Michael Raelert of Germany continued his domination of the Ironman 70.3 distance with a 6-minute 42-second margin of victory and Caroline Steffen easily took her third straight Ironman 70.3 win at Ironman 70.3 Switzerland Sunday in Zurich.
Raelert won wire-to-wire, emerging first from Lake Zurich with a race-best 24:17 swim, notching a race-best 2:08:12 bike and topping it off with a 1:12:57 half marathon that was 4:21 faster than runner-up Ronnie Schildknecht. XTERRA star Olivier Marceau took third, another 47 seconds back of fellow Swiss star Schildknecht
The win continues Raelert’s absolute domination of the half Ironman distance, following his World Championship at Clearwater and wins at Ironman 70.3 California and at the classic Wildflower long course.
Steffen, a 32-uear-old Swiss from the tiny village of Spiez, has been on a hot streak since she signed on with coach Brett Sutton and his Team TBB crew. She adds the Swiss 70.3 win to a 4th place at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship last November, wins at the Geelong and Singapore 70.3s, and a second place at Ironman South Africa.
Steffen emerged from the swim in 25:59, ahead of all her serious rivals, added a 2:24:30 bike that was second only to cycling superstar Karin Thurig’s race-best 2:21:52, and her race-best 1:26:15 run sealed a 5:56 margin of victory over fellow Swiss Nicole Hofer, with Thurig another 3:44 back in third place.
Thurig, a cycling time trial world champion and Olympic cycling medalist who has won several Ironman events, effectively took herself out of contention for the win with a typically Manatee-slow 33:45 swim. Thurig, a Powerman Zofingen duathlon winner, did manage to outrun Hofer 1:30:05 to 1:32:03.
Powerbar Ironman 70.3 Switzerland
Rapperwil-Jona, Lake of Zurich
June 6, 2010
S 1.2 mi. / B 56 mi. / R 13.1 mi.
1. Michael Raelert (GER) 3:47:47
2. Ronnie Schildknecht (SUI) 3:54:29
3. Olivier Marceau (SUI) 3:55:16
4. Romaine Guillaume (FRA) 3:59:06
5. Massimo Cigana (ITA) 4:01:52
6. Axel Seebroek (BEL) 4:03:06
7. Jimmy Johnsen (DEN) 4:03:19
8. Marc Widmer (SUI) 4:05:51
9. Swen Sundberg (GER) 4:06:45
10. Mathias Hecht (SUI) 4:07:44
1. Caroline Steffen (SUI) 4:19:29
2. Nicole Hofer (SUI) 4:25:25
3. Karin Thurig (SUI) 4:29:09
4. Simone Benz (SUI) 4:34:12
5. Eva Janssen (NED) 4:41:55
6. Sandra Patt (SUI) 4:44:19
7. Verena Walter (GER) 4:47:18
8. Yvonne Ruger-Kromker (GER) 4:48:07
9. Cecile Treier (SUI) 4:52:34
10. Simone Weber (SUI) 4:53:19