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Heather Wurtele started the 2018 season right where she left off in 2017 – charging to another 70.3 victory, adding to her impressive tally.

Looking to repeat her 2017 victory at Campeche, Wurtele began the day with the 2nd fastest swim, 3:36 behind uber swimmer Lauren Brandon but notably separated from her strongest competitors. “I have been working hard in the water, and was pretty excited to have a really solid start and get out in clear water right away. Lauren is a world class swimmer and I knew she’d be way off the front, but I was happy to push my own pace swimming solo. There was more chop last year, but the swim times in general (both years) were quite slow due to some challenging currents. It felt like it took forever to get to the far turn buoy and it also felt very hard to get back into shore. Honestly, when I got splits of 3:30 down to Lauren, I was pretty happy about it!”

Wurtele whittled her deficit to 2 minutes by 25km, slowly bringing herself within reach of Brandon. By the 80km mark, Wurtele forged her way to the front of the race, extending her advantage on the balance of the field with a race best bike split of 2:22:47. First Endurance’s Angela Naeth was in 3rd at the end of the bike with the second fastest bike split, 2:25 behind Wurtele.

Matching her race best bike split, Wurtele pulled out the fastest run time of the day – 1:24:37 – showcasing her strengths across all disciplines and said “I came into this race off of a really successful winter training block, where I met some new goals in all three disciplines, so I felt ready to have a great race. It’s always nice when everything comes together on race day and you manage to execute your plan. I’ve definitely learned not to take days like this for granted over the years!”

Crossing in a time of 4:17:23, Wurtele successfully defended her IRONMAN 70.3 Campeche title, setting a new course record. Wurtele had a 9:25 advantage on 2nd place Brandon and commented “There was a really solid women’s pro field here this year, and I knew I’d have my work cut out for me, but…

“it was a ‘firing on all cylinders’ type of day – I was pretty happy to win again, and set a new course record.”

“That said, the bike course was a bit different from last year, and course records are sort of meaningless in a sport like triathlon where conditions change so much from year to year. I think there is often too much emphasis on this sort of thing – PRs, records – instead of looking how a given performance relates to the rest of the competition on the day.”

Following the long cold and snowy British Columbia winter, the Wurtele’s did their standard transition to St.George (Southern Utah) for some warmer conditions to train in. Wurtele was “stoked” with her race, especially since it was insanely hot. She stated “I nailed my pacing and hydration” which was integral for success. “After the race, when we went back out to get food, the sun felt so sharply oppressive and I had a “how on earth was I just racing in this!?” moment. The bike was windy, and there was a breeze along the run course, which helped with convective cooling. Also, Mexican run aid stations hand out water in sealed bags, which is amazing. You get so much more fluid than with the little cups, where half dumps out when you grab them. To keep herself fully hydrated and fueled Wurtele stated “On the bike I started with two bottles of EFS PRO lemon water with 6 scoops each bottle (for 240 calories), I had a flask of vanilla EFS Liquid Shot and I grabbed 4 bottles of on course water (6 bottles for a 2hr 20min ride!). On the run I carried my usual flask of vanilla EFS Liquid Shot, and grabbed two bags of water and ice at every aid station. This kept me feeling good throughout despite the fact that it was over 30C!   I followed a heat training protocol specifically before coming to this race (hot trainer rides, sitting in a hot tub for an uncomfortably long time after an easy run 2-3x per week, over dressing for workouts…) Also, I really committed to only making good decisions in regards to pacing and hydration on race day. In the past, my undoing has been partly due to getting too wrapped up in “racing” to slow down enough at aid stations (especially on the bike) to make sure I got all the fluids I needed. I was very happy to get it right on Sunday!”

IRONMAN 70.3 Campeche
Campeche, Mexico
March 18, 2018

1 Heather Wurtele 4:17:23
2 Lauren Brandon 4:26:48
3 Angela Naeth 4:27:39
4 Lindsey Corbin 4:28:44
5 Maria Barrera anduaga 4:37:22