Ironman Triathlon One for the Books

Written by Neil Farrell

Neil has been a journalist covering the Estero Bay Area for over 27 years. He’s won numerous journalism awards in several different categories over his career.

June 5, 2023

The first of three annual Ironman Triathlons came to Morro Bay May 20, bringing some 2500 athletes form across the U.S. and several foreign lands.

The event was produced by Ironman, Inc., with the support of the City of Morro Bay and Visit Morro Bay the marketing arm of the Tourism Business Improvement District.

The event closed off nearly every major street in town for the entire day and consisted of a 1.2 mile swim in the bay, a 55-mile bike ride up Hwy 1 San Simeon and back; and a 13-mile run through the Embarcadero, Downtown, Morro Bay State Park and back — twice. All told it was 70.3 miles of grueling athleticism done by adult athletes of all age groups, men and women. 

The overall Top-3 Men finishers were: First Place — Maksim Kniazev in an overall time of 4-hours 1-minute and 41-seconds. In a break down of stages he timed 29:07 for the swim; 2:06:56 for the bike; and 1:20:01 for the run, according to Ironman’s Race Results posted online at: www.ironman.com/im703-morro-bay-results. 

Second Place went to Denis Pyryev in 4:05:55 (26:01 swim; 2:15:50 bike; and 1:18:29 run).

Third was Read Ziegler in 4:08:53 (26:26 swim; 2:16:26 bike; and 1:19:39 run).

The Top-3 Women were: First Place — Marissa Lovell in 4:31:47 (30:47; 2:29:58; 1:26:05).

Second went to Kelly Barton in 4:40:02 (29:26; 2:37:33; and 1:26:59).

In third place was Kathryn Kennedy in 4:40:41 (26:59; 2:41:40; and 1:27:07).

The event also had teams with a separate athlete doing the three stages for a combined overall time. First place went to Team Tiki in 3:38:45 (32:11; 2:44:50; and 1:16:29).

Second Team was Team STRIVE Omni Sport in 4:45:25 (39:28; 2:25:54; and 1:34:3). 

Third went to Team Sheeper in 4:49:00 (29:48; 2:20:54; and 1:50:05).

The Morro Bay event was a qualifier for the VinFast IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships, slated for Aug. 26-27 in Lahti, Finland.

The City and Ironman signed an agreement last year that would have three annual triathlons run in and around Morro Bay. Work on next year’s event is already beginning.

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