Australia’s Bevan Docherty and Austin’s Kelly Williamson took top honors in the professional division of the Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas Triathlon in the Houston suburb of The Woodlands on Saturday, May 17, 2014.
Docherty, the two-time Olympian, took his title with the combined time of 8:09:37, five minutes ahead of second place finisher Matthew Russell
At the conclusion of the swim, Docherty was one minute and 20 second behind leader Brandon Marsh.
The Austin based Marsh completed the swim in 46:38 and led the bike leg until mile 65.
At that time, American Jordan Rapp took and held the lead, completing the bike leg with a three minute, 30 second lead over Docherty.
Rapp retained his lead until mile 10; when Docherty finally took the lead and held on to take the title.
In the post race press conference, Docherty expressed what the win meant to him.
"It's been an emotional year. I have to be honest, there were times I considered retiring from the sport. It wasn't easy today. You forget how hard these races are, but it's the biggest high of your life when you win races like this."
Following Docherty in the placing was second place Russell (8:14:53), Justin Daerr (3rd-8:17;29), Rapp (4th- 8:17:58) and Chris McDonald (5th-8:22:51).
In the women’s division, Williamson took top honors with a combined time of 8:54:42.
Leading after the swim with a lifetime best of 51 minutes, 49 seconds, with Germany’s Julia Gajer a mere 45 seconds behind.
The German took the early lead and held onto it over the 112-mile course, with Williamson dropping to fifth place.
Williamson was five minutes, 30 seconds behind the leaders at mile eight of the run and quickly went to work to reduce the deficit.
Despite having leg surgery a year ago, she took the lead at mile 16 and held on to win the title.
Williamson run time of two hours, 54 minutes erased any doubts in her mind that she has recovered from the surgery.
She stated in her post-race press conference about her doubts.
"It (the surgery) led to a lot of doubts. I just had to keep digging at it. I knew I had it in me, but it wasn't until I got out there and started feeling strong throughout. It's tough to overcome struggles when your 12 years into your career."
Williams was followed by second place by Gajer (9:00:52) with Amber Ferreira (9:11:48), Bree Wee (9:14:27), and Tamara Kozulina (9:15:19)