The Weekend Box Jun 29 2014

The last weekend in June brings record smashing in Austria, rain-slick bike crashing in Nice, close duels in Texas, a tall story in Idaho, an off road Swiss outing, and a cancer survivor wins a long one in Atlantic City

Ivan Raña and Linsey Corbin lead a course-record speedfest at Klagenfurt

Ivan Raña of Spain jumped into the conversation for a place as one of the top Ironman-distance triathletes with a third-fastest -ever 7:48:43 winning performance at Ironman Austria, topped only by two 2011 performances - Andreas Raelert’s 7:41:33 at Challenge Roth and Marino Vanhoenacker’s 7:45:49 at Ironman Austria.

Raña was followed by Christian Kramer of Germany, who posted a 7:54:31 mark which was the 12th-fastest men’s Iron-distance time in history.

Linsey Corbin of the United States led five woman assault on the 9-hour mark with a course record 8:42:42 performance that was the 10th fastest women's Iron-distance time and the 5th fastest women's official Ironman race performance. Sunday’s race was Corbin’s second sub-9 effort which follows her 8:54:33 mark at Ironman Arizona in 2011.

Following Corbin into the sub-9 hour zone were Simone Brändli of Switzerland (8:49:16 – 23rd fastest women’s Iron-distance mark), Lisa Hütthaler of Austria (8:53:20 – 40th fastest), Sofie Goos of Belgium (8:57:01 – 64th fastest), and Michi Herlbauer of Austria (8:59:57 – 96th fastest).

Raña, the 2002 ITU Olympic distance World Champion who also finished 5th at the 2000 and 2008 Olympic triathlons, has made good use of his all-around speed in his transition to long course racing – with no better example than his day at Klagenfurt. Raña’s 44:36 swim split was 7th out of the water, just 19 seconds behind swim leader Luiz Ferreira of Spain and right on the heels of top overall rivals Marko Albert, Faris Al-Sultan, Christian Kramer.

Raña smashed all comers on the bike leg with a 4:15:57 split which was 3 minutes better than Kramer and 5 to 15 minutes better than top cyclists Giglmayr, Michi Weiss and Bart Aernouts.

Instead of cruising the run, Raña hit the gas and posted a race-best 2:43:43 marathon which brought him to the line with a 5:48 margin of victory over Kramer (2:46:46 run) and 14:11 on 3rd-place finisher Plese (2nd-best 2:44:06 run).

Corbin started her day with a 6th-best 53:02 swim which was 11:43 behind Simone Brändli. 1:17 behind Michi Herlbauer, 57 seconds behind Lisa Hütthaler, and 56 seconds behind Sofie Goos. Corbin took control with a women’s race-best 4:47:02 bike split on Klagenfurt’s speedway which gave her a 4-seconds lead on Hütthaler (4:48:55 split), 2:22 on Brändli (4:57:15), 3:22 on defending champ Erika Csomor (4:47:50) and 5:59 on Goos (4:54:32).

Corbin shut the door on her rivals with a race-best 2:56:52 run – the only woman to break 3 hours – which brought her to the finish with a 6:34 margin of victory over Brändli and 10:38 over 3rd place finisher Hütthaler.

Ironman Austria
Klagenfurt, Austria
June 29, 2014
S 2.4 mi. / B 112 mi. / R 26.2 mi.


Elite men

1. Ivan Raña (ESP) 7:48:43
2. Christian Kramer (GER) 7:54:31
3. David Plese (SLO) 8:02:54
4. Andreas Giglmayr (AUT) 8:09:06
5. Marko Albert (EST) 8:12:57

Elite Women

1. Linsey Corbin (USA) 8:42:42 *CR
2. Simone Braendli (SUI) 8:49:16
3. Lisa Hütthaler (AUT) 8:53:20
4. Sofie Goos (BEL) 8:57:01
5. Michi Herlbauer (AUT) 8:59:57
6. Erika Csomor (HUN) 9:05:42

Bart Aernouts and Tine Deckers win a rainy, crash-filled Ironman Nice

Ironman France began on a sunny beach at Nice, then entered a rainy, cold and scary steep bike leg that left the men’s overall winner and WTC honcho Andrew Messick crashing to the ground. When the tumult and adrenaline were spent, Bart Aernouts’ race-best bike held off Victor del Corral’s usual killer run and Tine Deckers’ fearlessly fast bike split trumped Caitlin Snow’s superb marathon to earn the Belgian her record 4th Ironman Nice title.

