Aernouts, Butterfield in Syracuse

Bart Aernouts from Belgium took the win at Ironman 70.3 Syracuse in a very speedy 3:57:30. In the women's race Nikki Butterfield held off Caroline Steffen with a race best bike and fast run.

The men

Eric Limkemann was fastest among the males in the water but he had Brian Fleischmann, Stephen Hackett and Paul Ambrose right on his heels.

Ambrose and Hackett then set the pace at the front of the race with 2:14:44 and 2:14:45 bike splits and that brought them back to T2 in first and second position. Richard Allen also was riding well and moved into third place with his 2:16:02. But right behind him came Belgian Bart Aernouts, whose race best 2:13:54 bike split had ropelled him from 9th after the swim to 4th after the bike.

Aernouts also ran well and recorded a blistering fast 1:13:18 run to take the title. Ambrose finished second and Rix moved past Hackett to take third.

The women

Dutch Pro Mirjam Weerd led the women out of the water with Madeline Oldfield and Janine Sax in easy striking distance.

Caroline Steffen had started the bike segment about a minute down in 6th position, but the Swiss Kona runner-up didn't waste time to move into the lead. Her 2:24:08 was much faster than the Pros who had started ahead of her, but a couple spots behind her Aussie Nikki Butterfield came charging through the field with a race best 2:22:38 bike split and reached the bike-run transition first.

Out on the run Butterfield managed to add more time to her advantage over Steffen and took the win in 4:18:57. Steffen crossed the line in second place about 3 minutes later and Sam Warriner charged into third place on the run.

Ironman 70.3 Syracuse
Syracuse, NY / September 18, 2011
1.2m swim / 56m bike / 13.1m run

Top men

1. Bart Aernouts (BEL) 3:57:30
2. Paul Ambrose (GBR) 4:02:12
3. Josh Rix (AUS) 4:03:40
4. Stephen Hackett (AUS) 4:04:32
5. Richard Allen (GBR) 4:05:13
6. Maxim Kriat (UKR) 4:07:25
7. Viktor Zyemtsev (UKR) 4:08:59
8. Matt Russell (USA) 4:09:02
9. Eric Limkemann (USA) 4:10:12
10. Mike Caiazzo (USA) 4:14:08

Top women

1. Nikki Butterfield (AUS) 4:18:57
2. Caroline Steffen (SUI) 4:21:54
3. Samantha Warriner (NZL) 4:33:31
4. Rachel Challis (USA) 4:39:04
5. Janine Sax (NZL) 4:40:07
6. Rebeccah Wassner (USA) 4:41:24
7. Laurel Wassner (USA) 4:41:38
8. Mirjam Weerd (NED) 4:42:41
9. Madeleine Oldfield (AUS) 4:48:32
10. Kristin White (USA) 4:48:49