Gambles, Crawford in Wisconsin

Aussie Joe Gambles had a nice Ironman debut with a win at the 2010 Ford Ironman Wisconsin, but he had to chase down a few folks to get it done. Kiwi Gina Crawford broke her own course record from 2007 and won the women's race with a superb performance.

The men

To no one's surprise, John Flanagan was first out of the waters of Lake Monona in Madison and had a lead of about 5 minutes over a group that contained Brandon Marsh, Romain Guillaume, Konstantin Bachor, Will Smith and Joe Gambles.

The German Bachor and French Pro Guillaume set a very hard pace on the bike and caught Flanagan at around the 27 mile mark. American Smith was up early on with Bachor and Guillaume but soon dropped back and eventually out with knee issues. The only other man to keep pace was Gambles, but he had done slower, more methodical first transition and was riding alone a bit further back. The two Europeans kept riding fast up front and the German Bachor eventually got away from his French counterpart around mile 90. About 10 miles earlier, Gambles had received a penalty for crossing the yellow line and was now sitting 6 minutes back. American Eric Bean was riding strong in fourth position at that time and eventually caught and passed Gambles shortly before T2. Up front meanwhile, Bachor arrived in transition 1:36 ahead of Guillaume and more than 6:30 before Bean and Gambles.

Guillaume soon lost even more time to Bachor on the run, and behind him Gambles was looking very fast in third position. Bachor though soon paid for his efforts and started walking around 8 miles into the marathon. Gambles meanwhile had passed Guillaume and by the 11 mile mark was the new race leader. From there the Aussie cruised to a very strong win in his Ironman debut and with his time of 8:38:32 broke the course record of Chris McDonald by just about 5 minutes. Guillaume held on to finish in second place and Bean grabbed third. Long time race leader Bachor dropped out.

The women

American Hillary Biscay was first out of the water among the women, but Kiwi Gina Crawford was right there. With a speedy transition it was actually Crawford who was first out on the bike.

Once Crawford pedaled along the scenic roads of Madison, Wisconsin, she steadily built up a monster lead over all other chasers. Only Desiree Ficker was able to stay somewhat in the same "area code" of Crawford's bike time of 5:12:50, but once you added on the much slower swim time, Ficker arrived in T2 more than 15 minutes behind Crawford. Dutch Pro Mirjam Weerd was running in third position, another 2 minutes down. Ficker though was struggling and soon dropped out of the race. German Kristin Moeller was now in third place, a massive 23 minutes behind, but running very fast. The German in fact soon caught Weerd for second place and eventually ran a 3:00:26 in her Ironman debut. Up front though it was all about Gina Crawford and it became clear that her own course record was going to get broken. The only question left remaining was by how much?

Her final time of 9:27:26 topped her 2007 time by almost 10 minutes and earned the fast Kiwi another Ironman title. Moeller crossed the line in second place and Weerd took the final podium spot.

Ford Ironman Wisconsin
Madison, Wisconsin / September 12, 2010
2.4 mile swim / 112 mile bike / 26.2 mile run

Top 10 men

1. Joe Gambles (AUS) 8:38:32
2. Romain Guillaume (FRA) 8:49:42
3. Eric Bean (USA) 8:51:36
4. Stefan Riesen (SUI) 8:53:39
5. Blake Becker (USA) 8:55:44
6. Max Longree (GER) 8:55:47
7. Brad Seng (USA) 8:58:15
8. Mike Schifferle (SUI) 8:58:35
9. Dirk Wijnalda (NED) 9:01:07
10. Christophe Bastie (FRA) 9:10:01

Top 10 women

1. Gina Crawford (NZL) 9:27:26
2. Kristin Moeller (GER) 9:39:43
3. Mirjam Weerd (NED) 9:52:25
4. Kate Pallardy (USA) 10:04:19
5. Charisa Wernick (USA) 10:07:19
6. Lauren Jensen (USA) 10:19:08
7. Hillary Biscay (USA) 10:29:06
8. Erin Spitler (USA) 10:31:04 * AG W30-34
9. Jocelyn Wong (USA) 10:34:43
10. Kaytee Petross (USA) 10:35:30 * AG W30-34