The Weekend Box Sep 13 2015

The second weekend in September offers triathlon action on a rugged course in Wales, a swift and flat classic race in Netherlands, and a beautiful seaside jewel of a race on the California coast.

Jessie Thomas wins first Ironman, Anja Beranek smashes women's field at Wales

Five-time Wildflower winner Jessie Thomas of the U.S. aced his first attempt at the Ironman distance, and Anja Beranek of Germany smashed the women’s field at the rough and rugged Ironman Wales.


Thomas quickly erased a 2:25 deficit after the swim and then engaged in a long, hard-fought duel with Germany’s Markus Thomschke. Thomas and Thomschke rode close together until the 160km mark, when the German broke away to finish the ride with a 2:58 lead on Thomas and 8:41 on dangerous runner Andrej Vistica of Croatia. Starting the run, Thomas quickly erased his deficit and took the lead at the 13km mark. Croatia’s Andrej Vistica then charged past Thomschke into second, but his race-best 2:52:18 marathon only sliced one second from Thomas, who finished in 8:57:33 with a 5:36 margin of victory over Vistica and 17:19 over Thomschke, who was obviously tapped out after his brave surge on the bike.


Coming off an impressive bronze effort at the Ironman 70.3 Worlds in Austria, Beranek led the swim in 54:26, gaining a 1 second lead on Carol Bridge, 2:28 on Katja Konschak, 9:31 on Leslie Dimichele, 9:39 on Eleanor Haresign, and an enormous 23 minutes on Alpe d’Huez, Embrunman, and Powerman Zofingen winner Emma Pooley. While Olympic cycling time trial silver medalist Pooley might be expected to smash the 6,874 feet of elevation on the rugged Wales bike course, it was a measure of Beranek’s skill on this day that the leader outpaced the Olympics cycling medalist by 5:30:15 to 5:45:08.

At the end of the 112-mile bike leg, Beranek led Tineke Van Den Berg of Netherlands by a whopping 32:05, Eleanor Haresign of Great Britain by 32:09, Tine Holst of Denmark by 33:50, Katja Konschak of Germany by 41:31, and an obviously exhausted Pooley by 42:23.

After a relaxed women's 4th-best 3:23:16 marathon on the challenging course with 1,600 feet of climbing, Beranek finished in 9:56:31 with a 31:51 advantage on Van den Berg (3:22:42 run) and 33:24 on 3rd-place finisher Konschak (women’s best 3:13:50 run). Tine Holst was 4th in 10:32:11 and Pooley 5th in 10:38:41.

Ironman Wales
Pembrokeshire, Wales
September 13, 2015
S 2.4 mi. / B 112 mi. / R 26.2 mi.


1. Jessie Thomas (USA) 8:57:33
2. Andrej Vistica (CRO) 9:03:09
3. Markus Thomschke (GER) 9:14:52
4. Gudmund Snilstveit (NOR) 9:22:15
5. Harry Wiltshire (GBR) 9:31:33


1. Anja Beranek (GER) 9:56:31
2. Tineke Van Den Berg (NED) 10:28:22
3. Katja Konschak (GER) 10:29:55
4. Tine Holst (DEN) 10:32:11
5. Emma Pooley (GBR) 10:38:41

Markus Fachbach and Kathrin Walther take Challenge Almere-Amsterdam

Germans Markus Fachbach defended his 2014 title and Kathrin Walther won the women's race at Challenge Almere-Amsterdam, the oldest triathlon in Europe, held in the polders of Flevoland in the Netherlands.


After a fast swim, Fachbach and Oude Bennink of the Netherlands drew away to a lead, followed by Erik Simon-Strijk of the Netherlands and then fast runners Gerrit Schellens of Belgium and Dirk Wijnalda of Netherlands. On the run, the two leaders ran side by side until Fachbach drew away near the end. Fachbach finished in 8:12:24 with a 5:50 lead on Bennink and 10:05 on 3rd-place finisher Strijk. Wijnalda finished 4th, 13:15 back of the winner and Schellens was 5th, 7:18 back of Wijnalda.


Novice triathlete Linda Van Bemmell of Nijkerk led the swim by a few minutes, and then was overtaken by Kathrin Walther of Germany and Camille Deligny of France 40km into the bike leg. Deligny stalked Walther throughout the next 140km, passing the German just before the end of the bike course. Walther retook the lead with a faster transition, but Deligny fought back and again took the lead 3km into the run. Former Almere winner Irene Kinnegim of the Netherlands made up for a T2 deficit with a strong surge on the marathon which brought her past Deligny. At the end, Walther held off both challengers and finished in 9:26:11 with a 1:16 margin on Kinnegim and 3:41 on 3rd-place finisher Deligny.

Starged in 1983, the Almere long distance event was run for the 35th time and welcomed 1,392 entrants to the full and half distance races.

Challenge Almere-Amsterdam
Almere, Netherlands
September 12, 2015
S 2.4 mi. / B 112 mi. / R 26.2 mi.



1. Markus Fachbach (GER) 8:12:24
2. Mark Oude Bennink (NED) 8:18:14
3. Erik-Simon Strijk (NED) 8:22:29
4. Dirk Wijnalda (NED) 8:25:39
5. Gerrit Schellens (BEL) 8:32:57


1. Kathrin Walther (GER) 9:26:11
2. Irene Kinnegim (NED) 9:27:27
3. Camille Deligny (FRA) 9:29:52
4. Beate Goertz (GER) 9:37:07
5. Julia Bohn (GER) 9:37:41

Tommy Zaferes and Julie Ertel win 21st Triathlon at Pacific Grove

Tommy Zaferes won his third men’s title and two-time Olympian Julie Ertel won her second elite women’s crown at the Triathlon at Pacific Grove Saturday in Monterey County, California.


