Eneko Llanos of Spain topped two-time defending champion Bert Jammaer of Belgium by 1 minute 53 seconds and Llanos’ 8:37:42 finish broke the 1994 race record of Frank Heldoorn by 42 seconds.
But the real miracle on another tough day in Lanzarote’s rugged heat and 9,000 feet of climbing on its volcanic hills was wrought by women’s winner Catriona Morrison of Scotland. While Morrison’s 10:03:52 finish was far from Paula Newby-Fraser’s 1994 race record of 9:29:36 and was just 88 seconds ahead of the runner-up, age grouper Louise Collins of Great Britain, Morrison gave one of the greatest come-from-behind performances in Ironman history.
Stephen Bayliss led the men out of the water with a 47:42 swim, followed by Philip Graves (47:46), Eneko Llanos (47:49), Bart Jammaer (47:52), and Maik Twelsiek (47:53).
Twelsiek then proceeded to rocket ahead to a race-best 4:40:58 bike which left him 10 minutes up on Jammaer (4:51:23 bike), and 12 minutes ahead of Llanos (4:53:26 bike) and 13:40 ahead of Graves (4:54:38 bike). Graves dropped out 1 km into the run, proclaiming to IronmanLive.com “If you find me on the start line of an Ironman in the next two years, you have my permission to shoot me."
On his way to a second-fastest 2:50:20 marathon, Llanos passed Twelsiek just before the 30km mark and never looked back. By the end, Jammaer’s 2:54:48 run took second, and Twelsiek’s 3:07:58 marathon was enough to earn him third, 5:10 behind Llanos. Gerrit Schellens’ race-best 2:47:28 run advanced him to 4th, 19 minutes back of the winner.
Stopped for an estimated 35 minutes to fix a broken chain, Morrison managed to overcome a 26-minute 37-second deficit to race leader Tara Norton and an 11-minute deficit to eventual runner-up Louise Collins after the bike to eke out an incredible win.
Morrison’s 3:04:36 run rocketed her from 9th place to 1st by a 1:28 margin, and just managed to overshadow a remarkable performance by 29-year-old British age grouper Louise Collins. Collins was herself 16 minutes back of Norton after the bike and ran a stellar second-best marathon of 3:15:21 which held off multiple ITU world long course champion Morrison until the last 3 kilometers of the race.
The race started calmly with Hilary Biscay’s 50:40 swim putting her two minutes up on two-time Lanzarote champ Bella Bayliss and Morrison, 3:11 up on Yvette Grice, 5:20 up on Louise Collins, 5:23 up on Tara Norton and 7:13 up on Kate Bevilaqua.
But throughout the race, there was fascinating shifting of positions accentuated by Morrison’s mechanical mishap.
In the first 10km of the bike, Morrison had a 2:20 lead on Bayliss, 2:24 on Biscay, 4:20 on Norton, 5:55 on Bevilaqua, and 6:26 on Collins.
At roughly 80km, Morrison’s chain broke and she sat by the side of the road for 8:26 until passed by Tara Norton. At 90km, Norton held a 1:45 lead on Bevilaqua, 3:37 on Bayliss, and 7:38 on Collins.
"Race computer says 5:13, official race split says 5:58," said Morrison about her incident. "Time must fly when you are having fun at the side of the road!"
After her spectacular race-best 5:26:22 bike, Norton led with Bevilaqua 9:36 down, Bayliss 11:08 back, Nicole Woysch 18:40 back, Collins 19:04 back, and Morrison 27 minutes back.
Just after the halfway point of the marathon, two-time Lanzarote champion Bella Bayliss pulled up to Norton, with Kate Bevilaqua 30 seconds back in third. By 18km, Morrison had halved her deficit to 13 minutes. At 25km, Bayliss led, with Norton second 2:26 back, Collins third (4:10), Bevilaqua fourth (4:27), Nicole Woysch fifth (6:10) and Morrison sixth about 8 minutes back.
With 10k to go, Bayliss led, with Collins 45 seconds back, Bevilaqua 1 minute down, Norton 3:50 back and the onrushing Scotswoman Morrison just 4:10 down.
With just under 3km to go, Morrison took the lead and ran into history.
Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain
May 22, 2010
S 2.4 mi. / B 112 mi. / E 26.2 mi.
1. Eneko Llanos (ESP) 8:37:42
2. Bert Jammaer (BEL) 8:39:35
3. Maik Twelsiek (GER) 8:42:52
4. Gerrit Schellens (BEL) 8:56:58
5. Tuukka Miettinen (FIN) 8:57:16
6. Nicholas Ward Munoz (GBR) 8:58:54
7. David Martin Brito (ESP) 9:01:43 * M35-39 age grouper
8. Herve Faure (FRA) 9:05:27
9. Alvaro Velasquez (ESP) 9:09:15
10. Patrick Jaberg (SUI) 9:10:02
1. Catriona Morrison (SCO) 10:03:52
2. Louise Collins (GBR) 10:05:20 * W25-29 age grouper
3. Nicole Woysch (GER) 10:11:17
4. Bella Bayliss (SCO) 10:16:46
5. Tara Norton (CAN) 10:17:36
6. Kate Bevilaqua (AUS) 10:19:44
7. Veerle D’haese (BEL) 10:20:48 * W30-34 age grouper
8. Yvette Grice (GBR) 10:22:38
9. Joanna Carritt (GBR) 10:24:29