Zyemtsev, Kessler in Canada

At the 2010 Subaru Ironman Canada Victor Zyemtsev ran down a long time race leader to take the win, just as he had done several times before. In the women's race Meredith Kessler followed up her runner-up spot in Coeur D'Alene with a win today.

The Men

To no one's surprise, the men were lead out of the water by New Zealand's Kieran Doe, the 2007 winner of Ironman Canada. Doe was quickly followed by 2004 winner Tom Evans, who lives and trains in Penticton full time. The duo was joined by Ontario native Wolfgang Guembel, with all three coming out in under 47 minutes. Close behind was Ukrainian Viktor Zyemtsev, who exited the water about three minutes down

Doe and Evans quickly separated themselves from the field, and by the time they arrived in Osoyoos, after 60km of riding, they had put a sizeable gap on the rest of the field. Doe managed to separate himself from Evans over the Richter Pass, but as is often the case in Canada, it was likely a case of too much too soon, as from there, the gaps did not continue to grow much, if at all. Rough weather further challenged all the athletes in the Similkameen Valley, with the typical headwind bringing in some heavy rains and even hail on the climb up to Yellow Lake.

Just as in 2007, it was Kiwi Kieran Doe who lead the field into T2, but with a much slimmer margin than three years ago. Christian Brader of Germany, who exited the water almost eight minutes down, was one of the few to make significant headway, and he arrived in T2 in second as the only man to clock a sub 4:40 ride on the day. But many other favorites, while not making a dent on the ride, also did not lose much time either. Zyemtsev had surrended only five minutes on the ride, and came into T2 in a very strong position, eight minutes down on Doe, most of which he made up with a blazing opening 10km that brought him into third and then second not long after.

Doe had quickly surrendered his lead to the fast running Brader, who managed to hold a slim gap on Zyemtsev until finally being joined by him at around the 19 mile mark. The two ran shoulder to shoulder until the last 200m, when the strong finishing kick of one of the sport's best marathon runner showed it's head yet again, and Zyemtsev was able to high-five his way to the line.

The Women

Just as with the men, the expected swimmer - defending champ Canadian Tereza Macel - exited the waters of Okanagan Lake in first, but with only a slim margin over the USA's Meredith Kessler. Both swimmers clocked 49 minute times, quite different from the sizeable gap Macel enjoyed out of the water in 2009.

Once on the bike course, though, Macel looked to be fully recovered from the challange of Embrunman just two weeks prior. She quickly built up a lead on both Kessler, but a chink showed in her armor when Heather Wurtele, who exited the water about four minutes back, appeared to be gaining time almost from the first check. Going over Richter Pass, Macel dropped back of Kessler, and then Wurtele. Kessler and Wurtele stayed in close range of each other, with only about 90 seconds separating Kessler from Wurtele at T2. But behind them, Macel dropped way off the pace and the rest of the women were also left in the dust, as the duo put almost twenty minutes into the rest of the field.

This was a big change from Ironman St. George, where Wurtele had enjoyed a 17 minute lead over Kessler off the bike. Again, Kessler ran a steady, solid marathon - this time from the front - to take her first Ironman title after two 2nd place finishes, one in St. George, the other in Couer d'Alene. Surprise podium finisher McKenzie Madison, only 24 years old and racing her first Ironman, used a blazing 3:03:53 run, one of the fastest of the day amongst all competitors, belying her pedigree as a University of Oregon track & cross-country athlete.

Ironman Canada
Penticton, BC, Canada / August 29, 2010

Top 10 men

1. Victor Zyemtsev (UKR) 8:32:28
2. Christian Brader (GER) at 8:32:41
3. Stephan Vuckovic (GER) 8:38:31
4. Petr Vabrousek (CZE) 8:39:16
5. Kyle Marcotte (CAN) 8:40:45
6. Scott Neyedly (GBR) 8:41:36
7. Wolfgang Guembel (CAN) 8:43:21
8. Christopher Bagg (USA) 8:48:11
9. Scott Curry (CAN) 8:48:57
10. Anthony Toth (CAN) 8:49:44

Top women

1. Meredith Kessler (USA) 9:13:46
2. Heather Wurtele (CAN) 9:17:17
3. Mackenzie Madison (USA) 9:34:51
4. Gillian Moody (CAN) 9:40:10
5. Christie Sym (USA) 9:41:30
6. Jessica Jacobs (USA) 9:44:04
7. Uli Bromme (USA) 9:46:19
8. Janelle Morrison (CAN) 9:48:15
9. Shannon Desrosiers (USA) 9:48:57 *W25-29
10. Rachel Kiers (CAN) 9:49:44