Faris Al-Sultan of Germany and Linsey Corbin of the United States won the men’s and women’s titles on a sweltering day at Kärnten Ironman Austria that left the finish times nowhere near last year’s record performances by Marino Vanhoenacker and Mary Beth Ellis.
Al-Sultan, the 2005 Ironman World Champion, took his 6th Ironman title in a time of 8:11:31 by a 9:07 margin over Italy’s Daniel Fontana thanks to a second-best 4:25:38 bike split and a race-best 2:50:38 run.
The Austrian win added to Al-Sultan’s already glittering Ironman record that included wins at Arizona and Kona in 2005, Malaysia in 2008, Regensburg in 2010 and Frankfurt in 2011. Al-Sultan’s win follows a 2nd place finish at the 2012 Abu Dhabi International Triathlon this March.
Pedro Gomes of Portugal took the final place on the men’s podium with a time of 8:26:30 that gave him a 2:11 margin over 4th-place Franz Höfer of Austria.
Corbin finished in 9:09:58 and prevailed after a race-long duel with Hungary’s Erika Csomor by a margin of 2 minutes 11 seconds. Corbin won it on the bike as her race-best 4:54:09 cycling split gave her a 6:02 advantage over Csomor and overcame the Hungarian’s 2:17 better swim and 1:12 faster run. Csomor thus repeated her second place finish of 2011, albeit with a 20:59 slower time that was a strong effort given the weather.
Corbin’s win follows her breakthrough triumph at 2010 Ironman Coeur d’Alene, her 3rd place finish at the 2011 Ironman 70.3 World Championship and swift 8:54 second place finish at Ironman Arizona last November. Earlier this year, the Missoula, Montana native won the Desert Classic Duathlon and Honu Ironman 70.3.
The Corbin-Csomor duel overshadowed an equally fierce battle for third place in which Michaela Rudolph of Austria passed Germany’s Dana Wagner with just 2 kilometers to go to finish in 9:44:37 with a 1:33 margin over her 4th-place rival.
A super hot day that left some finishers collapsing at the line was in stark contrast to the ideally cool conditions last year that led to Marino Vanhoenacker’s Ironman record-smashing 7:45:58 winning time and Mary Beth Ellis’ best-ever women’s Ironman debut time of 8:43:34.
Kärnten Ironman Austria
July 1, 2012
S 2.4 mi. / B 112 mi. / R 26.2 mi.
1. Faris Al-Sultan (GER) 8:11:31
2. Daniel Fontana (ITA) 8:20:38
3. Pedro Gomes (POR) 8:26:30
4. Franz Höfer (AUT) 8:28:41
5. David Plese (SLO) 8:30:47
6. Tom Lowe (GBR) 8:31:15
7. Balazs Csoke (HUN) 8:39:57
8. Michael Göhner (GER) 8:42:42
9. Patrick Jaberg (SUI) 8:43:09
10. Georg Swoboda (AUT) 8:43:58
11. Markus Fachbach (GER) 8:45:08
1. Linsey Corbin (USA) 9:09:58
2. Erika Csomor (HUN) 9:12:09
3. Michaela Rudolph (AUT) 9:44:37
4. Dana Wagner (GER) 9:46:10
5. Elisabeth Gruber (AUT) 9:57:41 * F25-29
6. Constance Mochar (AUT) 10:01:02 * F35-39
7. Simone Fürnkranz (AUT) 10:09:53
8. 8. Caroline Livesey (GBR) 10:21:00 * F30-34
9. Elizabeth Nyitray (DOM) 10:24:09 * F30-34
10. Astrid Rogl (AUT) 10:26:17 * F35-39