On Sunday October 27 triathletes invaded Austin, Texas the "Live Music Capital of the World" to take on Ironman 70.3 Austin 2013.
Austin is well known for the fitness of it's citizens and is one of the reasons there was so much spectator interest in the race that featured a 1.2-miles swim, a 56-mile bike over rolling hills and a 13.1-mile run to the finish line.
It was an excellent field of pros and there were several who stood out as possible pre-race favorites.
Chris McDonald, Ben Hoffman, Richie Cunningham, and Joe Umphenour all figured highly to be on or near the podium as the gun sounded to begin the race.
Allan Gardner lead the way in the swim but he has not alone as there were four other pro men within eight seconds as they made their way to the first transition.
Richie Cunningham was the fastest on the bike. Michael O'neil was right behind him.
Ben Hoffman and Matt Chrabot were also in the mix near the front as they took on the 13.1-mile run course.
It was Matt Chrabot who proved to be the fastest runner on the day and it carried him to first place in Ironman 70.3 Austin. Nobody could match his excellent 1:11:12 run split. His race winning time was 3:48:49.
Ritchie Cunningham and Ben Hoffman were second and third with times of 3:51:52 and 3:54:56 respectively.
For the pro women it was Katy Blackmore posting the fastest swim time with Tami Richie right behind her but there was a change in leaders by the end of the 56-mile bike.
Sarah Piampiano was the fastest on the bike and Mandy McLane, Rachel McBride, and Rebekah Keat were all up near the front as the run began.
The pros were racing for prize money and Kona Ranking Points for the World Championship in the Fall of 2014. Mont-Tremblant, Quebec will host the 2014 Ironman 70.3 World Championship and the full Ironman Championship race will take place in Kona, Hawaii.
Be sure to visit IronStruck.com for a look at how the race unfolded for the pro women and the finish times of all the top pro and age-group finishers