Zaferes, a local favorite from nearby Watsonville, tied Italian-citizen/U.S. resident Davide Giardini with swift 18:13 splits in the kelpy Lovers Point swim, gaining a 57 seconds advantage on Derek Oskutis, 1:39 on John Dahlz, 1:40 on Andrew Roos, 1:41 on Carlos Lesser, and 2:23 on Matt Lieto.

On the multiple-loop, draft-legal bike leg, Giardini overcame a 13 seconds deficit in T1 with a race-best 59:31 bike split that brought him into T2 in a virtual tie with Zaferes and a 4-5 minute advantage on Dahlz and Lieto.

On the multi-loop 10k run, Zaferes put his ITU World Triathlon Series foot speed to good use, posting a race-best 32:46 split to finish in 1:51:59. This gave Zaferes a 2:45 margin of victory on Giardini (35:20 run) and 5:56 on 3rd-place finisher Dahlz (2nd-best 33:51 run).


The swim was a four-woman battle led by Brianna Baird and Emily Cocks (20:59), followed by Kelsey Withrow (21:01) and Julie Ertel (21:03). The Fab Four continued their duel on the bike, finishing in close formation with bike splits ranging from 1:07:28 to 1:07:34.

Once the run began, Ertel, the 42-year-old water polo and triathlon Olympian, showed her heels to her younger rivals with a women's-2nd-best 37:14 run that brought her to the finish in 2:07:27 with a 1:25 margin of victory over Cocks (38:35 run), 2:18 over 3rd-place finisher Withrow (39:31 run), and 3:59 over 4th-place finisher Baird (41:13 run).

Abby Levene fell too far behind on the swim and bike, but posted the women's-fastest 33:38 run split to advance to 5th place.

The Triathlon at Pacific Grove
Pacific Grove, California
September 12, 2015
S 1.5k / B 40k / R 10k


Pro Men

1. Tommy Zaferes (USA) 1:51:59
2. Davide Giardini (ITA) 1:54:44
3. John Dahlz (USA) 1:57:55
4. Matt Lieto (USA) 1:59:27
5. Derek Oskutis (USA) 2:00:57

Pro Women

1. Julie Ertel (USA) 2:07:27
2. Emily Cocks (USA) 2:08:52
3. Kelsey Withrow (USA) 2:09:45
4. Brianna Baird (USA) 2:11:26
6. Abby Levene (USA) 2:13:54

Marek Jaskolka and Camilla Lindholm win Challenge Weymouth

Marek Jaskolka of Poland and Camilla Lindholm of Sweden won the elite titles at the Iron-distance Challenge Weymouth, which also served as the ETU European Long Distance Championship.


Stephen Bayliss of Great Britain led the swim in 50:06, with Jaroslav Kovacic of Slovenia one second back and Jaskolka 1:30 arrears. This trio led the first lap of the bike leg, chased by Chris Fischer of Denmark, Graeme Stewart of Great Britain, and David Näsvik of Sweden 5 minutes back. At 100km, Jaskolka broke away, Bayliss fell back, and Fischer and Stewart gave chase of the new leader.

Jaskolka’s gamble paid off and he led the rest of the way, running a 2:57 marathon to finish with a 3:19 margin of victory.

“I wasn’t sure whether to make the break at the start of the second lap of the bike as I didn’t know how far behind the group was, but I decided to go for it and it paid off,” said Jaskolka. “I can’t think of a better way to retire [than] as European Champion – this is the best day of my life, well, except for the birth of my daughter.”

The battle for second was hot as Näsvik held second until Kovacic passed the Swede 30km into the run. Sergio Marques of Portugal stood 7th, 16 minutes down after the bike, then stormed to 3rd-place at the line with a race-best 2:45:19 marathon, 1 minute behind runner-up Kovacic and 4:47 ahead of 4th-place finisher Näsvik.


Kate Comber of Great Britain and Eva Potuckova of the Czech Republic led the swim in 57:26. Starting the second lap of the bike, Comber led Potuckova by 3 minutes and came into T2 2:35 up. After a sluggish 1:11 swim, Lindholm made up some time with a 5:14 bike leg and arrived in T2 in 3rd place followed closely by Vicky Gill, whose 1:07 swim and 5:19 bike leg put her 4th starting the run.

Once on the run, Lindholm charged into the lead by 10km and came home with a women’s-best 3:10:21 marathon that brought her to the finish in 9:41:31 with a 10:50 margin of victory over Comber (3:23:45 run) and 12:55 over Gill (3:22:19 run). Potuckova ran 3:34:01 to finish 4th in a time of 10:06:52.

Challenge Weymouth / ETU European Long Distance Championship
Weymouth, England
September 13, 2015
S 2.4 mi. / B 112 mi. / R 26.2 mi.



1. Marek Jaskolka (POL) 8:42:32
2. Jaroslav Kovacic (SLO) 8:45:51
3. Sergio Marques (POR) 8:46:51
4. David Näsvik (SWE) 8:51:38
5. Graeme Stewart (GBR) 8:53:04


1. Camilla Lindholm (SWE) 9:41:31
2. Kate Comber (GBR) 9:52:21
3. Vicky Gill (GBR) 9:53:26
4. Eva Potuckova (CZE) 10:06:52
5. Yvette Grice (GBR) 10:09:49