WHISTLER, B.C. - Lisbon native Matt Russell was unable to defend his Ironman Canada title on Sunday in Whistler, British Columbia.
Russell won the 2012 title in Penticton B.C. and the race was moved to Whistler B.C. where he placed second after a titanic duel throughout the very challenging bike and marathon run courses with Canadian Trevor Wurtele.
Wurtele finished in a time of 8:39:33 while Russell took second in 8:45:15 with and eight-minute plus lead over American Paul Amey who took third.
Wurtele and Russell transitioned into the marathon run together and the Canadian prevailed with a 2:54:31-3:00.12 edge in the 26-mile plus run.
My legs were pretty much toast from pushing so hard on the bike (pushing well over 350 watts at times). I couldnt run my typical 2:53 marathon like I ran last year. Around mile 20, I got a time check on my Timex watch on the out and back. I had eight minutes on third place Paul Amey. With six minutes to go, I decided to not push so hard and maintain my second position, wrote Russell in his blog recalling the race.
But the second place finish was anything but a disappointment for the former all-state distance runner at Canton Central School through a merger with Lisbon Central, All-Conference steeplechaser at the University of New Hampshire and two-time USA Duathlon Champion.
Overall I am happy with how I finished. I gave it my best shot and Trevor had a great day. This was Trevors main goal for 2013 and everything was focused on this race. He raced great and was certainly prepared coming four weeks early to train on the course in Whistler. Race day was the first time I had ever ridden the course and seen the full run course, said Russell on his blog.
The venue at Ironman Canada in Whistler was amazing! Very scenic with gigantic mountains with snow on top, clear rivers and beautiful lakes. The people in the town certainly welcomed the Ironman as there were crowds on the street cheering us on. Definitely one of my all time favorite races.
Russells time was 3:15 faster than his winning time in 2012, he recorded a PB in the 2.4 mile swim (58:13) by two minutes and posted best bike time (4:42:53) of the day by almost four minutes.
According to his father, Dr. Don Russell, he also had the best pay-race day of his career taking home $7500 for second place and earning sizeable bonuses from his sponsors.
Russell, who is a member of Team Timex, will be competing in the World Championships in Kona Hawaii in October..