Two weeks out from Kona, there remains tri-action in exotic locales all over the globe including Turkey, Malaysia, Georgia - and a joyful engagement near Santa Cruz, California.
Patrick Nilsson and Diana Riesler win Ironman Malaysia
In stifling tropical heat and humidity, Sweden’s Patrik Nilsson and Germany’s Diana Riesler dominated the men’s and women's fields to earn their first Ironman victories in Langkawi, Malaysia.
While men’s winner Patrik Nilsson had to battle his way to the front, Diana Riesler of Germany took control by 30km into the bike and sailed to a very large margin of victory.
Out of the swim 2:20 behind the Japanese duo of Maki Nishiuchi and Keiko Tanaka, Riesler passed her rivals on the way to a startlingly fast 4:58:44 bike split that was just 18 minutes slower than Nilsson, 14 minutes better than on-a-comeback Australian Rebecca Preston and 30 minutes better than Tanaka and her twin-for-a-day Nishiuchi. Sadly, Preston succumbed to the heat and dropped out on the run. So armed with an unassailable lead, Riesler played it cool and managed a stress-free, women's best 3:23:11 run to finish in 9:26:38 with a 33:25 margin of victory over Tanaka (3:29:33 run) and 35:25 over 3rd place finisher Dimity-Lee Duke of Australia (3:26:33 run). Nishiuchi, more affected by the heat than her countrywoman, faded to a 4:00:18 run to finish 7th.
The win was another excellent result for Riesler, who broke 9 hours with an 8:53 finish at Ironman Austria in 2011, won the 2011 German Long Distance Nationals and took the 2013 ETU European Long Distance Championship at Challenge Vichy, placed 2nd at Ironman UK in 2011. The victory also was a landmark for the newly-configured TeamTBB after long-time head coach Brett Sutton resigned last November. The win was a 2014 highlight for Riesler’s coach Joseph Spindler and team CEO Alex Bok.
As a windless morning gave swimmers a glassy flat surface, late entry Dylan McNeice of New Zealand swam 46:19 and gained a 1:20 lead on master swimmer Benjamin Sanson of France, 3:30 on Patrik Nilsson and 7:15 on fellow Swede Frederik Croneborg.
While Sanson faded and eventually dropped, Australian Timothy Beardall overcame a manatee-slow 1:06:30 swim with a rocketship-swift 4:27:10 bike split that brought him to T2 in second place. Nilsson, seemingly unaffected by the heat, posted a 2nd-best 4:40:31 bike split that was even better than the numbers showed because he had to stop and fix a derailed chain late in the leg. Thanks to Beardall’s hapless swim, Nilsson started the run with a 5 minutes lead on the Australian, who would be doomed by the heat to a survival slog 4:29:33 run that left him 17th at the line. McNeice, not on form, held third with a 4:53:19 bike split, but more evenly paced splits by Croneborg and Karol Djalaj of Slovakia led them to better runs and podium finishes.
Underscoring the crushing heat, Nilsson’s 3:05:37 marathon was best on the day and led him to the finish in 8:41:53 with a 16:52 margin of victory on Croneborg (3:10:00 run) and 33:07 on 3rd place finisher Dzalaj (3:26:21 run) and 44:35 on McNeice (3:41:05 run).
Dataran Lang, Langkawi, Malaysia
September 27, 2014
S 2.4 mi. / B 112 mi. / R 26.2 mi.
1. Patrik Nilsson (SWE) 8:41:53
2. Frederik Croneborg (SWE) 8:58:45
3. Karol Dzalaj (SVK) 9:15:00
4. Dylan McNeice (NZL) 9:26:28
5. Kaito Tohara (JPN) 9:33:27
1. Diana Riesler (GER) 9:26:38
2. Keiko Tanaka (JPN) 10:00:13
3. Dimity Lee-Duke (AUS) 10:02:03
4. Li Shao Yu (TWN) 10:10:37
5. Beth Gerdes (TWN) 10:10:37
Maaike Caelers and Sven Riederer win Alanya World Cup in Turkey
After early season illness and injuries, Maaike Caelers of the Netherlands regained her form with a dominating victory and Swiss veteran and 2004 Olympic bronze medalist Sven Riederer won his second career World Cup title at the Alanya World Cup in Turkey.
