Ukraine’s Viktor Zyemtsev and the United States’ Meredith Kessler both took Ironman victories today in Penticton, Canada, but they each won in very different fashions. Zyemtsev sat towards the middle of the pack throughout the day before turning in a fast marathon and a sprint finish to the line to take the win, while Kessler turned in strong performances across all three legs of the race to earn her first Ironman victory.
New Zealand’s Kieran Doe led the charge out of the swim with a 2.4-mile time of 46:24. Canada’s Wolfgang Guembel and Tom Evans were next into transition. Doe used his momentum from the swim to the bike, turning in a 4:42:37 bike split to carry his lead into T2. Doe eventually faded and dropped out of the race on the marathon, leaving a huge opportunity for his pursuers. As the second man out of T2, Scott Curry, also faded on the run, Germany’s Christain Brader took the lead and attempted to get away from his competition. Brader was running on fairly tired legs after turning in a field-leading 4:38:36 bike time. It looked like his 2:56:04 marathon time would stand up until Zyemtsev joined him up front. With less than a half mile to go Zyemtsev surged, leaving Brader behind. Zyemtsev took the win in 8:32:28, with Brader crossing 13 seconds later for second position. Germany’s Stephan Vuckovic also turned in a sub-three hour marathon to earn third.
The women’s race did not feature the same level of drama as the men’s. Canada’s Tereza Macel led the women out of the swim, with Kessler following close behind. Macel lacked her usual cycling skills and faded to the back of the pack. With Macel out of the picture, Kessler charged and took the lead heading into T2 thanks to the combination of a 49:59 swim and a 5:09:33 bike. Canada’s Heather Wurtele spent the entire day attempting to make up for a nearly four-minute gap between her and Kessler out of the swim. Wurtele ended up keeping within a few minutes of Kessler throughout the majority of the day, but was never able to catch her. Kessler capped her day off with a 3:10:14 marathon to take her first Ironman victory in 9:13:46. Wurtele settled for second, with American Mackenzie Madison earning a strong podium finish in third.
Penticton, B.C., Canada – August 29, 2010
2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run
1. Viktor Zyemtsev (UKR) 8:32:28
2. Christian Brader (GER) 8:32:41
3. Stephan Vuckovic (GER) 8:38:31
4. Petr Vabrousek (CZE) 8:39:16
5. Kyle Marcotte (CAN) 8:40:45
1. Meredith Kessler (USA) 9:13:46
2. Heather Wurtele (CAN) 9:17;17
3. Mackenzie Madison (USA) 9:34:51