The Weekend Box Sep 1 2013

The rainy Challenge Walchsee, Ironman 70.3 Zell am See, the big money MetaMan Bintan and Ironman Japan are some of the events covered in The Weekend Box this time. But there is more, plus we covered the rich Hy-Vee race in a separate feature.

James Cunnama and Yvonne Von Vlerken rule in the Austrian rain

Todd Skipworth led after the swim at Challenge Walchsee-Kaiserwinkek and added even more time to his advantage during the very wet bike segment, but the hard charging Timo Bracht, James Cunnama and Markus Fachbach managed to stay within striking distance. During the run Cunnama showed that he has the goods and charged to the win. Bracht finished second and Skipworth hung on to third place. The women's race was led by Jodie Swallow late into the bike segment until Yvonne Van Vlerken pulled even and eventually managed a small gap. Van Vlerken ran well too and took the women's title ahead of Swallow and Kaisa Lehtonen finished third just as she did in 2012.

Challenge Walchsee-Kaiserwinkel
Walchsee-Kaiserwinkel, Austria / September 1, 2013
1.2m swim / 56m bike / 13.1m run

Top men

1. James Cunnama (RSA)
2. Timo Bracht (GER)
3. Todd Skipworth (AUS)
4. Markus Fachbach (GER)
5. Per Bittner (GER)

Top women

1. Yvonne Van Vlerken (AUT)
2. Jodie Swallow (GBR)
3. Kaisa Lehtonen (FIN)
4. Erika Csomor (HUN)
5. Susan Blatt (GER)

Irish athletes take top spots in Zell am See

Swiss Manuel Küng had the fastest bike split at Ironman 70.3 Zell am See - Kaprun, but Ireland's Gavin Noble was just 12 seconds slower on the bike and then smoked the run with a very fast 1:14:43 run to capture the men's title. German Nils Frommhold was second and Italian Alessandro Degasperi was third. Eimear Mullan from Ireland ran down quite a few athletes with her race best 1:20:25 run to capture the women's title 80 seconds ahead of Austrian Eva Wutti.

70.3 Zell am See - Kaprun
Kaprun, Austria / September 1, 2013
1.2m swim / 56m bike / 13.1m run

Top men

1. Gavin Noble (IRL) 3:50:24
2. Nils Frommhold (GER) 3:51:44
3. Alessandro Degasperi (ITA) 3:54:43
4. Dorian Wagner (GER) 3:55:15
5. Michael Göhner (GER) 3:56:40

Top women

1. Eimear Mullan (IRL) 4:14:16
2. Eva Wutti (AUT) 4:15:04
3. Ewa Bugdol (POL) 4:17:31
4. Rahel Küng (SUI) 4:20:15
5. Laura Philipp (GER) 4:34:33

Courtney Ogden and Caroline Steffen cash in at MetaMan Bintan

Aussie Courtney Ogden took the win and the $40,000 check at the 2013 MetaMan Bintan in a time of 8:31:27. Courtney Atkinson had led out of the water and pulled away on the bike, but that first full distance race started to bite him on the run and the former ITU superstar ended up dropping out. David Dellow also suffered in the tough conditions in Bintan and did not finish the race and that opened the door for Ogden who performed solidly all day. Aussie Tim Van Berkel finished second and Swede Fredrik Croneborg prevented an Aussie sweep.

"That's probably more prize money than I’ve won over the last five years, so I’m obviously over the moon," said Ogden.

Caroline Steffen from Switzerland looked in control all day and after a race best bike split was able to cruise home on the run to take the win and the $40,000 check. Her toughest challenger was Gina Crawford, but the 22-minute advantage after the bike segment was too much for the Kiwi to overcome and she ended up in the runner-up spot. Candice Hammond from New Zealand rounded out the podium.

"I've spent the last two months before Kona this year in the heat and this race was to see how I’m going in the heat," said Steffen.

MetaMan Bintan
Nirwana Resort, Bintan / August 31, 2013
2.4m swim / 112m bike / 26.2m run

Top men

1. Courtney Ogden (AUS) - 8.31.57
2. Tim Van Berkel (AUS) 8.42.12
3. Fredrik Croneborg (SWE) 8.53.55
4. Matty White (AUS) 9.35.18
5. Justin Granger (AUS) 9.58.47

Top women

1. Caroline Steffen (SUI) 9.13.57
2. Gina Crawford (NZL) 9.28.17
3. Candice Hammond (NZL) 9.38.48
4. Belinda Granger (AUS) 10.02.45
5. Simone Maier (NZL) 10.11.49

Martin Jensen and Yu-Shiao Li take Ironman Japan

Martin Jensen of Denmark dominated the men's race at Ironman Japan with a race best bike split and when it was all said and down his 8:47:53 was more than 30 minutes quicker than runner-up Petr Vabrousek of the Czech Republic. Yu-Shiao Li from Taiwan chased down Aussie Michelle Wu on the bike to take the women's title.

Ironman Japan
Lake Toya, Hokkaido / August 31, 2013
2.4m swim / 112m bike /26.2m run

Top men

1. Martin Jensen (DEN) 8:47:53
2. Petr Vabrousek (CZE) 9:19:52
3. Tohara Kaito (JAP) 9:27:30
4. Masuda Daiki (JAP) 9:33:57
5. Byung-Hoon Park (KOR) 9:34:21

Top women

1. Yu-Shiao Li (TWN) 10:12:42
2. Michelle Wu (AUS) 10:19:24
3. Sakai Emi (JAP) 10:24:19
4. Nishimura Chino (JAP) 10:40:05 *
5. Higashi Natsumi (JAP) 10:44:32 *

* = age group athlete

The bike of the German mailman

In Europe you see many folks on bikes and that includes mail carriers here too. While in Germany for the 2013 Eurobike show we noticed this Deutsche Post employee with a beast of a bike that has electronic assist and a kickstand worthy of a motorbike. He said that he enjoyed riding the bike and while with a top speed of about 20 km/h it wasn't particularly fast, the electric support certainly was appreciated on the hilly routes.