Aaron Farlow of Australia and Camilla Pedersen of Denmark both used fast swim and bike splits to win the men’s and women’s titles at the third annual KMD Challenge Copenhagen.
Farlow, who had Iron-distance wins at Ironman UK in 2011 and Challenge Wanaka in 2012, swam 47:01, just behind Dane Andreas Borch, rode aggressively to the lead over defending champ Tim Berkel and last year’s runner-up Jimmy Johnsen with a race-fastest 4:26:43 bike split, and defended his advantage with a 6th-best 3:03:00 marathon to finish in 8:20:09 with a 4:48 margin of victory over runner-up Mads Vittrup-Pedersen of Denmark and 5:06 over 3rd-place finisher Jimmy Johnsen of Denmark.
Vittrup-Pedersen had fallen 22:26 behind Farlow with a 51:17 swim, a 4:41:06 bike split, and a 5:17 bike-to-run transition that included serving a 4-minute penalty for a position foul on the bike. Vittrup then recouped 17:58 with a race-best 2:45:00 marathon to take 2nd place. Fellow Dane Jimmy Johnsen had a more balanced race as his 48:08 swim, 4:39:59 bike split and 3rd-fastest 2:54:18 run brought him home 3rd, just 18 seconds behind the charging run of Vittrup-Pedersen, who thereby won the Danish championship. Keegan Williams of New Zealand took 4th in 8:36:05
Two time defending champion Tim Berkel of Australia was in close contention as his 3rd-best 48:58 swim and 2nd-best 4:34:12 bike split left him in 2nd place and 9:12 back at T2 – well within range of a three-peat if he had managed his usual run. But Berkel was afflicted with some ailment and could only manage an uncharacteristically slow 3:41 marathon to finish 21st in 9:07:43.
Pedersen, coming into this race after a 2nd place finish at the ITU Long Distance World championship in Spain, a win at the half distance Challenge Aarhus and a 4th place at the Challenge Kraichgau half, broke out fast with a race-best 48:51 swim that gave her a 2:16 advantage on Katja Konschak of Germany and 2:21 over Lisbeth Kristensen of Denmark. After a race-best 2:12 first transition and a race-fastest 4:59:05 bike split, Pedersen held a 5:07 lead on Kristensen, who was making an impressive return to long distance racing, and 19:27 on Konschak.
Pedersen started strong on the marathon, extending her lead to over 10 minutes on Kristensen by halfway.
But in a dramatic turnaround at the 25 kilometer mark, Pedersen fell hard on her left hip and spent several minutes on the ground. By the time she rejoined the run, her lead had been cut to 3 minutes at the 27 kilometer mark. As Pedersen was still struggling to regain her equilibrium, Kristensen caught and passed her at the 31 kilometer mark. But 4 kilometers later, Pedersen had regrouped and retook the lead.
By the finish, Pedersen pulled away to a 3 minute lead. Although Pedersen’s perilous 3:21:12 marathon surrendered 3:09 to Kristensen’s 3:18:03 and 13:23 to Konschak’s race-best 3:07:49, it was good enough to win the day.
Kristensen finished 2nd in 9:15:24 and Konschak took 3rd in 9:19:54 and Wenke Kujala of Germany took 4th in 9:25:14.
KMD Challenge Copenhagen
August 12, 2012
S 2.4 mi. / B 112 mi. / R 26.2 mi.
1. Aaron Farlow (AUS) 8:20:09
2. Mads Vittrup-Pedersen (DEN) 8:24:57
3. Jimmy Johnsen (DEN) 8:25:15
4. Keegan Williams (NZL) 8:36:05
5. Joseph Spindler (GER) 8:38:47
6. Jacob Frandsen (DEN) 8:43:54
7. Egoitz Zalakain-Erbiti (ESP) 8:45:27
8. Chris Goodfellow (GBR) 8:47:06
9. Andreas Borch (DEN) 8:55:23
10. Allan Jakobsen (DEN) 8:50:51
21. Tim Berkel (AUS) 9:07:43
1. Camilla Pedersen (DEN) 9:12:27
2. Lisbeth Kristensen (DEN) 9:15:24
3. Katja Konschak (GER) 9:19:54
4. Wenke Kujala (GER) 9:25:14
5. Edith Niederfriniger (ITA) 9:33:51
6. Julia Bohn (GER) 9:36:07
7. Helene Pallesen (DEN) 9:45:35
8. Agnete Debois Hjelmar (DEN) 10:00:56
9. Louise Lilleso (DEN) 10:03:50
10. Lillan Sindahl Glümer (DEN) 10:12:43