Rapp, Ellis supreme in Texas
Written by: Herbert Krabel
Date: Sat May 19 2012
Joe Umphenour and Brandon Marsh led out of the water in 48:48 with Mathias Hecht and Balazs Csoke right there too. Rasmus Henning also had a solid swim and gave up only a few seconds to the swim leaders, but Jordan Rapp who was wearing bib #1 was already looking at about a 5 minute disadvantage.
Hecht and Henning initially led the bike, but Hecht had no intention to have anyone near him. The Swiss Pro rode a relentless pace and soon was alone in the lead. By the time he reached 56 miles his lead over Henning had grown to 5:27 and Umphenour and Rapp were even further away. In the second half of the bike segment Rapp rode past Umphenour and caught his Specialized team mate Rasmus Henning, but Hecht was too fast on the bike and recorded a race best and course record 4:18:17 split. Rapp's 4:25:43 was second best, and now it all came down to the run.
Rapp and Henning ran together for a while until Henning pulled away, but that did not last very long. Rapp ran very steady and moved past Henning in pursuit of Hecht and caught the Swiss Pro at about mile 13 of the run. From there the man known as Rappstar pulled further and further away with a race best and course record 2:46:55 run. His winning time of 8:10:44 did not break the record, but gave Rapp is fourth Ironman title. Not bad for a man who was left for dead on the side of the road about 2 years ago.
Justin Daerr also had a fine day in Texas and finished second while long time leader Mathias Hecht held on to third place.
Once on the bikes it quickly turned into the Marsh and Ellis show and these two athletes pulled away from the competition. Marsh ended up with the race best bike split of 4:45:51, but Ellis was only 1 second slower. Of the other female competitors only Aussie Christie Sym managed to stay sub 5 hours on the bike. Caitlin Snow who was considered a thread for the title had only managed a 5:08:54, but she looked very fast when she left the second transition.
As many had predicted, Mary Beth Ellis dropped Amy Marsh, but Marsh hung tough and showed a lot of fight. A bit further back though Snow was flying through the field and gaining time. Ellis though was too far ahead and took the title in course record time of 8:54:58 despite only running a 3:11:09 marathon. Ellis though had given it all and looked completely spent when she crossed the finish. Snow managed to reel in Marsh to take second, but Marsh held on to finish third.
"It was a very tough day out there. Amy is one of the best Ironman triathletes, and I just wanted to try to stay with her as long as I could on the bike," said Ellis to slowtwitch. "It was very lonely out there on the farm roads, and I knew if I lost Amy it would be very easy to lose focus and intensity. I was a bit disappointed with my run as I struggled with cramping the last 8 miles. But it was a good practice for Kona, and I know where I need to put in the work to get ready for the tough conditions and amazing field of women that will be assembled this October."
Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas
Woodlands, TX / May 19, 2012
2.4m swim / 112m bike / 26.2m run
1. Jordan Rapp (USA) 8:10:44
2. Justin Daerr (USA) 8:22:15
3. Mathias Hecht (SUI) 8:22:58
4. Jozsef Major (HUN) 8:27:19
5. Brandon Marsh (USA) 8:30:18
6. Joe Umphenour (USA) 8:36:18
7. Rasmus Henning (DEN) 8:37:23
8. Christian Brader (GER) 8:39:07
9. Matthew Russell (USA) 8:42:50
10. Pedro Gomes (POR) 8:44:53
1. Mary Beth Ellis (USA) 8:54:58
2. Caitlin Snow (USA) 9:01:32
3. Amy Marsh (USA) 9:04:00
4. Corinne Abraham (GBR) 9:18:39
5. Charisa Wernick (USA) 9:27:43
6. Brooke Brown (CAN) 9:47:05
7. Sara Piampiano (USA) 9:47:38
8. Michelle Leblanc (USA) 9:53:59
9. Christie Sym (AUS) 9:55:56
10. Amy McGrath (USA) 9:56:18
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