Andy Potts wins Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga triathlon; Ashley Clifford takes the women's race

Andy Potts wins Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga triathlon; Ashley Clifford takes the women's race

May 17th, 2015 by Jim Tanner in Sportlocal

Professional triathletes Leon Griffin #4, Andy Potts #1 and Bozzone Terenzo #2 crest the Veteran's Bridge while running the first lap of the run course during the inaugural Sunbelt Bakery Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga race on Sunday, May 17, 2015. U.S. athlete Andy Potts won the race with a final time of 3:49:43.

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

Ashley Clifford celebrates her win during the 2015 Sunbelt Bakery Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga race on Sunday, May 17, 2015. Clifford won with a time of 4:20:33.

Ashley Clifford celebrates her win during the 2015...

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

A little confusion in the swim wasn't enough to derail the athletes in the inaugural Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga triathlon Sunday morning with overcast skies and some light rain making for near perfect temperatures for the 2,500 or so athletes.

In the end, 2007 Ironman 70.3 world champion Andy Potts came out on top, finishing the 1.2-mile swim, 53-mile bike and 13.1-mile run in three hours, 49 minutes and 43 seconds, less than two minutes ahead of second-place finisher Leon Griffin's time of 3:51:15.

Potts, Griffin and about five other pros finished the bike portion in a bunch, but Potts was able to push on the run and pull away for the win.

In the women's race, Ashley Clifford won with a time of 4:20:34, pushing to the front on the run course after Chattanooga resident Anna Cleaver was the first off the bike course but struggled during the latter part of the run.

Clifford was impressed with the beauty of the Chattanooga area as the area hosted its second Ironman event with few reported incidents marring the event.

"I thought it was really nice and very pretty," Clifford said. "The bike course was hilly, and that kept it entertaining I guess you could say. The run course with the bridges was very pretty. I thought this course was scenic."

For more on the race and the athletes' reactions, see Monday's Times Free Press.


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