KAILUA KONA, Hawaii -- Mike LeRoux's men's race-best 6:31:45 Day 3 double marathon advanced the Australian past an ailing Jonas Colting to hit the line in 21:55:57 with a 23:57 margin of victory over the Day 2 leader and two-time Ultraman champ. Although plagued by a pulmonary infection, Colting rallied near the end of a 7:27:07 run to edge third place Slater Fletcher by 2 minutes flat. Four-time Ultraman champion Alexandre Ribeiro, who fell to 8th after two days of non-stop vomiting, recovered some honor with a second-best 6:59:02 run that advanced him to 4th place in 23:52:46.
"People said I would have to run a 6:40 or better double marathon today to have a chance, and I did that," said the 34-year-old full-time civil engineer from Cairns, Australia who finished 4th in his Ultraman Hawaii debut last year. "It obviously helped that Jonas was sick and had an off day. But my wife Kristen said she knew I had a sub-7 hour double marathon in me [he ran 7:04 here last year] and she was right. I ran 3:04 for the first marathon today and hung on for the second half of the run."
LeRoux said that much of his swim training in his native Cairns requires appointing one of his fellow river swimmers to what they call the Croc Watch to warn the rest of them of the presence of annoying crocodiles.
Runner-up Colting was quite happy with his finish considering the circumstances. "I had some sort of upper respiratory infection through the race and it made my breathing labored. I managed it fine for two days but yesterday it got the better of me and I had to slow for a walk already at mile 10," said the 2007 Ultraman champion to slowtwitch. "My crew helped me through and I followed a run/walk schedule and did finish strong, going 1.40 for the last half-marathon."
The headline of the day was the race record-smashing performance of the top four women, led by Amber Monforte's 24:07:11 winning time that chopped 1 hour 38 minutes and 40 seconds from Tina Bischoff's 1989 race record.
"It hasn’t sunken in yet," said Monforte. "I've had a very rough couple of weeks [she reports that her boyfriend of several years broke up with her at the end of October] and I almost dropped out of this race. I stopped training for a couple of weeks and I told my crew don’t buy tickets because I had some things to get through. But I arrived in Hawaii on November 5 and I called my crew and said 'It’s on!' Like racing and in life, you just have to move forward."
Monforte, who worked four 12 hour shifts a week for months to pay for a 2-month hiatus from her Reno nursing job to faciltate her Hawaiian race expedition, won the Ironman Hawaii-XTERRA Maui amateur women's double. Her smashing Ultraman victory made it an even rarer Ironman Hawaii-XTERRAS Maui-Ultraman Triple.
Ironman veteran but Ultraman rookie Hillary Biscay's late comeback surge on the run took back second place from six-time Ultraman champion Shanna Armstrong by a margin of 3 minutes 29 seconds.
Monforte started the three day stage race with an all-time Ultraman women's second-best 2:42:10 10k swim and race-best 5:39:34 split for a wind-plagued 90-mile bike. Monforte then unleashed a monster 7:57:58 split for the second day, 171.4-mile bike that topped Armstrong's 2009 Day Two women's bike record by an amazing 41:42. Monforte's Day Three 7:47:29 run topped her own Ultraman Canada record by over 30 minutes and out-sped Bischoff''s 1989 run by 2 minutes 8 seconds.
Monforte also cut 1:29:38 from her own Ultraman world-best set at Canada in 2009. But Monforte's assault on the records was not a solo effort.
Taking an IV in Ultraman Hawaii's casual , outdoor finish line medical area, Biscay had enough spunk left to jokingly chide Armstrong for her best-ever 7:49:07 double marathon that at one point led Biscay by 2 miles and had erased Biscay's Day Two lead. "It's all your fault!" Biscay laughingly blamed Armstrong "for making me run so hard that I got my first IV to recover."
Biscay started slow but made up a lot of time in the second marathon, finishing with a 7:55:10 run.
Biscay's 24:40:28 finish left her 37:17 behind Monforte, but 1:05:23 ahead of Bischoff's longstanding Ultraman Hawaii record. Armstrong's 24:43:57 finish smashed her Ultraman Hawaii personal best by 65 minutes and topped Bischoff's mark by 1:01:54.
"It was my dream for seven years to break Tina Bischoff's race record, but I never thought I'd do it," said Armstrong. "I finally did it and broke all my best Ultraman splits -- but I got beat by Hillary and Amber today. I'm proud of my race -- I couldn’t have done any better today."
