Bevan Docherty proves to be the real deal at Ironman New Zealand, while Meredith Kessler put in a dominating performance on her way to another Ironman win.
Albert and Docherty Early
Estonia’s Marko Albert showed the way out of the water in the men’s race recording the fastest swim with a 45:34 clocking. Three-time Olympian, Kiwi Bevan Docherty fallowed Albert into the transition 10-seconds back as the lead pair built up almost a two-minute leads over New Zealand’s Terenzo Bozzone and Hungary’s Balazs Csoke. The ten-time Ironman New Zealand champion, Cam Brown found himself almost five minutes off the leaders pace starting the bike, but with a lot of real estate in front of him to limit the deficit.
Docherty to the front
Out on the bike, Albert and Docherty were content to work together early during the 180 km’s while the remainder of the field chased, but failed to make any inroads on the leading duo. Docherty made a push to the front in the second half of the bike, and built up three-minute advantage over Albert as they hit T2. Aussie Courtney Ogden found himself fourth coming into T2, while Brown started the run just behind Ogden over 11 minutes in arrears to the leader. Bozzone racked his bike over 19-minutes off the pace and would eventually call it a day out on the run course.
Kiwi too strong
Docherty put in an unyielding run that saw him surviving an early charge mounted by Albert in the opening km’s of the marathon. Establishing the day’s best run of 2:49:46, Docherty grabbed his first Ironman win in his debut attempt at the distance in a finishing time of 8:15:35. Albert put in a solid performance all day and finished second in 8:25:30. The ageless Brown finished off the podium with an 8:34:28.
Professional Men’s Results
1 Bevan Docherty New Zealand 8:15:35
2 Marko Albert Estonia 8:25:30
3 Cameron Brown New Zealand 8:34:28
4 Courtney Ogden Australia 8:38:53
5 Balazs Csoke Hungary 8:46:05
6 Carl Read New Zealand 8:48:16
7 Keegan Williams New Zealand 8:50:22
8 Ben Cotter Canada 9:02:47
9 Chris Sanason New Zealand 9:07:01
10 Simon Cochrane New Zealand 9:17:12
Kessler – Wire-to-wire win
American Meredith Kessler put on clinic today in New Zealand with her patented strong swim and bike combination. Kessler exited the water with a commanding lead in the women’s and never looked back after that point. Her blazing bike established the race best time of 5:04:44, which placed her in a comfortable position over New Zealand’s Gina Crawford as she hit the marathon course. Kessler surrendered some time to Crawford over the 42 km’s, but persevered and went on to add another Ironman win to her impressive race resume. Kessler’s winning time of 9:17:10 was 3:44 faster than Crawford who fished second. Kiwi Candice Hammond rounded out the podium with her 9:32:15 finish.
Professional Women’s Results
1 Meredith Kessler United States 9:17:10
2 Gina Crawford New Zealand 9:20:54
3 Candice Hammond New Zealand 9:35:52
4 Anna Ross New Zealand 9:38:59
5 Janine Sax New Zealand 10:03:21
6 Melanie Burke New Zealand 10:09:02