HAWI, Hawaii -- Jonas Colting of Sweden overcame a 6-minute drafting penalty to post the third fastest ever Day 2 bike split of 7:24:03 for the 171.4-mile leg and take a 22-minute 46-second lead over Ultraman rookie Slater Fletcher going into the third and final day of the 2010 Ultraman World Championships Sunday.
"I felt much better than Day One because there were tailwinds riding north from Hilo and climbing up the Kohala Mountains," said Colting, 37, the 2004 and 2007 Ultraman champion and holder of the second and fifth fastest times of this event. "I am a big guy and have trouble with the climbs, but I built momentum throughout the day. The only worry came when I started to get cramps on the last climb. When I finally crested the summit of the Kohalas (with 15 miles to go), I said 'Hooray!'"
Ultraman rookie Slater Fletcher of Huntington Beach, 33, vaulted from 3rd to 2nd place with a sizzling 7:26:25 Day Two bike split, which like Colting's effort also included a 6-minute drafting penalty. Fletcher's competitive resume, highlighted by a third place in his age group at Ironman St. George, is overshadowed by Colting's Ultraman titles and ITU long course world championship bronze and silver medals, but the engineering professional remains undaunted and optimistic going into the double marathon with a Ironman marathon best of 3:16 at Kona.
"I really enjoyed chasing Jonas and got close when we got to the top of the hill," said Slater. "But then he put the hammer down again. I'm really happy when they told me my Day Two bike split was the fourth fastest ever."
Slater said he had never run 52 miles before, but didn't worry. "Today's bike was 50 miles longer than I had ever done before."
Day One runner-up Mike LeRoux of Cairns, Australia dropped to third with a 7:44:51 bike that left him 31:31 behind Colting. But he was happy with his effort. "It was much faster than my bike here last year," said LeRoux, who finished 4th last year. "I'm feeling good going into the run."
The biggest splash of the 26th running of this rugged three-day stage triathlon on the Big Island of Hawaii continues to be the assault on the women's record book by a trio of talented of contenders. On Saturday's Day 2 bike of 171.4 miles from Volcanoes National Monument to Hawi, Amber Monforte of Reno, Nevada obliterated the day's women's record by an astounding 41 minutes 42 seconds with a time of 7:57:58. Monforte's record ride was topped by only four men in the select field of 36, and her 16:13:19 accumulated time carved out a 25 minute 36 second lead over Day 1 women's leader Hillary Biscay and increased her margin over 6-time Ultraman winner Shanna Armstrong to 36 minutes 53 seconds.
"I didn’t know what to expect today," said Monforte after her formidable bike. "But I want the race and world record broken this year, whether by me, or Shanna or Hillary. It is motivating to have people of that caliber chasing you. And do not forget Kathy Winkler (now 4th, 1 hour 22 minutes back) -- I can see her running 7 hours 10 minutes."
Monforte, who holds the Ultraman distance world best with a time of 25:36:49 set in Canada in 2009, can break that record with a 9:17 run and can break the 1989 Ultraman Hawaii women's race record of 25:45:51 with a run of 9:26. On paper, that should be easy pickings, since Monforte's 2009 Ultraman Canada run was 8:31:13.
Monforte held no doubts that the women's record would fall. "I just think that no one has ever really been pushed like this before. This year there are there or four of us pushing hard."
Monforte didn't have a glitch free day -- she had to stop for three minutes for a bike tech support mechanic to tighten her chain to get her big chain ring engaged again.
Wonder at Monforte's dominant bike charge should not erase appreciation for the performances of the women chasing her. Both Biscay (8:28:09 Day Two bike) and Armstrong (8:22:18 Day Two bike) broke the old record. In addition, Biscay can break the current Ultraman women's world best if she runs a 9:01 double marathon Sunday. Armstrong, who closed out her victory here last year with an 8:08:57 double marathon , can top the record with an 8:41:59 run.
