Evans smashes course record, Comerford takes 5th Ironman Florida title

Canadian Tom Evans smashed 2007 Ironman Florida Champion Stefan Vuckovic’s course record by 13 minutes 30 seconds with a blazing fast 8:07:59 time Saturday in Panama City Beach, Florida. Evans’ mark also establishes a new record for the fastest men’s over-40 time in any Ironman event, according to IronmanLive.com.

Evans broke fast with a 48:15 swim that gave him a 15-second margin over Danish Ironman star Torbjorn Sindballe, then put three more minutes on the former Ironman Hawaii bike course record holder with a sizzling 4:18:59 bike on the pancake-flat course in the Panhandle of northwest Florida. Evans then polished off the 2007 Ironman Hawaii third place finisher with a 2:57:19 run that gave him a 9 minute 52 second margin of victory.

The win gives Evans four Ironman victories for his career – all in US Presidential election and summer Olympic years. Evans won Ironman Florida and Ironman Canada in 2004 and took Ironman Coeur d’Alene earlier this year.

Scottish Ironman star Bella Comerford celebrated her 31st birthday with her eighth career Ironman win and fourth Ironman victory of 2008 with a 6 minute 26-second margin of victory over Tamara Kozulina of the Ukraine. Comerford's 9:07:48 overall time was the third-fastest ever at this race behind Nina Kraft's 2007 race record 9:05:35 and Heleen Bij der Vaate's 9:07:40 runner-up time last year.

Comerford broke out of the water in 54:54, second to Hawaii’s first year pro Bree Wee (53:16), then put the race away with a second-best 4:59:05 bike, 8 minutes 13 seconds slower than third overalk finisher Jessica Jacobs’ race-best 4:50:52 split, but 5 minutes 20 seconds faster than Kozulina’s bike. Comerford then sealed the deal with a second-best 3:08:07 run that safely gave back 71 seconds to Kozulina’s race-best 3:06:56 run.

Germany’s Nina Kraft, the defending champion, withdrew when her seat post broke while leading 20 miles into the ride.

2008 Ford Ironman Florida
Panama City Beach, Florida
November 1, 2008
S 2.4 mi/ B 112 mi/ R 26.2 mi


Top 10 men

1. Tom Evans (CAN) 8:07:59 * course record
2. Torbjorn Sindballe (DEN) 8:17:51
3. Petr Vabrousek (CZE) 8:23:00
4. Christophe Bastie (FRA) 8:24:41
5. Uwe Widmann (GER) 8:25:34
6. Swen Sundberg (GER) 8:26:52
7. Byung Hoon Park (KOR) 8:28:51
8. Georg Swoboda (AUT) 8:31:57
9. Zach Ruble (USA) 8:34:27
10. Nils Goerke (GER) 8:35:39

Top 10 women

1. Bella Comerford (GBR) 9:07:49
2. Tamara Kozulina (UKR) 9:14:15
3. Jessica Jacobs (USA) 9:17:51
4. Bree Wee (USA) 9:26:46
5. Rachel Joyce (GBR) 9:37:50
6. Gabriela Loskatova (UKR) 9:47:03
7. Deanna Frank (USA) 9:50:48
8. Elke Hinterberger (AUT) 9:56:00 *
9. Heidi Rothgang (GER) 9:56:53 *
10. Christina Stiles (USA) 9:58:36 **

* = AG W35-39
** = AG W30-34