Balazs Csoke of Hungary won wire to wire for his first Ironman win while Kate Bevilaqua of Australia won her second IM crown by a wide margin at Ironman Korea in Jeju Sunday.
Csoke broke fast with a race-best 47:06 swim , carved out a huge lead with a sizzling 4:39:14 bike that gave him a 6 minutes lead on 2000 Olympic triathlon bronze medalist Jan Rehula of the Czech Republic. But Rehula soon faded and DNF’d and without much pressure, Csoke hung on in the heat with a 3:17:48 marathon to hit the finish in 8:48:21 with a 10 minutes, 25 seconds margin of victory over runner-up Andreas Venhorst, a South African-based German. On the hilly course made even tougher by the usual hellishly hot temperatures, Csoke and Venhorst were the only two men to break 9 hours. Bevan McKinnon of New Zealand was third in 9:03:50, and 25-29 age grouper Timothy Beardall of Australia was 4th overall in 9:14:42
Csoke was coming off a disappointing outing at Ironman Texas, where DNF’s with a flat and a broken wheel and thus decided to make it up at Ironman Korea. ““This was hard,” Csoke told Ironman.com. “The swim was quite OK and I enjoyed the ride as I like the rolling hills and prefer the power course on a bike. The run is my weakest point and I didn't know how it would be on this challenging course. The heat humidity and sun made sure it was not an easy one. The first lap was OK but on the second round we got some sun and it made things harder. I really had to think very hard on that last 15km. Fortunately I had enough gap even with a slow last 10km to take the first place.”
In the women’s race, Kate Bevilaqua emerged from the swim in 55:08, 5:06 behind Team TBB’s Maki Nishiuchi and 3:26 behind Hillary Biscay of the USA. Bevilaqua, who DNF’d at Ironman Lanzarote, then took control on the challenging, hilly bike course with
Race-best 5:04:49 split that outpaced Nichiuchi by 16:31 and Biscay by 25:28. Bevilaqua then sealed the deal with a women pro’s race-best 3:35:28 marathon that was 5:39 faster than Nishiuchi and 9:25 better than Biscay.
At the line, Bevilaqua’s 9:39:44 topped runner-up Nishiuchi by 16:44 while Biscay took the final spot on the podium in 10:12:20.
“Oh it was tough," Bevilaqua told Ironman.com . "The swim was beautiful and I really enjoyed it as the fog lifted and the conditions were great. The wind picked up a bit on the bike and there were a few climbs out there so you had to take it steady. And then it was just survival on the run with the hills and heat and humidity. If you didn’t take something in at every aid station you were in trouble. I was just glad to finish.”
Jeju Island, Korea
July 3, 2011
S 2.4 mi. / B 112 mi. / R 26.2 mi.
1. Balazs Csoke (HUN) 8:48:21
2. Andreas Venhorst (GER) 8:58:46
3. Bevan McKinnon (NZL) 9:03:50:
4. Timothy Beardall (AUS) * M25-29 -- 9:14:42
5. Hiroyuki Nishiuchi (JPN) 9:18:12
5. Shinji Yamamoto (JPN) * M25-29 – 9:18:43
6. Hidekazu Takahashi (JPN) *M35-39 – 9:29:22
7. Justin Granger (AUS) 9:30:44
8. Yeun Sik Ham (KOR) 9:36:02
9. Michael Dhulst ( ) * M30-34 – 9:37:13
10. Christopher D’Ambrosia ( ) * M25-29 – 9:38:32
1. Kate Bevilaqua (AUS) 9:39:44
2. Maki Nishiuchi (JPN) 9:56:28
3. Hillary Biscay (USA) 10:12:20
4. Shiao Yu Li (CHN) * F30-34 – 10:34:04
7. Kaori Tokai (JPN) * F40-44 -- 10:44:06
8. Alena Stevens (SLO) * F25-29 – 10:49:53