Aernouts, who has six Ironman 70.3 wins to his credit as well as an 8th at Kona, came into this race with a strong ambition to improve on his second place finish last this year. He finished the swim 11th -- his 51:58 split left him 2:21 behind swim leader Harry Wiltshire and more than 2 minutes arrears of French contenders Jeremy Jurkiewicz and Bertrand Billard and just a few seconds behind Abu Dhabi champion Tyler Butterfield of Bermuda and Ritchie Nicholls of Great Britain.

Aernouts charged hard up the steep hills of southern France, arriving on Billard’s wheel at the 110 kilometer mark with Butterfield and Mathias Hecht about 4:30 back. After a steep descent made slick by cold rain, Aernouts crashed twice, Jurkiewicz crashed once, as did many others including WTC CEO Andrew Messick, who was competing in a relay.

Showing serious pluck, Aernouts picked himself up and finished his race-fastest 4:46:10 bike split just 1:36 behind Billard (4:46:19 split) and 7 minutes ahead of Butterfield (3rd-fastest 4:54:10 split). Del Corral finished the treacherous bike safely, but 9 minutes behind the leader – and within range of his sub-2:40 run capability.

It took Aernouts 10 kilometers to take over Billard’s lead, but in the meantime Del Corral was starting his move, 8 minutes back. With 5k to go, Aernouts was 4:55 ahead of Del Corral and held on for a 2:49:58 run and an 8:33:22 finish that gave him a 4:01 margin of victory over Corral (2:42:33 run) and 7:34 over 3rd-place finisher Butterfield (2:49:39 run).

Tine Deckers began with a 1:00:03 run that put her 3:46 behind super runner and most dangerous rival Caitlin Snow. Deckers then unleashed a race-best 5:06:38 bike split that was 11 minutes better than Snow and gave Deckers a 7:58 lead on Snow and 9:17 over Jeanne Collonge. Snow blasted through a 2:52:26 run, but Deckers countered with a 3rd-fastest 2:59:47 which brought the Belgian to the finish in 9:12:21 with a 41 seconds margin of victory.

Ironman France
Nice, France
June 29, 2014
S 2.4 mi. / N 112 mi. / R 26.2 mi.



1. Bart Aernouts (BEL) 8:33:22
2. Victor Del Corral (ESP) 8:37:23
3. Tyler Butterfield (BER) 8:40:56
4. Jeremy Jurkiewicz (FRA) 8:44:45
5. Christian Brader (GER) 8:49:03


1. Tine Deckers (BEL) 9:12:21
2. Caitlin Snow (USA) 9:13:02
3. Lisa Roberts (USA) 9:23:58
4. Eimear Mullan (IRL) 9:39:53
5. Linda Guinoiseau (FRA) 9:42:46 *W40-44

Reed edges Rapp, Naeth outduels Shapiro at Buffalo Springs Lake 70.3

Tim Reed edged Jordan Rapp on the run and Angela Naeth came from behind on the run to win a race-long duel with Margaret Shapiro at Ironman 70.3 Buffalo Springs Lake.

After a disappointing 2013 and a not so great start to 2014 at Oceanside and St. George, followed by a frustrating 4th at Ironman Texas, Jordan Rapp of the U.S. was coming closer to his good form after a few months with new coach Joel Filliol. Tim Reed of Australia, on the other hand, had been remarkably consistently on the podium for the past two years. After a 5th place at Ironman 70.3 Words in Las Vegas last September, Reed had runner-up finishes at Huskisson Long Course and Ironman 70.2s at Cairns and Geelong, Red was ripe for a win.

On the swim, Rapp was typically out of the top 10 and Reed was 7th in 23:40 and 4-time Wildflower long course winner Jesse Thomas was 9th in 25:14

Whereupon Rapp regained his killer bike, posting a race-best 2:10:38 split which gave him a 6-seconds lead on Reed at T2, with Mark Bowstead and Brandon Marsh 2:23 and 2:59 back and Jesse Thomas with a prayer at a 4:12 deficit.

Reed charged hard to a 52 seconds advantage on Rapp halfway through the 13.1-mile run. Then Rapp fought back, cutting the margin to half a minute before time ran out. Reed’s 1:21:33 run split brought him to the finish two seconds under four hours with a 30-seconds margin of victory. Jesse Thomas’ race-fastest 1:20:12 half marathon advanced him to 3rd, 2:56 behind the winner.

