LAKE PLACID — Andy Potts had a strange sensation before Ironman Lake Placid.
He felt … good.
He said he doesn’t usually feel that way heading into a race, but this time his preparation included extra rest.
“I told my wife, ‘I’m a little nervous because I feel good,’” Potts said. “She was like, ‘It’s OK to feel good.’”
It turned out to be more than OK — it was a path to victory.
Potts, from Colorado Springs, Colo., broke the course record in Sunday morning’s 2.4-mile swim and led the triathlon the rest of the way to claim the professional men’s title with a time of 8 hours, 25 minutes.
Australian Pete Jacobs overtook France’s Romain Guillaume during the final leg, the 26.2-mile run, for a second-place showing and an 8:56:42 time. Guillaume clocked 9:08:50. Logan Franks, who grew up in Keeseville, placed eighth.
Jessie Donavan and Jennie Hansen, both in their first season as pros, grabbed the top two spots in the women’s race.
Potts was an All-American swimmer in college, and he got out of the water in 45:01 Sunday. For the 112-mile bike ride and the marathon, he may have benefitted from extra training in those disciplines.
“I’ve been putting in a lot of work on my riding and running, and my swimming has taken a little bit of a back seat, by design,” he said. “I’m very proud of my swimming background and history, but I’m a triathlete now.”
Jacobs was second after the swim but struggled on the bike, his least favorite leg.
“I just felt terrible (Sunday),” he said. “I was so flat on the bike and even getting off and running. Even after a slow bike ride, often I’ll get off and have something in the legs.
“I ran well for the first half. But then the second half, I was just starting to dehydrate and cramp, just felt really average.”
Matthew Russell, who grew up in the Canton area, took fourth, and Douglas MacLean gave the U.S. three finishers in the top five.
Donavan, from Shelburne, Vt., only recently had an inkling that she should try Ironman races. She didn’t think she could be this good, at least not this soon. She crossed the line in 9:47:32 to win what was just her third Ironman.
“I volunteered here last year and stood in the volunteer line. And it’s a big surprise to be back here (Sunday) and winning it,” she said. “A year ago I got the idea that I think I could be good at Ironman.”
She was 9:01 better than Hansen on Sunday. Jacqui Gordon, Suzanne Serpico and Kelly Fillnow rounded out an all-American top five.
Serpico was fastest in the water, and Donavan was back in 10th place when she started the bike. But that’s her strength, and she surged to the lead in the last 12 miles.
“I’m a strong biker, and this course suits me very well with the hills. And being small, it’s easy for me to climb the hills,” Donavan said. “And I was a ski racer, so I have no problem bombing down them. Actually, I make a lot of time up on those.
“And I can run really well off the bike, so once I came off the bike in first place, I was pretty confident I could hold on.”
Email Courtney Lewis:
Ironman Lake Placid
July 22, 2012
Pl. Name, country Swim Bike Run Total
1 Andy Potts, USA 0:45:01 4:42:33 2:52:55 8:25:07
2 Peter Jacobs, AUS 0:47:10 5:02:35 3:02:42 8:56:49
3 Romain Guillaume, FRA 0:50:00 4:47:47 3:26:15 09:08:57
4 Matthew Russell, USA 1:02:06 4:57:35 3:10:50 09:16:43
5 Douglas MacLean, USA 1:00:05 5:18:48 3:08:48 9:33:25
6 Brad Seng, USA 0:58:03 5:26:07 3:04:30 9:34:36
7 Timothy Tapply, USA 0:58:46 5:27:34 3:04:30 9:36:13
8 Logan Franks, USA 0:58:38 5:16:58 3:14:45 9:37:03
9 Ryan Grant, CAN 0:59:56 5:12:56 4:05:58 10:24:14
Pl. Name, country Swim Bike Run Total
1 Jessie Donavan, USA 1:09:00 5:19:40 3:13:39 9:47:39
2 Jennie Hansen, USA 1:09:58 5:27:16 3:12:25 9:56:40
3 Jacqui Gordon, USA 1:02:05 5:32:09 3:28:46 10:08:28
4 Suzanne Serpico, USA 0:53:50 5:38:16 336:29 10:14:22
5 Kelly Fillnow, USA 1:06:33 5:35:20 3:31:51 10:19:49
6 Leslie LaMacchia, USA 1:06:27 05:47:21 3:36:28 10:36:55
7 Marie Danais, CAN 0:55:20 05:51:48 04:10:59 11:06:06