Joanna Zeiger Finishes 2nd at 70.3 Buffalo Springs Lake |

Joanna Zeiger Finishes 2nd at 70.3 Buffalo Springs Lake

In grueling weather conditions, Joanna took 2nd place at the 70.3 Buffalo Springs Lake in Lubbock, Texas this weekend. After a strong swim and through most of the bike, Joanna was handed a penalty card which set her back for the run. With a personal best in the run, she overcame Joanna Lawn to claim 2nd.

Here’s the Inside Triathlon article about the race:

Carfrae, Griffin Win Buffalo Springs Lake
By Barry Siff
Posted Jun. 30, 2008

LUBBOCK, Texas – Ironman 70.3 Buffalo Springs Lake has been around for 19 years, with a reputation for its tough course and hot and humid conditions. Mike Greer, the 70-year-old race director and lead cowboy for the event, changed it up this year: 65 degrees, rain and 25 mph winds throughout the bike course. “The conditions were better for the athletes than the volunteers,” said Greer after the race. But, it certainly did not dampen the spirit and support of the wonderful volunteers; nor, did it slow down-too much-the day’s champions, Mirinda Carfrae and Leon Griffin.

Women’s Race
When Greer announced at the Pro Meeting on Saturday that it would be a non-wetsuit swim, you could just about hear Joanna Zeiger smiling from ear-to-ear. The 38-year old doctor (Ph.D. in Genetic Epidemiology) from Boulder, Colorado had nearly a 2:30 lead over the rest of the pro women, with Kelly Handel, Carfrae and Joanna Lawn in hot pursuit.

Carfrae, the reigning Ironman 70.3 world champion, and Lawn, the six-time Ironman New Zealand champion, closed the gap on Zeiger on the bike, and shortly thereafter, Zeiger was hit with a blocking penalty, which forced her to check in at the penalty tent. Lawn (who would also get a bike penalty later) and Carfrae continued their battle with the younger Australian, Carfrae, going off and posting both the fastest bike (2:31:58) and run (1:24:14) splits of the day, en route to her first win in Lubbock. Her time of 4:23:28, compared to her second-place finish last year-4:20:06-reflects the conditions of the day. Zeiger would come back on the run with a solid 1:27:15 to pass Lawn near the run turnaround, and finish second in 4:27:29. Lawn’s 4:28:23 was good enough for third.

After the race, Zeiger commented that the conditions were more difficult than any of her previous three times in Lubbock-all victories. While Dr. Zeiger was complaining about how cold she was, Carfrae popped up: “I came in with a bit more beef than you.” Yeah, right.

Men’s Race
While Carfrae dominated the women’s race once she took the lead on the bike, the men’s race was quite a bit more interesting. U.S. Naval Academy graduate and International Triathlon Union veteran, 27-year-old Tim O’Donnell, used his ITU speed to post both the fastest swim (21:20) and bike (2:14:24) splits of the day for the pro men; however, in the end, it was the fleet-footed Aussie and 70.3 specialist Leon Griffin using a 1:18:02 run to pass O’Donnell less than a mile from the finish and go on to victory. While it was Griffin’s first trip to Lubbock, he noted the race’s strong reputation among Australian triathletes. It’s no wonder-this is the third year in a row an Australian has claimed victory (2007-Chris Leigh, 2006-Luke Bell). “At the top of the hill at Mile 10, I could see him (O’Donnell),” said Griffin. “Amateurs were telling me he was looking terrible, and I gained a lot of momentum going downhill. I thought it was going to be a sprint finish, but I didn’t have to dig deep for the last bit of it.”

While this was Griffin’s fourth 70.3 in 2008, it was O’Donnell’s first since the U.S. long-course pro championship in 2004. Watch out for this guy-just last week at the $700,000 ITU World Cup in Des Moines, Iowa (Hy-Vee Triathlon), O’Donnell surprised everyone with a gutsy breakaway on the bike which had him in first place out of T2. This could be his year.

Another Aussie, 25-year-old Paul “Barney” Matthews, had the fastest run split of the day (1:16:36) en route to a third-place finish, 4:02:08. Once again, we see the effect of the day’s conditions. Last year, Matthews finished second with a time of 3:57.

Other News from Lubbock
Tremendous age group performances were chalked up by Tim Hola of Highlands Ranch, Colorado, and Lauren Swigart of Palo Alto, California. Hola’s 4:11:01 was good enough for eigth overall, while Swigart’s time of 4:42:29 placed her sixth among all women. At just 23 years old, Swigart has a big future in this sport! Donna Kay-Ness’ 4:50:03 gave her women Masters bragging rights, while Brett Sublett’s 4:25:22 took the honor on the men’s side.

With nearly 1,300 athletes registered for the Buffalo Springs Ironman 70.3, this was the biggest field in the history of this race. Watch for an even larger turnout for this great race’s 20th Anniversary in 2009.

Ironman 70.3 Buffalo Springs Lake
Lubbock, Texas
Sunday, June 29, 2008
1.2mi S/56mi B/13.1mi R

Men’s Results
1. Leon Griffin (AUS) 3:58:36
2. Tim O’Donnell (USA) 4:00:09
3. Paul Matthews (AUS) 4:02:08
4. Gavin Scott (AUS) 4:03:38
5. Brandon Marsh (USA) 4:06:03

Women’s Results
1. Mirinda Carfrae (AUS) 4:23:28
2. Joanna Zeiger (USA) 4:27:29
3. Joanna Lawn (NZL) 4:28:23
4. Kelly Handel (USA) 4:37:12
5. Tracy Robertson (USA) 4:37:57

Posted on: July 1, 2008
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