A solid field of pros were on hand to contest Wildflower 2012 and that’s saying something when there are 4 WTC events going on in Australia(Busselton 70.3 and an Ironman in Port MacQuarie), Ironman St. George, Utah and the highly anticipated Ironman 70.3 St. Croix, all on the same weekend.
Over 7500 triathletes will be taking part in the Wildflower weekend of racing and some of the top pros in the world will be competing in the Long Course on Saturday May 5, 2012.
THE LONG COURSE
The long course is the traditional half-ironman distance but as it is not in the WTC family of races, it is simply called the long course.
The swim begins at the Lynch Ramp and will be a wave start.
The 90k bike course is challenging to say the least. The 56-mile ride includes a five-mile climb nicknamed Nasty Grade and the bike leg actually begins with a climb up Beach Hill that is short and steep.(one mile)
Many triathletes have told me they love the 21.1k run course as it is quite unique and includes more back-country trails(60%) than paved roads (40%).
The race had it’s beginnings back in 1983 and since the late 1980’s has been the standard half-ironman distances. During race weekend the Wildflower also includes an Olympic and Sprint Distance event and is expected to attract over 7000 entrants for the 2012 events.
What a great field of pro men. How do you choose between the likes of Jordan Rapp, Matt Lieto, Clayton Fettell, and Canada’s very own Trevor Wurtele who has been racing well of late?
Jesse Thomas won the 2011 edition but will be hard-pressed to beat this field and repeat as Wildflower champion.
Gavin Anderson Blake Becker Karl Bordine Mauro Cavanha James Cunnama John Dahlz Scott DeFilippis Lewis Elliot Clayton Fettell Christopher Ganter Steven Garza Josh Hadway Jose Jeuland Stephen Kilshaw Joseph Lampe Andrew Langfield Christopher Legh Matt Lieto Jim Lubinski Arland Macasieb Timothy Marr Paul Matthews Dustin McLarty Ian Mikelson Justin Park Ken Rakestraw Jordan Rapp Kevin Taddonio Jesse Thomas Nicholas Thompson Nick Waninger Brice Winkler Trevor Wurtele
The field for the pro women is no less spectacular. Is this the race where Leander Cave will rise to the top once again after a few early season set-backs? It will be no easy task as she is up against a formidable field.
Tenille Hoogland of Canada is a serious podium threat. Then there is Linsey Corbin, Heather Jackson, Rebekah Keat, Melanine McQuaid, and Samantha Mclone(a past winner) who will also be on hand for the 2012 version of the Wildflower triatlon.
It was Clayton Fettel and Dustin McLarty who dominated the swim as they are two of the fastest in the sport.
They headed into transition with a two-minute lead over the rest of the pro men.
Defending champion Jesse Thomas and Paul Mathews were hot on their heels early on in the bike course.
It took Mathews until the infamous hill known as Nasty Grade to draw even with Fettel.
Jordan Rapp(a previous winner of Ironman Canada) took after the leaders and was joined late in the bike by last year’s champion Jesse Thomas who had planned all along to sit back a bit on the the bike and not get caught up in the frenzy.
This strategy may have made all the difference in the world to the final outcome of the race.
James Cunnama used a similar strategy and it was a wise decision for him as well.
Jesse Thomas took over the lead at the 10k mark and was never headed as he went on to win the race with a finish time of 3:58:59.
Jordan Rapp hung on for second spot and James Cunnama finished in third.
Paul Mathews and Chris Legh rounded out the top five men.
For the pro women it was Leanda Cave who entered the swim/bike transition with the lead, but she was soon joined on the bike course be all the major players.
Melanie McQuaid, Linsey Corbin, Magali Tisseyre, and Heather Jackson were soon battling it out on the front.
By mile-50 it was Linsey Corbin who surged to the front and took the lead from Leanda Cave who had hung on for as long as she could.
It was Heather Jackson who had the best race-strategy of all as she charged toward the leaders on the run course and took over the race at the five-mile mark and never looked back and went on to win with a finish time of 4:26:29.
TOP FIVE PRO MALE FINISH TIMES:1. Jesse Thomas........3:58:59 2. Jordan Rapp.........4:00:22 3. James Cunnama.......4:02:01 4. Paul Matthews.......4:03:20 5. Christopher Legh....4:04:56
TOP FIVE PRO FEMALE FINISH TIMES:1. Heather Jackson.....04:26:29 2. Linsey Corbin.......04:32:09 3. Magali Tisseyre.....04:34:30 4. Leanda Cave.........04:36:24 5. Charisa Wernick.....04:38:42
TOP PRO MALE FINISHERS:
Thomas, Jesse Rapp, Jordan Cunnama, James Matthews, Paul Legh, Christopher Fettell, Clayton Wurtele, Trevor Mclarty, Dustin Kilshaw, Stephen Thompson, Nicholas
TOP TEN PRO FEMALE FINISHERS:
Jackson, Heather Corbin, Linsey Tisseyre, Magali Cave, Leanda Wernick, Charisa Challis, Rachel Keat, Rebekah Mcquaid, Melanie Tetrick, Jennifer Grant, Julia
TOP TEN INDIVIDUAL MALE:Sanders, Joe...........04:21:29 Zawaski, Steven........04:23:13 Mullenix, Andrew.......04:24:07 Bovee, Grant...........04:24:59 Macnaughton, Andrew....04:25:43 Lea, Rob...............04:27:09 Condon, David..........04:29:01 Widoff, Cameron........04:29:14 Coady, Kevin...........04:31:12 Fitzgerald, John.......04:31:33
TOP TEN INDIVIDUAL FEMALE: