What an exciting day of racing here in Florianopolis. Both the men and women’s races were hotly contested and resulted in champions that are both in the midst of career-making winning streaks.
Cool Hand Luke
In the men’s race, Australia’s Luke McKenzie took out the race in his typical fashion: all out. He led all the men out of the water by over three minutes, with Fabio Carvalho, Reinaldo Colucci, Eduardo Sturla, Oscar Galindez, Ezequiel Morales and Raul Furtado all exiting the water less four minutes behind the leader. The scene was set for a close race.
On the bike, McKenzie put his head down and went for it. Nipping at his heels early were Sturla, Colucci and Galindez. However, even working together the trio could never get much closer than two minutes to McKenzie at any given time. Eventually Colucci succumbed to the pace, faded and withdrew from the race. Sturla, the course- and bike-record holder, along with Galindez, were the only ones to be able to match McKenzie’s pace, but still couldn’t chew into the hard charging Australian’s pace.
Heading onto the run, McKenzie said, â€œÃŒ have never felt so good on the run, especially an Ironman run.â€
The only challenge during the marathon for McKenzie came early from Galindez out of the transition. The Argentinean closed the gap to one minute at 10 kilometres, but that was all he had in the tank and eventually faded back after he could not sustain the pace.
McKenzie’s 2:54 run provided him his fifth Ironman title and his second of 2010.
Morales stormed towards the front during the marathon. The Argentinean had the third fastest run at the Ford Ironman World Championship last year and showed that his run there was no fluke. Morales had too much real-estate to make up coming off the bike, though and had to settle with the fastest run split of day and second place.
As Brazil’s highest placed finisher, Santiago Acscenco thrilled the crowd and become an instant hero with his third-place finish.
Sturla slowly lost touch with McKenzie throughout the run and eventually finished fourth.
1. LUKE MCKENZIE 8:07:39
2. EZEQUIEL MORALES 8:12:44
3. SANTIAGO ASCENÃ‡O 8:18:33
4. EDUARDO STURLA 8:20:25
5. OSCAR GALINDEZ 8:33:00
6. PETR VABROUSEK 8:36:16
7. GUILHERME MANOCCHIO 8:39:12
8. FLORIAN GRECKL 8:40:01
9. IVAN JUNIOR 8:54:06
10. LUCAS PRETTO 9:01:53
Macel Shows Patience
The women’s race was equally as exciting to watch unfold. Dede Griesbauer led the women out of the water with 45:49 swim. Tereza Macel had an uncharacteristically slow swim, getting out of the water two minutes in arrears, but was still two minutes ahead of Hillary Biscay.
Griesbauer and Macel eventually came together around 40 kilometres into the bike. For the remainder of the ride they were constant companions, never letting each other out of their sight. Biscay and Canadian Donna Phelan, were the only the only ones able to maintain any reasonable contact with the lead pair during the bike.
Coming into the transition together, Griesbauer made it out on the marathon a full minute ahead of Macel. Macel was content to let Griesbauer have the lead, as she didn’t want to take out the run to hard early and faulter, or have the pressure of holding the lead in a tight race.
Griesbauer struggled slightly on the hills between 10 and 12 kilometres, forcing Macel to reluctantly take the lead. Griesbauer made her work for the next 20 kilometres, though, never relinquishing more than two minutes to the Canadian.
Macel powered on to win her fourth Ironman title in a time of 9:19:13 – a tactical race executed to perfection.
Griesbauer faded in the late stages of the marathon to finish second in a time of 9:26:29.
Argentina’s Maria Omar rounded out the podium as she ran her way into third in a time of 9:36:04.
1. TEREZA MACEL 9:19:13
2. DEDE GRIESBAUER 9:26:09
3. MARIA OMAR 9:36:04
4. HILLARY BISCAY 9:44:39
5. DONNA PHELAN 9:44:45
6. ANN CIAVERELLA 9:48:06
7. ANA TADDEI 10:03:21
8. CRISTINA CARVALHO 10:05:37
9. OLJA BREGAR 10:07:15
10. FRISH BARBARA 10:14:45
Shawn Skene can be reached at [email protected]