Canadian triathlete Tamara Jewett wowed the endurance sports world on Saturday after running a 1:13:00 half-marathon split en route to the win at Ironman 70.3 Oceanside in California–after swimming 1.9 km and biking 90 km. Her time was faster than all but seven of the pro men who raced in California, and it’s one of the fastest half-marathon splits in the history of 70.3 distance racing. Jewett won the race in an overall time of 4:08:09, about a minute and a half ahead of the second-place finisher.
— IRONMAN Triathlon (@IRONMANtri) April 1, 2023
Jewett has been recognized as one of the fastest runners on the 70.3 circuit, but her swimming and biking had room for improvement. Her win in Oceanside showed the triathlon world that she has made significant gains in the water and on the bike, which has to be an unnerving realization for her competitors. On Saturday, Jewett exited the water with the first chase pack, 90 seconds behind early leader Holly Lawrence, the 2016 70.3 world champion.
Jewett and a few other women managed to chase down Lawrence on the bike, but in the final stages of the ride, Jewett lost ground to a few other women. Jewett’s competitors had to know that the only chance they had to cross the line in front of her was to drop her on the bike, because when it comes to the run, anyone starting a half-marathon with Jewett is apt to lose. Jewett entered T2 (the second transition, where athletes switch from the bike to the run) one minute and 15 seconds behind the leaders.
Despite a healthy lead to start the 21 km run, none of the women in front of Jewett could hold onto their lead, and she eventually caught and passed all of them. Included in the group was American Chelsea Sodaro, who won the 2022 Ironman World Championship with an amazing 2:51:44 marathon in Kona, Hawaii, last October. Sodaro still had a tremendous run in Oceanside (she posted a 1:15:21 split), but she was no match for Jewett, who flew to the win.
All eyes might have been on Tamara Jewett's half-marathon in Oceanside, but her swim and bike improvements launch her career to the next levelhttps://t.co/mc8uVvkiCI
— Triathlon Magazine (@TriMagCan) April 3, 2023
Jewett’s run was undeniably incredible, but to give it the right context, all one needs to do is look at the list of the top half-marathon results in Canadian history. These are pure half-marathons—no swimming or biking before these runs—but only 18 Canadian women have ever run faster than Jewett did on Saturday.
That’s right—Jewett swam 1.9 km in a little under 26 minutes, biked 90 km in two hours and 24 minutes (that’s an average of 37 kilometres per hour) and still somehow had the energy and legs to run a 1:13 half-marathon (an average pace of 3:27 per kilometre). She may not be running any World Athletics events, but Jewett is an athlete all running fans should keep an eye on, because she’s likely only going to continue to produce amazing results like the one she ran on Saturday.