James Cunnama of South Africa and the United States’ Amy Marsh came up big on Sunday with wins at the inaugural Rev3 Cedar Point triathlon.
Both Cunnama and Marsh are part of Team TBB, coached by Brett Sutton, the man behind the rise of Chrissie Wellington.
The full-Rev distance race was part of a three-race series, with an Olympic distance race in Knoxville, Tenn., in May and a half-iron distance in June in Connecticut.
Cunnama’s victory—and his debut at an iron distance in the continental United States—was the come-from-behind sort. He started the race with a poor swim—he was about five minutes off the lead pack—and then got a four-minute penalty while making his way through the windy bike course. Coming into T2, he was about 17 minutes behind the race’s leader, Sweden’s Bjorn Andersson, according to his post-race interview with Rev3’s Heather Gollnick.
Known for his strong run, Cunnama cut the lead to about 9 minutes behind Bjorn by mile 13.5 and seconds behind David Thompson of the U.S. Slowly, Bjorn began to falter and eventually blew up completely, perhaps partly due to him losing his nutrition during the bike. Thompson, who was having knee problems, also faltered, and was passed by Cunnama and Australia’s Jason Shortis, who finished second on Sunday. Thompson held on for third.
Thompson’s third place finish gave him the overall series win and a $10,000 bonus.
In the women’s race, Marsh appeared in control from almost wire to wire, coming out of the water near New Zealand’s Sam Warriner and quickly passing her on the bike. She dominated for the remainder of the day and led until the finish.
Warriner remained in second place well into the run, but she began to fade at about mile 18 and was eventually passed by Kathleen Calkins, who was making her pro debut and who holds the age-group record at Kona, and the U.S.’s Jessica Jacobs, who seemingly came out of nowhere during the tail end of the marathon.
Jacobs would go on to finish second, Calkins third and Warriner fourth.
Written by: Courtney Baird