A successful ITU athlete, 26-year old Jason West tried his hand at his first 70.3 race last weekend. The aspiring Olympian found instant success in his first attempt, winning IRONMAN 70.3 Santa Cruz.

Second out of the water (3-seconds behind the swim leader Matt Franklin), notching the 5th quickest bike split and finishing off the race with a race best run split, West was more than happy with his performance. Elaborating on how the race played out, West said “I had a pretty strong race start to finish. I spotted myself into the start of the swim in second, and near the half-way point I took the lead to keep the pace high at the front. Right before exiting the water, I was passed by Matt but I made the most of the long run into transition and left T2 in the lead. In the early miles of the bike, it was just Justin Metzler and myself and we were both motivated to push the pace. We were caught by a pack of four which later split into two groups of three. In the second group, I just tried to stay strong and steady to keep the gap to a minimum. Starting the run in 4th, I had about a 4-minute gap to the lead but felt confident I could bring it back. I slowly clawed back time and moved into the lead about 11 or 12k into the half marathon and continued to hold the pace high to the finish. Through the last couple miles I was definitely hurting a lot, but I just kept pushing myself and was absolutely thrilled to grab the win.”

With a blazing race best run split, West won IRONMAN 70.3 Santa Cruz in a time of 3:48:23. Elated to win in his first attempt at the longer distance, West remarked

“To win in my debut at this distance was incredible. I just wanted to have a solid day and try not to make any rookie mistakes, and thought if I raced strong, I could put myself in position to go for it.”

“This definitely gives me a lot of confidence about my ability to race at this distance especially as I learn more about it with each race. I couldn’t have asked for anything better, and race wins don’t happen every day, so I definitely won’t take it for granted.”

Fellow First Endurance athlete, Justin Metzler, put on a performance worthy of the third spot on the podium. Well acquainted with West, Metzler expressed his happiness about their performances, commenting “Jason smashed it. I was proud of him. We are identical in age (same birthday) and have been racing each other since 2013. It’s been fun to watch his growth and development. We have gone down separate racing paths in the past and haven’t run into each other much on the PRO scene, so it was fun to battle it out with him on this level”

“It was a good race for me! I was happy with my progress, particularly on the bike which is an area that I’ve been trying to chip away at all year. I’ve been dealing with some lower leg injuries that prevented me from unleashing my trademark killer run split but I was content with a 1:16 considering a less than ideal build up the last month or so. I’m a little bit sour about missing 2nd place by a mere 6 seconds but am undoubtedly pleased with my effort in all three sports. I’m hoping the injury setbacks are behind me and I can push full gas into my big goal for this next part of the year, IRONMAN Barcelona in October.”

IRONMAN 70.3 Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz, California
September 8,2019

1 Jason West 3:48:23
2 Andi Boecherer 3:51:03
3 Justin Metzler 3:51:09
4 Mario De Elias 3:54:43
5 Sean Harrington 3:56:02
6 Nathan Killiam 3:56:37
7 Banjamin Deal 3:57:18
8 Steven Zawaski 3:58:49
9 Matt Franklin 3:59:48
10 Nicholas Chase 4:00:33