Armstrong said it was a relief to have her six race winning streak broken, but had one regret. "People said I've never been challenged before this year, but I know different. Talented women have been coming after me for six years and I have had to dig deep many times to keep the streak going."
Armstrong said that her 3:38 for the first marathon Sunday was two minutes better than her solo marathon PR and her 5:27 split for the first 112 miles of Saturday's bike leg was by far her best for the distance.
Although she trailed Monforte by 1:28:12, Marin, California's Kathy Winkler's 25:35:23 4th place finish after a 7:53:07 run also topped Bischoff's 1989 race mark, by 10 minutes 28 seconds. "My run was 10 minutes slower than last year'" said Winkler. "But I was peeing blood all day. Pretty good for a 44-year-old mother of two who's giving away 12 years to the winner. My race race shows this horse isn’t ready for the glue factory - I have several good years left in my career."
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 Three - Final Results
The Big Island of Hawaii
November 28, 2010
R 52.4 Mi.
Unofficial Day Three and Final Results
1. Mike LeRoux, 35 (AUS) S 2:28:50 B1 5:10:31 B2 7:44:51 R 6:31:45 TOT 21:55:57
2. Jonas Colting, 37, (SWE) S 2:16:04 B1 5:14:40 B2 7:24:03 R 7:27:07 TOT 22:19:54
3. Slater Fletcher, 33 (USA) S 2:43:25 B1 5:05:43 B2 7:26:25 R 7:06:21 TOT 22:21:54
4. Alexandre Ribeiro, 45 (BRA) S 2:44:31 B1 6:00:55 B2 8:08:18 R 6:59:02 TOT 23:56:42
4. Christian McAvoy, 28, (USA) S 2:38:28 B1 5:26:18 B2 7:51:56 R 8:20:04 TOT 24:16:42
5. Nino Cokan, 37, (SLO) S 2:53:19 B1 5:30:40 B2 7:53:12 R 8:46:08 TOT 25:03:18
6. Gary Wang, 43 (USA) S 3:01:42 B1 5:38:09 B2 8:10:12 R 8:23:30 TOT 25:13:33
7. Milton Agosto de Sousa (BRA) S 3:02:10 B1 6:09:51 B2 8:20:50 R 7:54:55 TOT 25:27:04
8. Markus Joswig, 29 (GER) S 2:43:47 B1 6:08:34 B2 8:17:50 R 8:26:48 TOT 25:56:59
9. Carlos Conceicao, 46, (BRA) S 3:04:45 B1 5:55:53 B2 9:30:33 R 7:25:48 TOT 25:56:59
10. Christopher Draper, 34 (USA) S 3:18:44 B1 5:58:23 B2 8:56:43 TOT 26:13:04
1. Amber Monforte, 32 (USA) S 2:42:10 B1 5:39:34 B2 7:57:58 R 7:47:29 TOT 24:07:11
2. Hillary Biscay, 32, (USA) S 2:20:48 B1 5:56:21 B2 8:28:09 R 7:55:10 TOT 24: 40:28
3. Shanna Armstrong, 36, (USA) S 2:40:16 B1 5:52:16 B2 8:22:18 R 7:49:07 TOT 24:43:57
4. Kathy Winkler, 44 (USA) S 2:42:39 B1 6:12:09 B2 8:47:28 R 7:53:07 TOT 25:35:23
5. Megume Kobayashi, 37, (JPN) S 3:12:45 B1 6:26:19 B2 9:36:17 R 8:52:26TOT 28:07:37
6. Kimmie Rouse, 55 (USA) S 3:41:06 B1 6:51:51 B2 9:28:44 R 9:19:34 TOT 29:21:15
7. Vanusa Maciel, 40 (BRA) S 3:21:20 B1 6:30:51 B2 10:11:29 R 9:36:03 TOT 29:39:43
8. Laurie Beers, 56 (USA) S 3:33:36 B1 6:37:00 B2 10:03:59 R 10:32:36 TOT 30:47:17
9. Suzy Degazon, 46, (PR) S 3:56:04 B1 7:11:16 B2 10:41:40 R 10:19:38 TOT 32:08:38
10. Wendy Minor, 65 (USA) S 3:24:08 B1 7:49:24 B2 10:56:39 R 11:29:38 TOT 33:39:49