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Pete Jacobs and Leanda Cave claim Ironman World Titles

Canada's Heather Wurtele finishes 14th.

At the 34th edition of the Ironman World Championships today in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, Australian Pete Jacobs and Great Britain’s Leanda Cave took home the overall victories.

Americans Andy Potts (50:32) and Amanda Stevens (55:09) led the swim today but in the end the swim didn’t decide much.

Top 15 Pro men swim

1 50:32 Andy Potts USA
2 50:47 0:15 Marko Albert EST
3 51:27 0:55 Andi Boecherer GER
4 51:28 0:56 Pete Jacobs AUS
5 51:28 0:56 Paul Matthews USA
6 51:29 0:57 Luke McKenzie AUS
7 51:31 0:59 Jeremy Jurkiewicz FRA
8 51:33 1:01 David Dellow AUS
9 51:35 1:03 Craig Alexander AUS
10 51:35 1:03 Rasmus Henning DNK
11 51:36 1:04 Frederik Van Lierde BEL
12 51:37 1:05 Timothy O’Donnel USA
13 51:37 1:05 Michael Raelert GER
14 51:38 1:06 Clemente Alonso-McKernan ESP
15 51:39 1:07 Greg Bennett USA

Top 15 Womens swim leaders:
1 55:09 Amanda Stevens USA
2 55:56 0:47 Meredith Kessler USA
3 55:59 0:51 Gina Crawford NZL
4 56:03 0:55 Leanda Cave USA
5 56:06 0:58 Mary Beth Ellis USA
6 56:08 0:59 Amy Marsh USA
7 57:37 2:29 Caroline Steffen SWI
8 57:39 2:30 Kelly Williams USA
9 57:40 2:31 Simone Brandli SWI
10 57:42 2:33 Rachel Joyce GBR
11 57:43 2:34 Caitlin Snow USA
12 57:44 2:35 Rebekah Keat AUS
13 57:44 2:36 Michelle Vesterby DNK
14 1:00:02 4:53 Anja Beranek GER
15 1:00:04 4:55 Heather Wurtele Kelowna BC CAN

There were a number of lead changes early during the bike in both the men’s and women’s race but as it often does, things settled down after the turn at Hawi. Belgian Marino Vanhoenacker seized control of the race with a race best 4:25:49 ride. German Sebastian Kienle, the 2012 Ironman 70.3 World Champion was right up there with him setting the pace but got a flat tire and fell back. By the time Vanhoenacker finished the 180 km ride he held a 8:28 lead.

On the women’s side, 46 year old Natascha Badmann, the 6 time Ironman World Champion, had the top ride of 5:06:07 but she was too far back after the swim for that to make a real difference to the women’s lead. Switzerland’s Caroline Steffen (5:06:49 – second best pro women’s bike split) on the other hand was right up front along with American Mary Beth Ellis. Ellis finished the bike first but had to head straight into the penalty tent to serve a 4-minute penalty. That allowed Steffen to start the run with a 3:38 lead.

The top-15 men off the bike:
1 5:20:03 5 Marino Vanhoenacker BEL
2 5:28:31 8:28 Pete Jacobs Sydney AUS
3 5:28:34 8:31 Dirk Bockel LUX
4 5:29:01 8:58 Frederik Van Lierde BEL
5 5:29:17 9:14 Faris Al-Sultan GER
6 5:29:48 9:46 Romain Guillaume FRA
7 5:30:39 10:36 Sebastian Kienle GER
8 5:32:18 12:15 Luke McKenzie AUS
9 5:33:06 13:03 Timo Bracht GER
10 5:33:44 13:41 Andreas Raelert GER
11 5:33:44 13:42 David Dellow AUS
12 5:35:40 15:37 Axel Zeebroek BEL
13 5:36:05 16:03 Andy Potts Colorado USA
14 5:36:06 16:04 Rasmus Henning DNK
15 5:36:14 16:11 Ronnie Schildknecht SWI

Top 10 Women off the bike:
1 6:06:10 105 Mary Beth Ellis USA
2 6:06:14 0:05 Caroline Steffen SWI
3 6:10:17 4:07 Leanda Cave Tucson USA
4 6:14:19 8:09 Mirinda Carfrae USA
5 6:14:37 8:28 Amy Marsh USA
6 6:14:52 8:42 Natascha Badmann SUI
7 6:16:42 10:33 Michelle Vesterby DNK
8 6:19:02 12:53 Heather Wurtele Kelowna BC CAN
9 6:20:14 14:05 Gina Crawford NZL
10 6:20:36 14:27 Sonja Tajsich GER

The marathon ended up deciding everything on the day.

