Weekend Box Aug 24 2014

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Chris McDonald and Nina Kraft win Ironman Louisville

Chris McDonald won his 4th and Nina Kraft her 3rd Ironman Louisville title Sunday in Kentucky.

After virtually identical swim and run splits, McDonald eked out a 16-seconds margin of victory over Thomas Gerlach, a Tucson, Arizona architect when he is not battling down to the wire for a an Ironman victory. McDonald won his 4th Ironman Louisville title with a 48:30 swim which was 2 second faster than Gerlach, a 4:39:01 bike split which was 15 second better than Gerlach, and a 3:08:27 run which was 47 seconds slower than Gerlach – but faster transitions gave the Australian known as the Big Sexy the victory.

With her 12:06 margin of victory over runner-up Jackie Arendt of the U.S., Nina Kraft earned her 3rd Ironman Louisville title – and ironically surpassed a mark held by Natascha Badmann of Switzerland. Until today, Badmann held the title as the oldest woman to win an official Ironman. Badmann, who was born December 6, 1966, won Ironman South Africa on April 22, 2012 – at the age of 45 years and 1 month and 16 days.

Kraft, who was born December 31, 1968, won this race on August 24, 2014 which makes her 45 years, 7 months and 25 days old.
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Michael Ruenz of Germany and Li Shiao-Yu of Taiwan win Ironman Japan

Michael Ruenz of Germany outpaced Harry Wiltshire of Great Britain on the run and Li Shiao-Yu of Taiwan did the same to Jessica Fleming of Australia to win the men’s and women’s titles at Ironman Japan.

Wiltshire swam a 2nd-best 49:23 swim split to open up a 5 minute lead on Wiltshire, then Ruenz’s 5:01:23 split on Hokkaido’s rugged bike course gained back 3:03 giving Ruenz a 2 minute deficit starting the run.

They don’t call the marathon the race of truth for nothing, as Ruenz’s 2:52:36 split was 15:41 better than the Brit and obliterated Wiltshire’s modest lead. Ruenz thus finished in 8:38:04 with a 15:36 margin of victory and a 28:30 advantage over 3rd place finisher Cedric Lassonde of France.

Li Shao-Yu of Taiwan did not have quite Ruenz’s cakewalk. She started the day 7:52 behind Keiko Tanaka’s race-best 56:42 swim and 4:15 behind Jessica Fleming of Australia. While Tanaka fell out of contention with a 5:44:39 bike split, Shiao-Yu’s 5:31:05 cut back Fleming’s lead by 2:49.

On the run, Shiao-Yu’s 2nd-best women's run of 3:17:05 allowed her to take over the lead and arrive at the finish in 9:58:30 with an 8:19 margin of victory over Fleming (3:26:32 run) and a 10:54 advantage over 3rd place Tanaka (3:22:43 run).
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Ironman Japan
Hokkaido, Japan
August 24, 2014
S 2.4 mi. / B 112 mi. / R 26.2 mi.



1. Michael Ruenz (GER) 8:53:40
2. Harry Wiltshire (GBR) 9:06:34
3. Cedric Lassonde (FRA) 9:07:44
4. Brian Fuller (AUS) 9:13:49
5. Yu Shinozaki (JPN) 9:15:35


1. Li Shiao-Yu (Taiwan) 9:58:30
2. Jessica Fleming (AUS) 10:06:49
3. Keiko Tanaka (JPN) 10:09:24
4. Karen Michibata (JPN) 10:11:31
5. Emi Sakai (JPN) 10:39:42

Jeff Symonds and Carrie Lester defend their titles at Challenge Penticton

Penticton’s home town hero Jeff Symonds and Carrie Lester of Australia defended their Challenge Penticton titles Sunday.

Symonds finished in 8:26:58, cutting 3 minutes off his 2013 time and carving out a 20 minutes and 3 seconds margin of victory over Christopher Bagg of the U.S. and 23:07 over 3rd place finisher Simon Cochrane of New Zealand.

“Winning in your home town – it can’t get any sweeter than that,” said Symonds. Although he felt better than when he crossed the finish last year, Symonds admitted the race took a lot out of him. “I just had to get it ugly and get it down,” said Symonds. “No excuses, just go hard.”

Symonds emerged from the swim second in 53:47, then stretched his lead with a race-best 4:39:28 bike split and closed with a 2:50:36 marathon.

Symonds said running out front all day was a mental battle. “I like being the hunter, I love the kind of mentality of chasing them down. When you are out front, you are the hunter\d and thinking ‘I can’t let these guys catch me.’”

Carrie Lester had an equally dominating day, starting with a 59:52 swim and stretching her lead with a 5:09:31 bike split and closing the door with a 3:13:59 marathon. Lester’s time was 9:27:24, precisely 2 seconds faster than her 2013 victory effort, which gave her a 20:25 margin of victory over Mackenzie Madison of the U.S., and a 21:34 advantage over 3rd place finisher Jen Annett of Canada.

“It’s the first time I have come back and defended a title,” said Lester. “And it definitely feels good two in a row. I don’t think I found it any easier than last year at all. There were some gnarly winds out there that picked up and came out of nowhere. I found that pretty tough on my own.”
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Challenge Penticton
Penticton, BC, Canada
August 24, 2014
S 2.4 mi. / B 112 mi. / R 26.2 mi.



1. Jeff Symonds (CAN) 8:26:58
2. Christopher Bagg (USA) 8:47:01
3. Simon Cochrane (NZL) 8:50:05
4. Andrew Russell (CAN) 8:52:11
5. Sean Bechtel (CAN) 8:55:30


1. Carrie Lester (AUS) 9:27:24
2. Mackenzie Madison (USA) 9:47:49
3. Jen Annett (CAN) 9:48:58
4. Christine Fletcher (CAN) 9:52:40
5. Jennifer Luebke (USA) 9:58:51

Conrad Stoltz and Emma Garrard win XTERRA England

Conrad Stoltz captured his 50th XTERRA Championship victory while Emma Garrard earned her first on a sunny Sunday in Surrey.

Stoltz exited the water not far behind swim leader Richard Stannard, then blew the competition to pieces with a split that was three minutes faster than the next best effort by Francois Carloni of France. Buoyed by his big lead, Stoltz cruised it to the finish in 2:07:44 with a 3:57 margin of victory over Kris Coddens of Belgium and 4:20 over 3rd place finisher Yeray Luxem of Belgium.

In the women's race, last year’s winner Jacqui Slack led out of the water and looked strong early on the bike. Deep into the twists and turns of the forest, Garrad took over, followed closely by Chantell Widney, who was chased and eventually passed by Helena Erbenova. Finally, Garrard took off on the run and her fastest-by-2 minutes split run brought her to victory in 2:24:29 with a 1:58 margin of victory over Erbenova and 3:52 over 3rd place finisher Widney.
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