Meredith Kessler won Arizona IRONMAN last weekend in spectacular fashion.
Known for her powerful race strategies, Meredith Kessler won IRONMAN Arizona by leading the race the entire way. Lightning fast in the swim, Kessler secured a three minute, thirty second lead as she entered T1. While most athletes began to tire, she continued with seemingly endless energy into the bike.
Behind her, though, Canadian Angela Naeth was making moves through the field and entered T2 in second place – three minutes behind Kessler. Yvonne van Vlerken, meanwhile, was behind Naeth, surging into T2 in third – a whopping four minutes and fifteen seconds behind Kessler.
After her impressive chase in the bike, it was apparent Angela Naeth had acquired a foot injury as she was seen walking and pointing to her foot soon after T2. She later wrote on Twitter: “Had a crack at IMAZ! Fun times but tweaked something and unable to push forward. Fitness is there and excited for the next one!”
With Naeth out of the race, van Vlerken was in second place and powered forwards, closing the initial four minute gap with Kessler to just three, then two minutes. With Kessler setting a blisteringly fast pace, however, van Vlerken wasn’t able to catch her and she finished second with 8:52:27, behind Kessler’s 8:48:23. Canada’s Malindi Elmore made it into third with 8:57:22. The fastest run split was by Ruth Brennan Morrey of the USA, who ran at 2:57 (Kessler ran 3:09). This impressive run brought Morrey into fourth place overall.
photo credit: FinisherPix.com