip from the French Alps and finished 5th.
Luna Pro Team’s Shonny Vanlandingham used a crushing bike split and solid run split to get a big 4-minute win. AVIA athletes would sweep the top 3 as Melanie took second and Lesley ran herself into 3rd. The XTERRA athletes will be heading down to Waco, TX in a few weeks for the 2nd stop on the US Cup Series.