South Africa’s James Cunnama outran the men, while the United States’ Jessica Jacobs built a lead on the bike and held it all the way to the finish line to take the Ironman Florida titles in Panama City Beach, Fla.
Luxembourg’s Dirk Bockel started off the day by gaining an early edge on super swimmer Bryan Rhodes of New Zealand. Bockel, fresh off of an eighth place finish at the 2010 Ironman World Championship, exited the ocean in a blazing 46:50. Rhodes and Frenchmen Romain Guillaume and Jeremy Jurkiewicz headed into T1 about 40 seconds back of Bockel. Once on the bike, the chase pack quickly made up the gap to Bockel, with Guillaume overtaking everyone for the early lead. Guillaume continued to extend his lead, with Bockel, Rhodes and Jurkiewicz working together behind. After the midway point of the bike the chase pack had grown to nearly ten athletes. With Guillaume working out front all alone, the group eventually started cutting into his lead.
By the time the Frenchman reached T2 his lead had dwindled down to two minutes. Behind Guillaume, a large pack of more than ten professional men exited the bike within a few hundred yards of each other. Near the back of the pack was South Africa’s James Cunnama. Cunnama, a recent winner of both the Rev3 Cedar Point and Ironman 70.3 Austin events, spent the first half of the marathon working his way through the pack. He eventually found his way to the front and never looked back. His 2:43:09 marathon gave him the 8:15:59 victory. Portugal’s Pedro Gomez also turned in a sub-2:50 marathon to earn second. Bockel earned the final podium position.
In the women’s race, France’s Jeanne Collogne exited the swim in just over 55 minutes. Despite not being a very fast swim time for a pro, the performance was good enough to give her a hefty advantage over chasers like Germany’s Meike Krebs, the United States’ Kim Loeffler and Denmark’s Karina Ottosen. Despite swimming nearly ten minutes slower than the leader, the United States’ Jessica Jacobs used her powerful cycling skills to work her way up to the front of the pack. Jacobs claimed the lead at around mile 75 of the bike. Jacobs entered T2 with a three-minute lead over Hungary’s Erica Csomor. Unlike the men’s race, the run did little to shuffle the race order of the women at the front of the pack. Jacobs used a 4:52:36 bike split paired with a 3:04:52 marathon to take the Ironman Florida victory. Csomor finished in second seven minutes later, with Loeffler claiming third.
Panama City Beach, Fla. – Nov. 6, 2010
2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run
1. James Cunnama (RSA) 8:15:29
2. Pedro Gomez (POR) 8:19:26
3. Dirk Bockel (LUX) 8:21:23
4. Markus Fachbach (GER) 8:25:25
5. Jeremy Jurkiewicz (FRA) 8:26:49
1. Jessica Jacobs (USA) 9:07:49
2. Erica Csomor (HUN) 9:14:40
3. Kim Loeffler (USA) 9:21:26
4. Karina Ottosen (DEN) 9:24:34
5. Tamara Kozulina (UKR) 9:28:43