Defending women’s champion Angela Naeth arrived at Buffalo Springs Lake in decent form with a win at Panama 70.3, a 6th at Ironman Melbourne and a disappointing 13th at St. George 70.3. Margaret Shapiro was a stealth candidate on an up curve with a 6th at Panama 70.3 and a 7th at St. George 70.3 while her a runner-up finish at Rev3 Williamsburg was a 2013 highlight .

Shapiro exited the swim 2nd, 1:23 behind leader Jennifer Spieldenner and 2:20 ahead of Naeth’s 7th-fastest split. Naeth then vaulted ahead of the field with a race-best 2:26:27 bike split over the hot and windy West Texas terrain, that brought her to within 37 seconds of Shapiro, who maintained her lead with a 2:28:03 bike split. Shapiro boosted her lead to 1:52 at the halfway point of the run, whereupon Naeth launched a counterattack. At the finish, Naeth’s second fastest 1:30:40 run split was 2:04 better than Shapiro’s and brought the Canadian to the finish in 4:27:14 with 1:18 margin of victory. Lauren Barnett ran a race-best 1:28:02 half marathon to take 3rd, 1:26 behind Shapiro.

Ironman 70.3 Buffalo Springs Lake
Lubbock, Texas
June 29, 2014
S 1.2 mi. / B 56 mi. / R 13.1 mi.



1. Tim Reed (AUS) 3:59:58
2. Jordan Rapp (USA) 4:00:28
3. Jesse Thomas (USA) 4:02:54
4. Mark Bowstead (NZL) 4:03:19
5. Joe Umphenour (USA) 4:08:02
6. Brandon Marsh (USA) 4:09:16


1. Angela Naeth (CAN) 4:27:14
2. Margaret Shapiro (USA) 4:28:32
3. Lauren Barnett (USA) 4:29:58
4. Jennifer Spieldenner (USA) 4:37:05
5. Corrie Kistick (USA) 4:56:26

Andy Potts and Heather Wurtele prevail at Ironman Coeur d’Alene

Andy Potts’ swift swim and bike outweighed the superior runs of Viktor Zytemtsev and Ben Hoffman to take the men’s crown at Ironman Coeur d’Alene. Heather Wurtele stood tallest on the women's podium thanks to a race-best bike split that put 17 minutes on strongest rival Kelly Williamson.

Potts swam 47:57 which gave him a 5-minute advantage on strongest rivals Zyemtsev, Hoffman and German überbiker Maik Twelsiek. Twelsiek then unleashed a race-best 4:35:14 split on Coeur d’Alene’s hilly bike course which was 7 minutes faster than Potts, 11 minutes better than Zyemtsev and 13 minutes better than Hoffman. Twelsiek’s charge gave him a 2:08 lead on Potts, 11:00 on Zyemtsev and 13:45 on Hoffman starting the run.

Potts took over the lead from Twelsiek at Mile 6, while Zyemtsev and Hoffman started to charge the run and chip away at the leaders. At Mile 14, Potts was 4:10 ahead of Twelsiek, 5:40 on Zyemtsev and 8:10 up on Hoffman. By Mile 20, Potts’ lead was reduced to 2:55 on Zyemtsev and 5:07 on Hoffman, who was a few seconds up on Twelsiek. From that point on, Potts decided enough was enough, fought back and finished with a 4th-best 2:51:53 run that brought him to the finish in 8:25:44 with a 2:48 margin of victory over Zyemtsev (2:46:03 run), 3:48 on 3rd-place finisher Hoffman (2:43:59 run) and 8:35 on 4th place finisher Twelsiek (3:02:29 run.

Heather Wurtele had no drama as she stayed near the front of the women pros with a 59:14 swim, then obliterated the field with a 5:22:19 bike split that was 7 minute faster than Jessica Smith’s next best effort and a whopping 17 minutes and 33 seconds better than dangerous runner Kelly Williamson. Wurtele’s 2nd-fastest run split of 3:09:10 actually gained 37 seconds on Williamson and left the statuesque Canadian with a 15:35 margin of victory over Williamson and 24:10 over 3rd-place finisher Jessica Smith.

Ironman Coeur d’Alene
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
June 29, 2014
S 2.4 mi. / B 112 mi. / R 26.2 mi.



1. Andy Potts (USA) 8:25:44
2. Viktor Zyemtsev (UKR) 8:28:32
3. Ben Hoffman (USA) 8:29:12
4. Maik Twelsiek (GER) 8:34:19
5. Matt Hanson (USA) 8:39:22


1. Heather Wurtele (CAN) 9:34:32
2. Kelly Williamson (USA) 9:50:07
3. Jessica Smith (USA) 9:58:42
4. Oleysa Prystayko (UKR) 10:07:59
5. Jennie Hansen (USA) 10:12:09

Frederik Croneborg and Laurel Wassner win Challenge Atlantic City

Frederik Croneborg of Sweden and Laurel Wassner of the U.S. won the inaugural Challenge Atlantic City on a sunny day on the Jersey shore.