"Ultraman is living up to its reputation and more," said Biscay, who has completed 40 or more Ironman distance events and won two of them in her 10-year career. "I've never ridden more than 135 miles and I've struggled so hard on the bike before. It is definitely harder than I expected. "
Shanna Armstrong was happy about her fastest ever Day Two bike and had a nickname for Monforte. "I call her The Beast," said the Fort Worth, Texas endurance champion. "Amber's on fire right now. And she's strong. And she's scary, you know?"
The Ultraman World Championship is a three-day stage triathlon totaling 320 miles that circumnavigates the Big Island of Hawaii on the three days after Thanksgiving.
Day one on Friday consists of a 10k swim from Kailua Pier to Keauhou Beach, followed by a 90-mile bike from Keauhou to Volcanoes National Monument that includes 7,800 feet of climbing. Day two on Saturday is a 171-mile bike from Volcanoes National Monument through Hilo and over the mountains to Hawi which includes roughly 8,000 feet of climbing. Day three on Sunday is a 52.4 mile run from Hawi south along the Queen K Highway to the old airport in Kailua-Kona
26th Ultraman World Championship
Day Two of Three
The Big Island of Hawaii
November 27, 2010
B 171.4 mi.
Day Two Unofficial Results
1. Jonas Colting, 37, (SWE) Swim 2:16:04 Bike 5:14:40 Bike 7:24:03 TOT 14:52:47
2. Slater Fletcher, 33 (USA) Swim 2:43:25 Bike 5:05:43 Bike 7:26:25 TOT 15:15:33
3. Mike LeRoux, 35 (AUS) Swim 2:28:50 Bike 5:10:31 Bike 7:44:51 TOT 15:24:18
4. Christian McAvoy, 28, (USA) Swim 2:38:28 Bike 5:26:18 Bike 7:51:56 TOT 15:56:38
5. Nino Cokan, 37, (SLO) Swim 2:53:19 Bike 5:30:40 Bike 7:53:12 TOT 16:13:10
6. Gary Wang, 43 (USA) Swim 3:01:42 Bike 5:38:09 Bike 8:10:12 TOT 16:50:03
7. Alexandre Ribeiro, 45 (BRA) Swim 2:44:31 Bike 6:00:55 Bike 8:08:18 TOT 16:53:44
8. Markus Joswig, 29 (GER) Swim 2:43:47 Bike 6:08:34 Bike 8:17:50 TOT 17:10:09
9. Scott Beasley, 49 (USA) Swim 3:06:04 Bike 5:51:59 Bike 8:25:43 TOT 17:23:46
10. Milton Agosto de Sousa (BRA) S 3:02:10 B 6:09:51 B 8:20:50 TOT 17:32:09
1. Amber Monforte , 32 (USA) Swim 2:42:10 Bike 5:39:34 Bike 7:57:58 TOT 16:19:42
1. Hillary Biscay, 32, (USA) Swim 2:20:48 Bike 5:56:21 Bike 8:28:09 TOT 16:45:18
3. Shanna Armstrong, 36, (USA) S 2:40:16 B 5:52:16 B 8:22:18 TOT 16:54:50
4. Kathy Winkler, 44 (Marin CA) S 2:42:39 B 6:12:09 B 8:47:28 TOT 17:42:16
5. Megume Kobayashi, 37, (JPN) S 3:12:45 B 6:26:19 B 9:36:17 TOT 19:15:11
6. Kimmie Rouse, 55 (USA) Swim 31:06 Bike 6:51:51 Bike 9:28:44 TOT 20:01:41
7. Vanusa Maciel, 40 (BRA) Swim 3:21:20 Bike 6:30:51 Bike 10:11:29 TOT 20:03:40
8. Laurie Beers, 56 (USA) Swim 3:33:36 Bike 6:37:00 Bike 10:03:59 TOT 20:14:41
9. Suzy Degazon, 46, (PR) Swim 3:56:04 Bike 7:11:16 Bike 10:41:40 TOT 21:49:00
10. Wendy Minor, 65 (USA) Swim 3:24:08 Bike 7:49:24 Bike 10:56:39 TOT 22:10:11