Kessler Takes US Pro Championships; Thomas 4peats At Wildflower
With all six of our pro women toeing the line at the US Pro Championships at Ironman 70.3 St. George and a recovering Jesse Thomas defending his three Wildflower victories, we knew this weekend was going to be a big one for our sponsored athletes.
US Pro Championships: Ironman 70.3 St. George
With $75,000 prize purse and a whole lot of Kona Points Rankings (KPR) on the line, St. George drew in the best of the best—especially in the pro women's category. Once the race was underway, the competition was on. In the end, Meredith Kessler defended her US Pro Champ title and bested last years' time by 6 minutes with a final time of 4:11:53. Heather Wurtele crossed the line approximately 3 minutes later to repeat her 3rd place finish from last year. Two other sponsored athletes made the Top 10 with Julie Dibens in 5th and Sarah Piampiano in 8th. Melanie McQuaid was out-sprinted at the very end, getting edged out of the Top 10 to take 11th while Emma-Kate Lidbury persevered through GI distress to finish at an impressive 17th.
Top 3 Pro Women at 70.3 St. George (L to R): Jodie Swallow (2nd), Meredith Kessler (1st), and Heather Wurtele (3rd)
Wildflower: The Aviator Makes History
A year ago Jesse Thomas crossed the finish line at Wildflower with a broken foot to claim his 3-peat. Since that time, it's been one heck of a year. By the time Thomas jumped into Lake San Antonio on Saturday, the most he had ran was 8 miles. Despite this, he passed his competitors in the 2 mile run to the first transition, and rolled into the second event with a loosened seat post—which resulted in 40 miles of riding with a very low seat. Yet he broke the tape at Wildflower for fourth time in a row, thus landing him in the record books for the first consecutive 4-peat of the event.
Thomas' wife, Lauren Fleshman and their baby, Jude cheer (or yell) him on.
Wow. It certainly was an exciting weekend at the races for our athletes and we hope yours was just as exhilarating, whether you were training, racing, or taking a well-deserved recovery day. Stay tuned for more on our athletes as race season progresses.