Croneborg began his day six minutes behind swim leader Dylan McNeice’s 47:24 split. Chris Boudreaux took over the lead midway through the 112-mile bike leg and led by 2 minutes after the bike. Croneborg started the run in 5th place with a 6:24 deficit. The Swede started passing his rivals right away and took the lead at the 12-mile mark. But the lead was short-lived as New Jersey native Scott DeFilippis, a man with a 2:43 Ironman marathon PR, took the lead from Mile 13 to 16 before Croneborg wrested it back and took the win in 8:31:47. DeFilippis took second, 6:09 back of the victor and Boudreaux rounded out the podium in 8:40:56.

“This is the biggest achievement in my career,” said Croneborg. “When Scott caught me I thought my race was over as he is such a strong runner, but my hope was he had to work really hard to catch me. I was patient and managed to stay 20 meters behind him and it paid off.”

Wassner, who is the first cancer survivor to become a professional triathlete, took the lead with a 58:37 swim which put her 7 minutes ahead of top rival Jacqui Gordon. Wassner said she played the bike conservatively to save herself for the run and so Gordon caught her at the 100-mile mark. Wassner then fought back and entered T2 with a 30 seconds advantage, which she quickly increased on the run. Wassner finished in 9:29:40 with a 24:51 margin of victory over Gordon and 28:53 over 3rd-place finisher Natasha Van Der Merwe.

“It is really special to win a home turf race,” said Wassner, a Philadelphia area native. “When this race was announced, I said I was definitely going to do it, even though I don’t really do this distance. I wasn’t really well the last couple of weeks, but I felt really great today.”

Challenge Atlantic City
Atlantic City, New Jersey
June 29, 2014
S 2.4 mi. / B 112 mi. / R 26.2 mi.



1. Frederik Croneborg (SWE) 8:31:17
2. Scott DeFilippis (USA) 8:37:56
3. Chris Boudreaux (USA) 8:40:56


1. Laurel Wassner (USA) 9:29:20
2. Jacqui Gordon (USA) 9:54:11
3. Natasha Van Der Merwe (USA) 9:58:13

Ruben Ruzafa and newcomer Kathrin Mueller win XTERRA Switzerland

Reigning XTERRA World Champion Ruben Ruzafa of Spain and Kathrin Mueller of Germany won XTERRA Switzerland Saturday in Vallee de Joux.

This was the third win in as many tries on the XTERRA European Tour and the second straight in two weeks for rising star Mueller.

Ruzafa started his day with the 6th fastest pro swim – a 21:00 split – which put him 1:15 behind swim leader Braden Currie of New Zealand and a minute behind XTERRA World Championship runner-up Asa Shaw of Great Britain. Ruzafa, Shaw and Currie charged the twisty bike through the forest and managed to get to T2 just ahead of mountain bike specialist Kris Coddens of Belgium, who posted the fastest bike split.

Ruzafa and Currie broke into the lead and ran together until the World Champion put the pedal down to post the day’s fastest run of 35:45 to win by 38 seconds in a time of 2:05:32. Coddens ran 37:29 to take 3rd place, 57 seconds behind Currie.

Much like last week, Mueller swam a women’s-best 20:06 split which gave her a 2:46 lead on Chantell Widney of Canada, Mueller followed that with a race-best 1:20:01 bike split which 1:46 to her lead. She finished off her second straight win with a 3rd-best 43:16 run which brough her to the finish in 2:24:45 with a 4:47 margin of victory over runner-up Widney and 5:21 over 3rd-place Maud Golsteyn of the Netherlands.

XTERRA Switzerland
Valle de Joux, Switzerland
June 28, 2014



1. Ruben Ruzafa (ESP) 2:05:32
2. Braden Currie (NZL) 2:06:10
3. Kris Coddens (BEL) 2:07:26
4. Asa Shaw (GBR) 2:07:45
5. Yeray Luxem (BEL) 2:08:14


1. Kathrin Mueller (GER) 2:24:45
2. Chantell Widney (CAN) 2:29:32
3. Maud Golsteyn (NED) 2:30:06
4. Renata Bucher (SUI) 2:30:23
5. Carina Wasle (AUT) 2:30:52