LAKE PLACID —Jennie Hansen spent hours staring at an Ironman Lake Placid poster while trying to make herself better.
She finished second at the 2012 edition of the triathlon in her first year as a professional, and that had her aiming even higher this time
Hansen doesn’t have to imagine what it’s like to win anymore.
The Rochester native chased down leader Carrier Lester during the marathon and won the 2013 Ironman Lake Placid professional women’s title Sunday, finishing the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile run in 9 hours, 35, minutes, 6 seconds.
“This is completely surreal,” Hansen said. “There’s been a lot of long hours I spent on the trainer in the basement, and I had my Ironman Lake Placid poster from last year on the wall and I would just look at that.”
Andy Potts knew what it was like to win, leading the whole day last year, and he repeated that performance to become the first male to win back-to-back championships in Lake Placid. He slapped hands with fans lining the course before crossing the finish line in 8:43:29.
“I think it feels a little bit better the second time around, for sure,” Potts said. “Anytime you can come into a classic venue like Lake Placid and defend the title is certainly one of the highlights of not just my year but my career.
“Defending is very difficult just because more people have you on their list of people to take down, and you just have a bigger bull’s eye on your back.”
Katy Blakemore of Denver, Colo. was second in the women’s race, about seven minutes behind Hansen. Lester finished third.
Daniel Fontana was Potts’ nearest pursuer for most of the day and took second place in 8:48:29. Ian Mikelson was less than three minutes back in third place.