Just when you think you're tough enough


Tim O’Donnell and Tine Deckers notch strong wins at IRONMAN 70.3 Puerto Rico

Tim O'Donnell wins Ironman 70.3 Puerto Rico (
Tim O’Donnell wins Ironman 70.3 Puerto Rico (

O’Donnell too hot to handle

Tim O’Donnell (USA) and Cameron Dye (USA) emerged from the waters of Condado Lagoon together. Seconds behind was Frederik Van Lierde (BEL), followed by Andrew Starykowicz (USA), Romain Guillaume (FRA), and Leon Griffin (AUS).

Predictably, Starykowicz forced his way to the front of the race early but Dye, O’Donnell, Griffin, and Gullaume marked his move for much of the first 40 miles on the bike. Playing to his strong suit, Starykowicz put the hammer down and managed to out bike almost everyone by more than three minutes, which resulted in the American carrying an advantage ranging from +2:35 to 2:39 on Dye, Guillaume, and O’Donnell.

Once on the run, Starykowicz faltered almost immediately. Simultaneously, O’Donnell was running like he was shot out of a rocket from his first stride on the run and placed his sights clearly on the leader up front. It wasn’t much of a duo, as O’Donnell gained he was able to eliminate his deficit by two miles and built up over a minute advantage on Starykowicz and Guillaume at 3.5 miles.

For the remainder of the run, O’Donnell just had to hold his pace and let Dye and Griffin duke it out for the last two steps on the podium over the final miles. O’Donnell opened his 2016 season with the victory in San Juan, his second win in San Juan, by a winning margin of 3:30 on Griffin and 4:18 on Dye.

Tine Deckers wins IM70.3 Puerto Rico (
Tine Deckers wins IM70.3 Puerto Rico (

Deckers makes move on the bike

In the women’s race, Sarah Haskins (USA) put on a swim clinic, gaping her closest rival by almost two minutes at the completion of the swim. Laural Wassner (USA) was next while Linsey Corbin (USA) and Tine Deckers (BEL) found themselves with over a three-minute deficit to deal with running into transition.

Something was off with Haskins on the bike, the four-time IRONMAN 70.3 winner started handing back time to Deckers in the early going on the bike. At 35 miles, Deckers grasped the lead and started to put time into Haskins and the entire field. Deckers race best bike split on the day by over four minutes rewarded the leader a 3:40 advantage over Haskins as she dismounted her bike and headed into T2. Corbin forged her way into third at the conclusion of the bike but was 5:09 down to Deckers.

Deckers had a solid run, however, Haskins was finding her stride and started to nibble away at the lead Deckers had established at the start of the run. It quickly became apparent that Haskins would have to pick up the pace if she had any chance of catching Deckers as she managed to only whittle down the lead to 1:45.

In the last three miles, Corbin would rally her way to a third-place showing and a gratifying finish after fighting the injury and illness bug for much of last year. Haskins made a last ditch effort to charge forward, but it wasn’t enough. Deckers took the win by a margin of 1:52 over Haskins.

Top 5 Pro Men

1 O’Donnell, Tim USA 0:24:15 2:04:24 1:17:47 3:50:51
2 Griffin, Leon AUS 0:24:38 2:07:16 1:18:11 3:54:22
3 Dye, Cameron USA 0:24:17 2:04:18 1:21:59 3:55:10
4 Guillaume, Romain FRA 0:24:26 2:03:50 1:23:00 3:56:28
5 Silvestrin Souza, Frank BRA 0:24:46 2:09:08 1:18:56 3:57:36

Top 5 Pro Women

1 Deckers, Tine BEL 0:28:19 2:15:59 1:30:31 4:20:22
2 Haskins, Sarah USA 0:25:17 2:22:32 1:28:59 4:22:14
3 Corbin, Linsey USA 0:28:17 2:20:57 1:28:29 4:23:32
4 Robertson, Jodie USA 0:31:58 2:20:17 1:26:09 4:24:38
5 Jastrebsky, Rachel USA 0:28:25 2:27:57 1:34:00 4:36:05