Vanhoenacker looked good for the win but the hot and windy bike finally took its toll on him. At the 22.5 km mark, Australian Pete Jacobs surged past him for the race lead and stayed there for good. He ran 2:48:05 to cross the line in 8:18:37 for his first Ironman World Championship. Germany’s Andreas Raelert gutted out a 2:47:23 run to take second in 8:23:40, and Belgium’s Frederik Van Lierde, who engaged in a battle with Raelert in the closing stage of the run, finished third (8:24:09).

“I didn’t change a lot in my training. Just a few extra hours each week,” said Jacobs who confessed to actually having a two-week taper program this year. “I am so happy to continue the line of Australian success.”

Top 10 Pro Men

1 08:18:37 3 Jacobs, Pete AUS 51:28 1:49 4:35:15 2:02 2:48:06

2 08:23:40 2 Raelert, Andreas GER 55:17 1:53 4:36:34 2:33 2:47:24

3 08:24:09 16 Van Lierde, Frederik BEL 51:36 2:01 4:35:25 2:19 2:52:50

4 08:27:08 6 Kienle, Sebastian GER 55:21 1:56 4:33:23 2:05 2:54:25

5 08:28:33 15 Al-Sultan, Faris GER 51:39 1:45 4:35:53 2:27 2:56:50

6 08:30:57 8 Bracht, Timo GER 53:45 2:05 4:37:17 2:15 2:55:37

7 08:31:45 51 Potts, Andy USA 50:32 1:41 4:43:52 2:22 2:53:18

8 08:33:28 40 O’Donnell, Timothy USA 51:37 1:34 4:44:16 2:04 2:53:59

9 08:35:02 27 Dellow, David AUS 51:33 1:44 4:40:28 2:16 2:59:03

10 08:36:21 18 Bockel, Dirk LUX 52:30 1:48 4:34:17 2:01 3:05:48

38 09:45:07 Wurtele Trevor CAN 1:00:03 4:59:09 3:41:11

Steffen led for most of the run but started to fade slightly with 5 km to go. At that point, Leanda Cave, who fought off Australia’s Mirinda Carfrae at the 28 km mark, pulled up to Steffen and did not stick around to give her any thoughts of staying with her. The 2012 Ironman 70.3 Champion closed with a 3:03:13 marathon to pull off the rare double and become the 2012 Ironman World Champion in 9:15:54. Her fourth World Title (2002 ITU World Champion and 2007 ITU Long Distance World Champion). Steffen finished close behind in second (9:16:58), and Carfrae took third (9:21:41). Germany’s Sonja Tajsich ran the top marathon (2:59:26) to finish fourth (9:22:45). Six-time Ironman World Champion Natascha Badmann at age 46 crossed the finish line in sixth (9:26:25), and Kelowna’s Heather Wurtele finished in 14th (9:44:04).

“The race isn’t over until the finish line and I proved that today,” said Cave, who was just as satisfied with holding off Carfrae. “It’s a big dream come true. A long time coming.”

Top 10 Pro Women

1 09:15:54 Cave, Leanda GBR 56:03 2:09 5:12:06 2:25 3:03:13
2 09:16:58 Steffen, Caroline SUI 57:37 1:48 5:06:49 2:37 3:08:09
3 09:21:41 Carfrae, Mirinda USA 1:00:06 1:56 5:12:18 2:19 3:05:04
4 09:22:45 Tajsich, Sonja 37 GER 1:10:36 2:03 5:07:58 2:43 2:59:27
5 09:22:57 Ellis, Mary Beth USA 56:06 1:59 5:08:06 6:18 3:10:30
6 09:26:25 Badmann, Natascha SUI 1:06:21 2:24 5:06:07 2:15 3:09:19
7 09:28:54 Crawford, Gina NZL 55:59 2:45 5:21:31 2:25 3:06:16
8 09:32:18 Corbin, Linsey USA 1:02:53 2:06 5:16:55 2:31 3:07:55
9 09:36:18 Snow, Caitlin USA 57:43 2:14 5:30:48 2:28 3:03:07
10 09:38:15 Marsh, Amy USA 56:08 1:53 5:16:37 3:12 3:20:27

14 09:44:04 Wurtele HeatherĀ  CAN 1:00:04 5:16:58 3:22:28

The 2012 Ironman World Championship TV Show with air on NBC on Saturday, October 27th at 4 pm to 6 pm ET.

We’ll report on the Canadian age groupers when all of the results are in.