We knew in advance that we had the potential for a shoot-out in the women’s race at Ironman Canada this year. Canadian Tereza Macel started the fireworks early with a 51:11 swim, 1:55 ahead of Kat Baker and 2:08 ahead of her chief rival, Belinda Granger. She stated the “swim was lonely…I had no feet to swim off of for the entire swim.”
It really didn’t matter as Macel was just getting warmed up for the fight on the bike course where she knew the real action would take place. By the time she hit the top of Richter Pass at 65 kilometres, the Toronto, Ontario resident had put Granger, who was now in second, 6:22 down as she crested the infamous climb. The remainder of the top-ten women that included Tara Norton, Sara Gross, Kat Baker were scattered about the course, and up to 15:00 in arrears to the hard charging Macel.
Macel, now heading towards the rollers and the out and back at Keremeos facing brutal head winds and heat, turned on the after-burners and started to inflict additional damage on the field. When Macel went over top of the last roller at 100 kilometres, she had blown the race apart and extended her lead over Granger (11:30,) Norton (17:29,) Baker (20:50) and Gross (24:30.)
When Macel hit the run, it was her race to lose with a 15:39 advantage over the 2008 Subaru Ironman Canada champion, Granger, and over 22 minutes on Norton.
Macel put it on cruise control and pounded out the fastest run of the day (3:17:53), winning by a comfortable 29:39 margin over Granger.
Macel displayed her dominance over the remainder of the field here in Penticton as she won her second Ironman in five weeks and her third Ironman title. She did so by having the fastest swim, bike and run splits on the day.
“I always wanted to do this race, and now I wonder why I waited so long,” Macel said. She went on, “the crowds were so great and supportive, I was able to really enjoy it on the run.”At the end of the day, Macel stood alone, and above the women’s field here in Penticton