After Summer Cook of the U.S. and Gaia Peron of Italy led the swim in 20:14 and 20:16, they tried to make a breakaway on the bike but were quickly overhauled by Annamaria Mazzetti of Italy who took charge of a modest-sized lead group by the end of the first lap. That pack included Junior World champion Laura Lindemann of Germany, Audrey Merle of France, who finished 3rd behind Lindemann at Edmonton, Under 23 bronze medalist Erin Jones of the U.S. and race favorites Rachel Klamer of the Netherlands and Vendula Frintova of the Czech Republic – and carved out a 40-seconds lead after 2 laps.
Before they lost a chance at the win, Caelers, Felicity Sheedy-Ryan of Australia and Under 23 World titlist Sophia Saller of Germany made a counter-attack and bridged the gap. At T2, 39 women arrived in a rush hour jam and Caelers, Sheedy-Ryan, Gillian Sanders, Saller, Frintova, Yulia Yelistrova and Merle ran out in the lead. By the second lap Caelers broke free on her way to a race-best 33:22 run split and finished in 1:59:31 with a 30 seconds margin of victory over Frintova, who edged Yulia Yelistrova of the Ukraine by 1 second for the silver, with Saller another 2 seconds arrears in 4th.
It is hard to imagine that the consistently excellent Seven Riederer of Switzerland, the man who won the bronze medal a decade ago at the Athens Olympic Triathlon, had only won a single ITU World Cup in his career before this weekend. But sure enough, reliable Riederer was just 10 seconds back of the swim leader, perfectly positioned in 10th place starting the bike.
After a messy, crash-plagued bike leg that ended with a 42-man lead peloton, the race would be decided with a run. Recent Under 23 World Champion Dorian Coninx of France broke first out of T2 but was replaced by Tom Bishop of Great Britain at the head of a 15-man pack at the end of lap one. The pack slimmed to 10 with Alessandro Fabian of Italy leading at the halfway point.
Whereupon Riederer put on the jets on his way to a race-best 29:39 run which brought him to the line in 1:45:57 with a 6 seconds margin of victory over Fabian and 14 seconds on first-time World Cup podium finisher David Castro Fajardo of Spain.
Alan Webb, the newly retired legendary American mile runner, continued his evolution into a triathlete with a 26th-place finish concluded with a 16th-fastest 30:35 run.
Alanya World Cup
September 27-28, 2014
S 1.5k / B 40k / R 10k
Women – September 27
1. Maaike Caelers (NED) 1:59:31
2. Vendula Frintova (CZE) 200:01
3. Yuliya Yelistrova (UKR) 2:00:02
4. Sophia Saller (GER) 2:00:04
5. Audrey Merle (FRA) 2:00:06
9. Chelsea Burns (USA) 2:00:32
22. Erin Jones (USA) 2:02:04
33. Summer Cook (USA) 2:04:05
Elite men - September 28
1. Sven Riederer (SUI) 1:45:57
2. Alessandro Fabian (ITA) 1:46:03
3. David Castro Fajardo (ESP) 1:46:11
4. Raphael Montoya (FRA) 1:46:14
5. Steffen Justus (GER) 1:46:18
26. Alan Webb (USA) 1:47:47
Brent McMahon and Lauren Barnett win Ironman 70.3 Augusta
Canadian Brent McMahon led from start to finish and Lauren Barnett of the U.S. fashioned a race-best bike and run dominate the elite fields on the flat and fast course at Ironman 70.3 Augusta.
Brent McMahon had high hopes for the podium at Ironman 70.3 Worlds at Mt. Tremblant after a strong early season, but cold early morning temperatures aggravated a bad back and left the Canadian a disappointed 14th. McMahon hoped to redeem his end of season with a win in his first Ironman at Lake Tahoe, but ash-choked skies from a nearby fire quashed that dream. So warm weather and a fast course in the American south gave McMahon a chance to show his world class talents.
McMahon’s aided-by-currents downstream 18:55 swim led toughest challenger Viktor Zyemtsev of the Ukraine by 1:03, followed by Justin Metzler (20:01), Jeremy Howard (20:04), Jacob Rhyner (20:22) and Justin Park (20:42).
Halfway through the bike, McMahon opened up a 4:54 lead on Park, 4:56 on Zyemtsev and 4:57 on Metzler. At T2, McMahon’s race-best 2:07:07 bike split gave him a 5:54 lead on Zyemtsev (4th-fastest 2:11:57 bike split), 5:57 on Park, and 5:59 on Metzler with the rest of the pros out of hope, more than 11 minutes back.
