IRONMAN 70.3 Monterrey in Mexico served as the Pan American Championship race, attracting a strong field of competitors. Kevin Collington and Jeanni Seymour topped the competition to be crowned Pan American Champions, securing a spot to the World Championships 70.3 race.
The men’s race commenced with a fast swim start that settled to a small group of five including Sylvain Sudrie, Mauricio Mendez Cruz (XTERRA World Champion), Barrett Brandon, Tyler Butterfield and First Endurance’s Kevin Collington. This group of five remained intact into T1. Collington said “I was aggressive through T1 and fortunately I joined a group of two very strong cyclists at the front of the race in Tyler Butterfield and Sylvain Sudrie of France. Starykowicz soon joined us and the situation became even more ideal – with the majority of the cycling talent now at the front of the race, it was going to be very hard for anyone to come from behind to threaten for the win.”
Uber biker Starykowicz eventually pulled away putting a 2-minute gap on the group heading into T2, with Francisco Serrano catching the trio of Butterfield, Sudrie and Collington at the end of the bike, setting up a 5 man running race to the finish. With a quick transition, Collington was out to start the chase and said “I had a fast T2 and was soon on my own chasing Starky. I caught him at mile 2 and continued to open up the gaps. By mile 11 I had 90 seconds on Tyler, so the victory was pretty much sealed at that point. Tyler made a late charge but it was too little/too late and I still had time to celebrate in the finish chute!” Putting on a great performance for his first win of the 2017 season, Collington earned the Pan American Championship title in a time of 3:42:09.
“I’m so excited to win in Monterrey and come away with the 70.3 Pan American Regional Championship.”
“The race played out perfectly for me – I swam right in the front group, rode an aggressive and personal best performance on the bike and was happy to still have the fastest run of the day to take the win.”
Collington detailed his race day nutrition in the heat of Mexico stating “I had a serving of Pre-Race while sipping on some EFS-PRO cucumber water before the swim, one watered down vanilla EFS Liquid Shot in my aero bar bottle and 3 scoops of EFS-PRO in my Ventum frame bottle on the bike. On the run, I had 300 calories of mocha EFS Liquid Shot and took water from the course aid stations to sip on to get me through the heat of Monterrey.”
Happy to have secured a spot for World Championships, since the Pan American regional championship race winners receive automatic selection to 70.3 Worlds in Chattanooga, Collington looks forward to his next stop at Escape from Alcatraz in early.
On the women’s side, First Endurance athlete Jeanni Seymour was back in action one week after her impressive 2nd place performance at the North American 70.3 Championships. “It was a risk to do back to back Championship races, especially after a race best performance last weekend in St George. I honestly wasn’t sure if racing so soon after was a great idea but after discussing it with my coach Jesse Kropelnicki, we decided there was nothing to lose and if anything, it was another great opportunity for me to mix it up with a strong field.”
To start the day, known super swimmer Lauren Brandon blew the race up to out swim First Endurance triathletes Lauren Goss by 31 seconds and Seymour by 2:22, with eventual 2nd place finisher Liz Lyles 4:59 in arrears. With a break though in the swim last week at the North American championships to finish in the front pack, Seymour said “I was disappointed with my swim today because I was not able to execute what I know I am capable of. I am still working on that assertive mentality needed at the swim and it is definitely a work in progress!”
In the first half of the bike, Goss pulled into the lead ahead of Brandon but flatted towards the end of the bike. Heading into T2 Brandon regained the lead from Goss, Seymour pulled back 38 seconds on the bike 1:38 behind Brandon, with Goss 2:52 behind in 3rd and Lyles now in 4th, 3:11 back.
By the 4km mark on the run, Seymour had already reeled in Brandon and put a minute on her. Despite not feeling fully rested she had the fitness and reserves to continue to pull away. Seymour said “I came into T2 in second place and heard I was a minute down from Lauren Brandon. I caught Lauren around the 2-mile mark and saw Lauren Goss and Liz Lyzles hot on my heels. I knew I had to pick up the pace if I wanted to win and although my legs were not feeling great, I knew I had to dig deep. I put in a few pretty hard miles which helped me open up a gap and I was able to maintain my lead.”
Seymour’s run effort crowned her the 2017 Pan American Champion in 4:07:51, near 5 minutes ahead of 2nd place Lyles in 4:12:47 with Goss finishing in 3rd in 4:13:08. Thrilled that the risk of competing back to back weekends reaped the rewards, Seymour said
“I am incredibly happy to have been able to take the win in Monterrey. I was also pretty stoked that my roommate and fellow FE athlete, Kevin Collington won!”
“I was definitely not firing on all cylinders and didn’t have my best day from a fitness execution stand point but I am so grateful for another opportunity to test myself and race against some really strong women I have never raced before. It was very unlucky for Lauren Goss to get a flat but she still toughed it out to get 3rd! I am proud that I was able to push myself on a day when I was not my best and I really embraced this new experience.”
Seymour attested to the warming temperatures and her nutrition at the championship race stating “It got very hot out there towards the end and I was incredibly happy to take the win by over 4 min. First Endurance products are key to my performance especially when racing in hot/humid conditions where hydration is critical. I used EFS electrolyte drink which has the highest amount of electrolytes contents on the market, I never have any stomach issues and it tastes great!”
Following her back to back races Seymour will be back in action in July and will likely do 70.3 Boulder but for now, she happily said, “I am going to take a week off ….and then I start the build up to 70.3 World Championship in September”.
IRONMAN 70.3 Monterrey
1 Kevin Collington 3:42:09
2 Tyler Butterfield 3:42:34
3 Francisco Serrano 3:45:05
4 Cody Beals 3:46:22
5 Sylvain Sudrie 3:48:23
1 Jeanni Seymour 4:07:51
2 Liz Lyles 4:12:47
3 Lauren Goss 4:13:08
4 Ruth Brennan Morrey 4:14.09
5 Lesley Smith 4:14:15