Beke, Van Vlerken take inaugural Cozumel titles

Rutger Beke was strong throughout the day and cruisied to a win in the inaugural Ironman Cozumel. The Belgian was 16th out of the water in 46:38, suggesting the swim leg was short of the advertised 2.4 miles. But his bike ride was the day's third fastest at 4:37:27, and his race-best 2:53:56 marathon sealed the deal for the win in 8:18:40. Leading up to the race Beke carefully said during an interview: "With everything that has happened over the year I'm glad to be fit and hoping for a great race." It appears that his hopes certainly came true.

Ukraine's Viktor Zyemstev finished second in 8:29:10 and Sebastian Pedraza from Italy was third in 8:33:28.

Yvonne Van Vlerken exited the water 4 minutes off the lead, but put the race out of reach with the day's fastest bike and run. This win gave Van Vlerken her first Ironman Championship title after having won the Quelle Challenge Roth in Germany in 2007 and 2008.

Bella Bayliss had another strong race, coming out of the water a minute up on Van Vlerken and posting the race's second fastest bike and run. Her 9:22:34 got her second, with Edith Niederfriniger third in 9:30:34.

Van Vlerken's race placed her 10th overall.

2-time New York City Marathon winner German Silva from Mexico has been competing in a few triathlons to date and many have wondered how fast the man with a personal best 2:08:56 marathon time could run at the end of an Ironman. Today on his home turf Silva swam 1:02:49, biked 6:15:46 and ran 3:12:14 for a total time of 10:40:44. The run time Silva is most likely not very happy with, but the overall performance is quite respectable no matter what.

In the women's event, 3 age groupers managed to finish in the top 10 overall.

Ford Ironman Cozumel
Cozumel, Mexico / November 29, 2009

Top 10 men

1. Rutger Beke (BEL) 8:18:40
2. Viktor Zyemtsev (UKR) 8:29:10
3. Sebastian Pedraza (ITA) 8:33:28
4. Tyler Butterfield (BER) 8:39:56
5. Alejandro Santamaria (ESP) 8:57:04
6. Lothar Leder (GER) 9:00:19
7. Allan Villanueva (MEX) 9:01:19
8. Ben Cotter (USA) 9:02:14
9. Lars Finanger (USA) 9:02:37
10. Tim Snow (USA) 9:09:27

Top 10 women

1. Yvonne Van Vlerken (NED) 9:06:58
2. Bella Bayliss (GBR) 9:22:34
3. Edith Niederfriniger (ITA) 9:30:34
4. Bree Wee (USA) 9:45:24
5. Annett Kamenz (GER) 9:59:20
6. April Lea Gellatly (USA) 10:01:40
7. Mindy Houser (USA) 10:22:06 * AG F30-34
8. Lidia Rekas (USA) 10:23:32 * AG F25-29
9. Christine Kenney (USA) 10:25:18 * AG F30-34
10. Jocelyn Wong (USA) 10:37:16