Tissink, Tajsich tops in South Africa

Raynard Tissink of South Africa and Sonia Tajsich of Germany both overcame early leaders to win Spec Savers Ironman South Africa Sunday on the strength of their runs.

Tissink, who won the very first Ironman South Africa and had two second places before a DNF last year, won his home country Ironman in 8:23:28 with a second-best 2:52:08 marathon that gave him a 5:25 margin of victory over early leader Mathias Hecht.

Hecht’s second-best 47:44 swim and race-best 4:33:52 bike gave the Swiss star a 7-minute lead after the bike, but he surrendered 11 minutes with a 3:03:18 marathon. ITU short course contender Daniel Fontana of Italy, who made a big splash with his second place finish at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship last November, could manage no better than Hecht’s 3:03 marathon and took 3rd in 8:33:48. Jason Shortis of Australia made up massive ground with a race-best 2:51:46 marathon to take 4th, 64 seconds back of Fontana, while Stephen Bayliss took 5th in 8:40:28.

"I raced for the win. Flat out front on the bike ... I wanted that win really badly," said Hecht on his facebook update. "But still happy with a 2nd place. Hawaii slot and you will see me racing for the win again in Zürich!"

Sonia Tajsich of Germany was second at Ironman South Africa last year to Lucy Zelenkova of the Czech Republic, second to Bella Bayliss last year at Ironman Austria, but finally scored her first Ironman victory with a 9:16:55 clocking that topped runner-up Caroline Steffen by 5 minutes 5 seconds.

Tajsich trailed Ironman 70.3 sensation Steffen by 8:04 after her sluggish 1:02:02 swim in Nelson Mandela Bay, but put the win away with a race-best 5:01:55 bike and 3:07:14 run that breezed her past her Swiss rival who was struggling to the end with a 3:17:50 run.

Tajsich fell just a few seconds short of Zelenkova's 2009 race record time.

Tine Deckers of Belgium put together a 5th best 59:17 swim, second-best 5:04:58 bike and third-best 3:21:13 run to round out the podium finishers in 9:29:58.

Bree Wee of Hawaii led the swim with a race-best 52:43, came into T2 virtually tied with Steffen after a fifth-best 5:07:34 bike, but faded to 8th at the end after struggling through a 3:45:09 marathon.

Spec Savers Ironman South Africa
Port Elizabeth, South Africa
April 25, 2010
S 2.4 mi. / B 112 mi. / R 26.2 mi.



1. Raynard Tissink (RSA) 8:23:28
2. Mathias Hecht (Sui) 8:28:53
3. Daniel Fontana (Ita) 8:33:48
4. Jason Shortis (Aus) 8:34:52
5. Stephen Bayliss (Gbr) 8:40:28
6 Jan Raphael (Ger) 8:42:46
7. Max Renko (Aut) 8:51:19
8. Trevor Delsaut (Fra) 8:53:31 * M25-29
9. Simon Billeau (Fra) 8:53:49
10. Aleksandar Sorensen-Marcovic (Den) 8:56:06


1. Sonia Tajsich (Ger) 9:16:55
2. Caroline Steffen (Sui) 9:22:00
3. Tine Deckers (Bel) 9:29:59
4. Mirjam Weerd (Ned) 9:37:24
5. Sonia Jaarsveld (Ned) 9:42:20
6. Meike Krebs (Ger) 9:44:02
7. Martina Dogana (Ita) 9:48:13
8. Bree Wee (USA) 9:49:19
9. Helen Buley (RSA) 9:53:19
10. Kathrin Mannweiler (Ger) 10:11:13