After a few quiet years, Faris Al-Sultan wins the inaugural Ironman Regensburg in his home state of Bavaria. Sonja Tajsich grabs her second title of the year after an early season success in South Africa.
Faris-Al Sultan led the Pro men out of the water with Horst Reichel right on his feet. Al-Sultan's Abu Dhabi team mate Andreas Böcherer lost 50 seconds to the leaders during the swim but managed to make up a few seconds in transition, all other competitors though looked at least at an almost 3 minute gap.
27-year old Böcherer who is known for his bike prowess charged into the lead after about 20k of the bike and steadily rode away from all competitors. Reichel early on stayed with Al-Sultan, but the 2005 Ironman Hawaii champion was soon alone in pursuit of the lone leader. A bit further back, Christian Brader was riding in fourth position and that is how they arrived back in T2. Böcherer had 3:48 of a lead over Al-Sultan and more than 16 minutes on Reichel and Brader, plus another fast transition helped him to start the run 4:20 ahead of Al-Sultan.
With each kilometer on the run though, Al-Sultan gained time on the leader and with only a few miles to go moved to the front of the race. Al-Sultan closed out his day with a 2:56:17 marathon and thus earned his fourth Ironman title after winning in Arizona and the World Championships in Kona 2005, and the Malaysia event in 2008. Böcherer struggled a bit towards the end but held on to second place. Nils Goerke's 2:48:07 marathon catapulted him to third place and an all German podium.
"It's great to win again. It wasn't my best race but thank god the right direction. First marathon under 3:00 hours," said Al-Sultan to slowtwitch. "I ran controlled for the first half, then it got harder. On the fourth lap I overtook Andi and tried to look fast and solid, and that led to a side stitch and I almost cramped up. The last 5k were pure agony."
The first female Pro out of the water was Katja Konschak with a similar margin over her pursuers as Reichel and Al-Sultan had in the men's race.
Katja Rabe had lost 49 seconds to Konschak, but managed to get herself into the lead in no time. A bit further back, Ironman South Africa champion Sonja Tajsich started the bike 5 minutes after Konschak, but was clearly the fastest female on course. At 75k of the bike segment Tajsich pushed past Rabe and also managed to cruise past a few males with her female best 4:59:33 bike split. Rabe was next into T2, but was now almost 7 minutes behind Tajsich. But behind Rabe the gaps were even larger and Monika Stadlman was another 10 minutes further back in 3rd position.
On the run Tajsich steadily increased her lead and Rabe looked fairly solid too, but Stadlman dropped out and the question was soon who would be in that final podium position. Tajsich's 3:09:06 was quite sufficient to take the win and her second title of the year. Rabe crossed the line in second place about 20 minutes later and British age grouper Corinne Abraham ran to third position overall.
Regensburg, Germany / August 1, 2010
2.4 m swim / 112 m bike / 26.2 m run
1. Faris Al-Sultan (GER) 8:13:37
2. Andreas Böcherer (GER) 8:18:28
3. Nils Goerke (GER) 8:22:57
4. Christian Brader (GER) 8:25:30
5. Nick Saunders (GBR) 8:33:19
6. Aaron Farlow (AUS) 8:39:41
7. Domenico Passuello (ITA) 8:46:30
8. Florian Stelzle (GER) 8:48:55 * AG M30-34
9. Daniel Schmoll (GER) 8:49:34
10. Mike Schifferle (SWI) 8:49:42
1. Sonja Tajsich (GER) 9:06:46
2. Katja Rabe (GER) 9:32:04
3. Corinne Abraham (GBR) 9:41:21 * AG W30-34
4. Yvonne Rüger-Krömker (GER) 9:44:48
5. Merja Kivianta (FIN) 9:57:28
6. Jenny Gowans (GBR) * AG W35-39
7. Ladislava Cisarovska (CZE) 10:00:31
8. Inga Haude (GER) 10:01:45 * AG W35-39
9. Anja Birner (GER) 10:04:09 * AG W30-34
10. Annett Finger (GER) 10:04:21 * AG W25-29