First place female finisher Heather Wurtele crosses the line for the 2012 Timberman Ironman 70.3 Triathlon. (Jeff Ferland) (click for larger version)
August 22, 2012About 2,200 professional, amateur and relay athletes lined up at the starting line Sunday, Aug. 19 for the Timberman Ironman 70.3 triathlon at Ellacoya state park
Athletes tested their training, endurance and pace as they made wakes in the calm, cool morning water of Lake Winnipesaukee for a 1.2-mile swim. After the swim, athletes ran about 75 meters across the beach to hop on their bikes for a 56-mile tour from Ellacoya to Route 106 in Belmont, and back for a 13.1-mile run along the Winnipesaukee shoreline.
First across the finish line was Joe Gambles, with a combined time of three hours, 48 minutes, followed by Leon Griffin with a time of three hours, 50 minutes and Kevin Collington with a time of four hours, one minute.
"It is a beautiful day for racing," said Gambles, thanking race coordinators and volunteers who help make the Timberman possible every year. "They are probably the best volunteers of any 70.3 race."
Gambles added that many residents came out from their homes along the course to cheer on athletes as they biked and ran for the finish line.
"You never feel lonely out there," said Gambles, adding that athletes appreciated the moral boost from cheering spectators.
Gambles said the course is fast, but fair, and the run course is "second to none."
First for the female athletes was Heather Wurtele with a combined time of four hours, 20 minutes, followed seconds behind by Caitlin Snow with a time of four hours, 21 minutes, and Linsey Corbin with a time of four hours, 23 minutes.
Wurtele said she was glad to finally take home a win from a 70.3 after winning four full Ironman triathlons.
Wurtele barely edged out New England native Cait Snow, who patted Wurtele on the back as they crossed the line seconds apart.
"I was running scared the whole time," said Wurtele, knowing that Snow was close behind her the whole race. She added that she gained a good lead from the bike race which gave her some room to relax a bit for the run.
She described the course, overall, as phenomenal.
"I really enjoy the run course along the shore. It's really beautiful," said Wurtele.
She thanked the local communities for their continued support of the events.
"Thanks so much to the whole community. We know it creates a bit of a hassle. Everyone seems to really embrace it. The athletes really appreciate it," said Wurtele.
Both Gambles and Wurtele celebrated their first Timberman 70.3 wins.
Make-A-Wish children, siblings and volunteers greeted athletes as they crossed the finish line. Many of the children cheered athletes on all weekend and said were excited to come out and support athletes through the whole weekend greeted athletes. One young girl, Meg, said she hoped to compete next year in the TImberman sprint.
For more information on the TImberman race and full race results visit their Web site at ironmantimberman.com.