Two years ago, Scott Molina of Boulder, Colo., was known for his hell-on-wheels approach to triathlon races. He would try to build a big lead during the cycle portion of the swim-bicycle-run event, and then hold on during the run.
Saturday in the 10th annual Ironman Triathlon World Championship at Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, Molina took charge in the 112-mile bicycle race.
Mike Pigg of Arcata, Calif., however, stayed with him and trailed by only 45 seconds as the competitors started the final leg of the event--the marathon, a 26.2-mile run.
Ken Glah of West Chester, Pa., was third, 2 minutes behind Pigg.
Molina’s unofficial time of 4 hours 36 minutes and 37 seconds set a course record for the bicycle leg. Race leaders had only light winds through the lava beds of Hawaii’s big island most of the way.
Paula Newby-Fraser, the 1986 women’s champion from Encintas was leading the women. Defending women’s champion Erin Baker of New Zealand, who had to stop briefly with a wheel problem, was second, and Jan Ripple of Baton Rouge, La., was third. All three are among the favorites in the women’s division.
Rob Mackle, a 24-year-old salesman from Indianapolis, was the leader after the 2.4-mile swim.
Catherine Chay of Pullman, Wash., was the first woman out of the water in 55:31.3.
Defending champion and six-time Ironman winner Dave Scott withdrew from the race late Friday because of a knee injury.