Champion-to-be Kelly Williamson, also based in Austin, led the women’s pro swim pack with her race-best time of 51:49. Tami Ritchie (USA) was right in her draft, with Germany’s Julia Gajer just 45 seconds back. A pack of Americans came in a one to two minutes back of Williamson, including Amber Ferreira, Bree Wee, Christina Jackson, and Jackie Arendt. Suzy Serpico (USA), Eva Wutti (AUT), and Sara Gross (CAN) rounded out the top 10.
Germany’s Julia Gajer took the lead early on in the cycling portion of the race, which she would hold for the duration of the 112-miles. Not known as a strong cyclist, the 2013 IRONMAN Arizona champ said she always comes off the bike far behind, and has worked on her cycling all winter. Today it paid off. Amber Ferreira took second at mile 50, overtaking Austria’s Eva Wutti, who later dropped out of the race. Wee and Williamson held their top five positions on the bike, as Sarah Piampiano (USA) used her race-best bike of 4:52:05 to blaze through the field.