AUGUSTA — For much of Saturday morning and afternoon, the English language took a backseat in Maine’s capital city.

There were people from all throughout North America, particularly New England and eastern Canada, present for Sunday’s Ironman 70.3 Triathlon in Augusta and the southern half of Kennebec County. Yet at the finish line, announcements of, “From Quebec, Canada,” and conversations in French were some of the most audible sounds.

“They always bring a lot of people, and it’s a lot of fun,” said race director Ryan Jarrell. “They definitely add a lot to the competition. We have some of them on the crew with us, and it’s always great to see them and spend some time with them.”

Few places in America have more connections to the French language than Maine. Athletes from Canada’s largest province, then, felt right at home in central Maine – and both the race results and the scenes in Capitol Park showed it.

Quebec athletes dominated Sunday by taking the top-four spots in the overall field in the half-triathlon event held throughout central Maine. Quebec athletes made up a large portion of the 2,000-athlete field for the 70.3-mile race.

Simon Leblanc of Quebec City won the overall race in 4 hours, 1 minute, 24 seconds. That gave him a winning margin of 5:38 over Olivier Moisan of Trois-Rivières (4:07.02), Quebec, who bounced back from a 196th-place finish in the swimming portion by placing third on the bike and second in the run.


Alexandre Dube (4:11:02) and Ernest Saint-Pierre (4:13.27) rounded out the top four. The province also produced four of the top-seven women’s finishers in Andrée-Anne Dumont (third place, 4:49:31), Stéphanie Doyon (fifth place, 4:50:24), Marie-France Roy (sixth, 4:51.21) and Marie-Michelle Germain (seventh, 4:54.08).

Meghan Fillnow of Charlotte, North Carolina, won the women’s race with a time of 4:38.33, 1:25.48 ahead of runner-up Indre Sabaliunaite of Lithuania. On the men’s side, Zev Myerowitz of Cape Elizabeth was the top American and top Mainer in a fifth-place time of 4:14.01.

The course was an enjoyable one for competitors, both those familiar with the area and those traversing it for the first time. By late morning, most athletes were finished with swimming and biking and were looking to make it to the finish line before the hottest part of the day.

A competitor applies sunscreen during a transition during the Ironman 70.3 event on Sunday in Augusta. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

“The run was tough – it was tough before the bridge – but the swim was perfect, and the bike, I preferred that,” said Domynick Ally of Mascouche, a suburb of Montréal. “The people on the course were all great. They were all cheering for us and encouraging us. It was fun.”

Some fast swim times, Jarrell said, provided a remarkable start to the day. Athletes had been looking forward to that part of the race knowing the fast current would be aiding their swims. With competitors amped to start off the day strong and swimming with the currents, sub-30-minute times for the swim portion were fairly common.

“The Kennebec River is a big moving target and a large body of water, and it was great to see our athletes put up such incredible swim times,” Jarrell said. “You saw so many smiles on their faces after they finished. I’ve got to say that was the highlight of the day for me.”


The heat certainly had an effect, especially as runners tried to reach the finish line before temperatures peaked in the early afternoon. Yet while emergency personnel attended to a few runners throughout the day, Jarrell said there were no major incidents.

Fans cheer as a competitor rides the bike portion of the Ironman 70.3 event on Sunday in Augusta. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

With 2,000-plus competitors and, in many cases, their families on hand for the race, it was a much busier day than usual for those in the Augusta area. From the day before the race to the very early hours, people familiar with Augusta noticed a much busier capital city.

“A lot of the first responders I spoke with here saw traffic here that they said they’ve never seen before,” Jarrell said. “I think you see it with business, too. I’m a big fan of a lot of the local businesses here, and I’ve established relationships with them, and I think you saw a huge uptick in their goods.”

The race is already scheduled to return to Augusta next year with some competitors already registered for the race.

“This was an amazing success,” said Dave Christen, Ironman’s regional director for the Northeast. “It couldn’t have gone better.”

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