Yvonne Van Vlerken Slashes Course Record in Ironman Florida
Rookie pro Haley Chura (USA) dominated the rough swim as she did last month in Kona, exiting the water over four minutes ahead of the next closest competitors. Chura held her own on the bike, maintaining her lead until mile 40, when Austria’s Lisa Huetthaler overtook her. By mile 60, defending IRONMAN Florida Champion Yvonne Van Vlerken (NDL) had ridden her way into second and, by mile 70, she and Dede Griesbauer (USA) had made a mark at the front of the women’s race.
Van Vlerken set out on the run with Huetthaler hot on her heels, but quickly took the race by the reigns. By the half marathon point she had harnessed a lead of almost 10 minutes, her chasers unable to keep up the pace. With a solid 3:01:55 run, Van Vlerken defended her title with an overall time of 8:43:07, shattering her own 8:51:35 course record. Ashley Clifford (USA) ran her way into second, with Erika Csomor (HUN) taking third.
“I did a crazy schedule this year,” Van Vlerken said at the finish line. “I think I quite deserve a break now.” Before the race, Van Vlerken said she was immensely satisfied with her season, and considered this race “just like dessert.”