Monday, August 19, 2013

Amber Ferreira Podiums at Timberman 70.3

This past weekend Amber raced Timberman 70.3 which was her first race back since the European Ironman Championships five weeks before. Amber had only did the swim-bike of last year's edition because her hip was bothering her so this year was particularly exciting for her since she would actually be able to race. Additionally, since it's so close to home, it was nice that she wouldn't have to pack up her bike and fly to a race for once. And the Timberman course is kind of like her home field so she definitely wanted to take advantage of it. So, suffice it to say, she was READY TO GO! 

Also Audra, the race director, invited Amber to be on the pro panel this year. Below you can hear most of the discussion:
In the pro panel discussion, she was accompanied by the World Champion, Melissa Hauschildt(nee Rollinson) and Amanda Stevenson, also an Ironman Champion and amazing swimmer. When Amber was asked how she expected to compete, she noted that she wanted to hang on to Amanda's feet during the swim as long as she could "about ten seconds" and then just race her own race. In addition to these two ladies, Mandy McLane who has been having a great 2013 season, the speedy Miranda Tomenson, the IM South Africa and Mont Tremblant champion, Jessie Donovan and the ever-competitive Heather Leiggi amonst others were also toeing the line to get some early points for next year.

I was volunteering at T1 so I didn't have an opportunity to see Amber start the swim but I imagine that she must have hung on to Amanda's feet a little longer but she took off. Amanda got out of the water almost a full 3 minutes ahead of the next three women who were: Amber, Heather and Mandy with Melissa only seconds behind. This is a video of the transition from where I was volunteering:

Amber's Swim Time: 27:18 good enough for 4th place

I stayed busy for the next few hours volunteering with T1 and making sure everyone had their helmets on(pretty common), buckled(fairly common), and in the right direction(I actually saw FOUR people with their helmets on BACKWARDS!).

Myles Chase, owner of MC Cycles, was out of the bike course helping out with mechanicals and he kept me abreast of Amber's progression when he could. As you can see Melissa had already caught and passed Amber and Miranda out of T1 and she was went on to pass Amanda as well. Amber rode within sight of Mandy and Miranda until Miranda suffered a flat tire, which when you're riding 650 tubular wheels pretty much means your race is over.
So Amber arrived into T2 in third place about 7 1/2 minutes back on Amanda after Amber rode an average of 22.5mph!

As you can see from the below video and was coursing on the run course:

The Timberman course is a two lap run so I was able to see Amber on multiple occasions. She looked strong throughout the half marathon. She ended up cutting a few minutes off of Amanda's lead but just didn't have enough distance to catch her. However, she was able to hold off Mandy and the fast feet of Jessie Donovan who had given up just too much time on the swim. Amber ended up running a 1:27:17 for a third place finish time of 4:26:54! Not bad!

All in all, it was a great race to watch and it is nice that Amber has already netted some points for next year's 70.3 Championships. Speaking of which.....


Amanda, Amber and Melissa at the finish

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