Appleton Takes Down Starky, Seymour Runs Away: IM Austin 70.3


Austin: described by as Texas’s “capital of cool”, which makes it sound decidedly less…cool. Plus, it’s generally pretty warm, from my understanding #badjoke.

Anyways, this year’s Ironman 70.3 Austin, presented by Blueprint for Athletes and (buy your footwear and get performance blood testing!) – was pretty straightforward. A single loop freshwater swim in Decker Lake, followed by a rolling 56 mile loop bike ride through the Texas countryside, then three loops of running with a distinctive indoor arena finish. Your biggest threats here are going to be the prickly pear cacti, and Sam Appleton’s…you know.

The men’s field was highlighted by The True Starky, Paul Matthews, Igor Amorelli, Taylor Reid, Ben Collins, Sam “Appo” Appleton, and Daniel Bretscher. On the women’s side, Americans Lauren Barnett, Erin Dolan, and Heather Lendway would face stiff competition from Corinne Abraham, looking to make a comeback after being sidelined recently.

Men’s Race

Starky led the way out of the water in 24:16, with Brian Fleischmann and Ben Collins just 3 seconds back, followed by Appo and Paul Matthews.

Appo led at the halfway point on the bike, followed by Igor Amorelli 1 minute back, and Starky with some time to make up 2:22 back in 3rd. There were initial reports that some athletes were directed off course, but Starky’s time loss appeared to be due to a flat:

Notable absent was Ben Collins, who withdrew after he flatted 5 miles in and his CO2 cartridges failed #triexcuse. Starky hauled the second half of the bike to get back up into the lead, passing Appo to gain a 20 second lead into T2. Amorelli came off the bike in 3rd, 4 minutes down, followed by Taylor Reid. Appo wasted no time getting back ahead of Starky, catching him in mile 1 of the run and opening up a 38 second lead by the 5k mark. Appo continued to gain time on Starky past 10km, with Amorelli sitting 7 minutes back in 3rd  and Reid coming up behind him. Starky was able to match Appo;s pace for a while, but wasn’t gaining any time – and Appo crossed the line in 1st, with a winning time of 3:51:16. Starky followed him in in 3:52:59, with Taylor Reid trailing by 8 minutes for 3rd place in 4:00:39.

  1. Sam Appleton, 3:51:16
  2. Andrew Starykowicz, 3:52:59
  3. Taylor Reid, 4:00:39
  4. James Hadley, 4:01:54
  5. Igor Amorelli, 4:02:18

Women’s Race

Relative newcomer Heather Lendway was first out of the water in 25:05, with Camille Donat only 4 seconds behind. Lendway got out on the bike first, and still held the lead over Ewa Komander and Jeanni Seymour by 2 minutes at mile 25. Lendway, Seymour, and Lauren Barnett came off the bike tightly packed in 1-2-3, with Seymour taking over the lead early in the run. 24 seconds back 1 mile in, Barnett and Lendway ran side-by-side – eventually Lendway dropped off, leaving Barnett to chase Seymour. Seymour proved to be the strongest runner, stretching her lead to a comfortable 2:28 at 10 miles and crossing the line first in 4:23:48 to Barnett’s 4:26:43. Farther back, Corinne Abraham had been quietly but confidently moving through the field, sneaking past Lendway to snag 3rd in 4:29:26.

  1. Jeanni Seymour, 4:23:48
  2. Lauren Barnett, 4:26:43
  3. Corinne Abraham, 4:29:26
  4. Heather Lendway, 4:30:38
  5. Jessica Jones Meyers, 4:37:03

A big special TRS thank you to Dark Mark for the helpful twitter commentary. Field research is also not his strong suit:


photo credit: Sights of Texas via photopin (license)

About the Author

Adrienne Taren
Adrienne is a MD/PhD in Neuroscience researching stress, your brain & the neuroscience of mindfulness training. She is also a fairly decent triathlete/runner/writer and an average ultra-distance swimmer, if there is such a thing. Visit her blog: Follow @SeeSpondyRun