Results are in: Australia’s Chris McCormack won his second Ironman World Championship thanks to on-the-money pacing, while fellow Aussie Mirinda Carfrae earned another run course record to take her first Ironman World Championship.
Some of the biggest news of the day came about a half hour before the start cannon. Reigning three-time Ironman World Champion Chrissie Wellington, and current course-record holder, announced she was withdrawing from the race due to an illness.
American Andy Potts kicked off the day by jumping out front from the moment the gun went off. By the time Potts completed the 2.4-mile swim he had built a lead of 2:36 all while swimming alone out front. Meanwhile, his competition worked together and a large pack including Luxembourg’s Dirk Bockel, Australia’s Pete Jacobs, Germany’s Faris Al-Sultan and Scotland’s Fraser Cartmell all exited near the 51-minute mark. Last year’s runner up Chris Lieto narrowly missed the lead pack and exited the swim in 52:23. Potts maintained his lead until eventually being taken over by Germany’s Andreas Bocherer. Germany’s Maik Twelsiek also briefly held the lead, but it was Lieto that found the comfortable position out. After the turn back from Hawi, Lieto managed to grow his lead all the way into T2, posting a bike split of 4:23:17. Behind Lieto, Twelsiek, Belgium’s Marino Vanhoenacker and South Africa’s Raynard Tissink. Two top runners, Chris McCormack of Australia and Andreas Raelert of Germany, exited less than eight minutes back of Lieto. Two-time reigning champion Craig Alexander of Australia headed onto the marathon 15 minutes back of Lieto. Once on the run, Lieto’s lead was short lived and he was overtaken by McCormack as the pair headed down the Queen K towards the Energy Lab. As Macca sped into the Energy Lab, Raelert passed Lieto and Belgium’s Marino Vanhoenacker to place himself comfortably in second. Although McCormack continued to look strong, Raelert proved to be equally as strong and joined him at mile 21 of the marathon. The pair ran together until McCormack pulled away in the most thrilling moment of the race. Although he appeared to be struggling for a moment, the pull of the finish line was enough to give him his second Ironman World Championship in 8:10:37, almost five minutes faster than his 2007 winning time. Raelert earned second in 8:12:17. Vanhoenacker finished third less than a minute later. Alexander turned in a fourth-place finish thanks to a 2:41:59 marathon.
With Wellington out of the mix, the dynamic of the women’s race changed immediately. Great Britian’s Rachel Joyce kicked off the women’s race with a leading swim time of 52:25. Dibens exited the water a little less than 90 seconds back of Joyce. Australia’s Mirinda Carfrae showed right away that she was out to best last year’s second-place finish, exiting the swim in seventh position. It didn’t take long for Dibens to find her way to the front of the bike and she lead throughout the majority of the ride. Dibens cycled into T2 with a 4:55:27 bike split, and set out to see how her legs would handle their first-ever marathon. Carfrae exited the bike in fourth position, just over 11 minutes back of Dibens. Although it had little bearing on how the race played out, Switzerland’s Karin Thuerig put her name in the history books with a new course-record 4:48:22 bike split. Dibens looked strong throughout the first half of the run. Although she held a steady pace, she was forced to pat her friend Carfrae on the back as she passed her around the 16-mile mark. From there it was all the “Rinny” show. Carfrae posted another run course record in 2:53:32 to earn the Ironman World Championship victory in 8:58:36.
Ironman World Championship
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii – Oct. 9, 2010
2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run
1. Chris McCormack (AUS) 8:10:37
2. Andreas Raelert (GER) 8:12:17
3. Marino Vanhoenacker (BEL) 8:13:14
4. Craig Alexander (AUS) 8:16:53
5. Raynard Tissink (RSA) 8:20:11
1. Mirinda Carfrae (AUS) 8:58:36
2. Caroline Steffen (SUI) 9:06:00
3. Julie Dibens (GBR) 9:10:04
4. Virginia Berasatagui (ESP) 9:16:47
5. Rachel Joyce (GBR ) 9:18:48