On a typically hot and humid day in Langkawi, Mike Aigroz edged Frederik Croneborg by 10 seconds and Diana Riesler defended her 2014 title thanks to a sizzling fast bike split at Ironman Malaysia.
Balasz Csoke of Hungary led the swim at Pantai Kok with a 49:09 split that gave him a 3 seconds lead on Harry Wiltshire of Great Britain and Romain Guillaume of France, 6 seconds on Alberto Casadei of Italy, 7 seconds on Aigroz of Switzerland, 9 seconds on Paul Ambrose of Australia, and 1:13 on Frederik Croneborg of Sweden.
After the two-loop bike course through the rolling hills of Datai, Guillaume’s race-best 4:39:14 split was 2 minutes faster than Kirill Kotsegarov of Estonia, 9 minutes faster than Croneborg, and 10 minutes faster than Aigroz and Wiltshire. Thus the Frenchman began the run with a 10:21 lead on Aigroz, 10:25 on Kotsegarov, 10:28 on Croneborg, and 10:29 on Wiltshire.
Guillaume’s swift bike split apparently cost him dearly as the Frenchman fell out of the lead in the first few miles and faded to a 5:08:38 run.
By the 17km mark, the men’s race developed into a 3-man duel between Aigroz, Wiltshire and Croneborg, who ran together through 35km. On his way to a 2nd-best 3:08:46 marathon, Aigroz edged ahead to finish in 8:52:02, with a 10-seconds margin of victory over Croneborg (3:09:02 run) and 2:59 over 3rd-place finisher Wiltshire (3:11:55 run).
Alberto Casadei of Italy took 4th, 8:47 behind Aigroz, and Kaito Tohara of Japan closed with a race-best 3:08:36 run to take 5th, 30 seconds behind Casadei.
Lucie Zelenkova of the Czech Republic and Claire Davis of Australia led the swim in 54:40, followed by Jacqueline Foley of the U.S. (+29s), Saleta Castro of Spain (+1:44), Keiko Tanaka of Japan (+2:11), Kate Bevilaqua of Australia (+2:48), Sarah Crowley of Australia (+3:57), and Riesler of Germany (+4:54). Gurutze Frades of Spain and 6-time Ironman World champion Natascha Badmann of Switzerland trailed by 9 minutes.
Riesler took the race by the throat with a by-far women's-best 5:02:38 bike split that gave her a 5-minute lead on Crowley (5:08:05 bike split), 16 minutes on Badmann (5:14:13 bike split), 19 minutes on Bevilaqua (5:23:49 bike split), 20 minutes on Castro (5:25:42 bike split), and 27 minutes on Frades.
Riesler wrapped up her victory with a women's 2nd-best 3:29:37 marathon that brought her to the finish in 9:37:06, with a 12:03 margin of victory over Frades (women's best 3:15:02 run) and 17:01 over 3rd-place finisher, the amazing 48-year-old Natascha Badmann (3rd-best 3:30:21 run).
Underlining the difficult conditions, Riesler’s winning time was 10 minutes 28 seconds slower than her 2014 mark.
November 14, 2015
S 2.4 mi. / B 112 mi. / R 26.2 mi.
1. Mike Aigroz (SUI) 8:52:02
2. Frederik Croneborg (SWE) 8:52:12
3. Harry Wiltshire (GBR) 8:55:01
4. Alberto Casadei (ITA) 9:00:49
5. Kaito Tohara (JPN) 9:01:19
1. Diana Riesler (GER) 9:37:06
2. Gurutze Frades (ESP) 9:49:09
3. Natascha Badmann (SUI) 9:54:07
4. Sarah Crowley (AUS) 9:58:26
5. Saleta Castro Nogueria (ESP) 10:00:23