On his way to a dominating 1:13:40 half marathon split, McMahon remained impervious to challenge and sailed to the win in 3:43:03 with a 7:24 margin of victory on Zyemtsev and 7:53 on 3rd place finisher Justin Park.
While the Lance Watson coached triathlete had to be disappointed with his second straight shocker at 70.3 worlds, his Augusta win certainly underlined the talent that brought McMahon 70.3 wins in Philippines, Victoria and Hawaii and a 2nd against the stacked field at St. George
After turning pro late in the 2013 season, Lauren Barnett earned her first pro win at New Orleans 70.3 and followed up with three 3d place 70.3 finishes at Kansas, Buffalo Springs Lake (fastest run) and Racine. While her 5th American and 16th overall finish at Ironman 70.3 Worlds was disappointing, the Dallas pro came to Augusta amped and ready to get back on form.
As expected swim star Haley Chura led the field out of the water in a downstream assisted 19:32 split, followed by Christina Jackson (+1:54), Barnett (+2:03), Bruna Mahn (+2:44), Brittany Pierce (+3:50) and duathlon star Tamara Kozulina (+4:46).
On the bike, Barnett quickly went to work on Chura’s lead and took control at the halfway point with an 11 second lead on Chura, 3:36 on Kozulina, 3:58 on Pierce and 4:40 on Molly Roohi.
By the finish of the bike, Barnett ‘s women’s-best 2:24:13 bike split gave her a 3:8 lead on Chura, 4:59 on Kozulina and 5:35 on Sue Huse of Canada.
On the run, Barnett sailed to a race-best 1:21:32 half marathon which brought her to the finish in 4:11:33 with a lucky 7:11 margin of victory on Huse (second-best women’s 1:23:08 run) and 7:29 on 3rd place finisher Chura (1:25:23 run) and 12:06 on 4th place finisher Kozulina.
Ironman 70.3 Augusta
September 28, 2014
S 1.2 mi. / B 56 mi. / R 13.1 mi.
1. Brent McMahon (CAN) 3:43:03
2. Viktor Zyemtsev (UKR) 3:50:27
3. Justin Park (USA) 3:50:56
4. Justin Metzler (USA) 3:52:08
5. Benson Hall (USA) 4:05:09
1. Lauren Barnett (USA) 4:11:33
2. Sue Huse (CAN) 4:18:44
3. Haley Chura (USA) 4:19:02
4. Tamara Kozulina (UKR) 4:23:39
5. Molly Roohi (USA) 4:26:25
Tommy Zaferes and Katie Hursey get engaged
Rising USA ITU stars Tommy Zaferes and Katie Hursey were engaged on September 23, a pledge they shared with the world via joyful posts on Facebook and other social networks.
Some of the best pictures included: a selfie of the engagement ring at the beach near Zaferes’ home in Santa Cruz, pics of Hursey’s win and Zaferes’ runner-up finish at Pacific Grove, and, we think , best of all, a photo of winners Zaferes and Hursey dousing one another with champagne atop the podium at the Kelowna Sprint Pan American Cup.
Kenyan sets new world marathon record of 2:02:57 in Berlin
Kenyan Dennis Kimetto set a new men’s marathon record of 2:02:57 today at the Berlin Marathon, cutting 26 seconds of the previous best set by countryman Wilson Kipsang last year in Berlin.
Kimetto averaged 4 minutes 41 second per mile over the 26.2 mile course which ends at the famed Brandenberg Gate which used to separate East and West Berlin during the Cold War.
Kimetto, 30, is from the famed Rift Valley, which has been the breeding ground for many distance running legends.
Kimetto battled fellow Kenyan Emmanuel Muttai for much of the race until he broke away with 4 kilometers to go. Muttai finished second in 2:03:13, 16 seconds behind Kimetto but also inside the old record held by Kipsang.
Kimetto’s previous best was 2:03:45, set in winning the 2013 Chicago Marathon – also a flat and fast course.
Tirfi Tsegaye of Ethiopian won the women's event in 2:20:18, nine seconds ahead of fellow Ethiopian Feyse Tadese. Shalane Flanagan of the U.S. was 3rd in a personal best time of 2:21:14.