After a string of runner-up finishes at the distance, Australian Pete Jacobs won his first Ironman at Sunday’s Ironman Australia in Port Macquarie, New South Wales. The 29-year-old maintained his lead off the bike and won by seven minutes, with a time of 8:29:00 in sunny but windy conditions.
The noted strong swimmer took a three-minute advantage coming out of the water and never looked back, and finished the marathon with a run split of 2:58:46. Jacobs had been knocking on the door after Kona last October, when he finished ninth and posted the fastest run split at 2:41.
“That is the best swim-bike I have ever had,” Jacobs said. “I had to swim and bike hard because I haven’t run for a while with the foot injury but it held out for me.”
2008 and 2009 Ironman World Champion, heavily favored Australian Craig Alexander, dropped out on Friday due to a chest infection he couldn’t overcome in time before his first attempt at Ironman Australia, leaving the field wide open.
Fellow Australian Patrick Vernay, a four-time winner and defending champion, finished second. at 8:35:14. Forty-year-old Jason Shortis took third.
On the women’s side, Swiss national and Australian resident Caroline Steffen also took home her first victory at the Ironman distance. The runner-up to Mirinda Carfrae in Kona last year won here in 9:29:54, comfortably ahead of Australian Amelia Peterson, who took second with 9:38:23.
Steffen lost time due to two tire punctures on the bike and a difficult run.
“I hurt on the run and was going to pull out — I think I would have, but the crowds were awesome and kept me going,” Steffen said.
2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run
1. Pete Jacobs – 8:29:00
2. Patrick Vernay – 8:35:14
3. Jason Shortis – 8:45:43
4. Scott Neyedl – 8:46:53
5. Courtney Ogden – 8:49:38
1. Caroline Steffen – 9:29:54
2. Amelia Pearson – 9:38:23
3. Kirsten Molloy – 9:43:55
4. Nicole Ward – 9:49:23
5. Rebecca Everleigh – 10:07:57
For the first time, Ironman Australia featured a 70.3 distance, Ironman Port Macquarie. Click here for the race report.