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Vanhoenacker sets new World Record at Ironman Austria

Ellis wins in her debut race.

It was a historical day today at Ironman Austria as Belgium’s Marino Vanhoenacker broke fellow Belgian Luc Van Lierde’s 1997 Ironman World record time of (7:50:27 – 44 min. swim, 4:28 bike, 2:36 run).

Vanhoenacker, who stated prior to the race that his main goal was to cross the finish line to validate his Kona slot and then maybe seek the victory, certainly did that and a whole lot more. Fifth out of the water (46:49), he then posted the top splits during the bike and run segments. He rode to the lead with a 4:15:37 clocking, and then ran an incredible 2:39:24 marathon to stop the clock at the new World Ironman best time of 7:45:58. Austria’s Michael Weiss followed next and was the only other athlete to go sub-eight hours (7:57:39). Estonia’s Marko Albert Marko picked up third (8:08:17).

American Mary Beth Ellis led from start to finish in her Ironman debut. Ellis joined Team TBB this year and was told a few weeks ago by coach Brett Sutton that she would race here today. She promptly led the swim (48:07), biked 4:48:10, and ran 3:01:29 to cross the finish line in 8:43:34, well ahead of Hungary’s Erika Csomor (8:51:10), and Germany’s Diana Riesler (8:53:34).

Bolton, Ontario’s Robert Knuckey, 62, finished second in the men’s 60-64 category with a time of 10:37:55 (1:11:52, 5:31:17, 3:43:20).

Top 10 Men

1. Vanhoenacker Marino (BEL)  7:45:59

2. Weiss Michael (AUT)  7:57:39

3. Albert Marko (EST)  8:08:17

4. Lowe Tom (GBR)  8:11:30

5. Bayliss Stephen (GBR)  8:16:47

6. Major Jozsef (HUN)  8:28:15

7. Blokhin Anton (UKR)  8:30:57

8. Fink Mario (AUT)  8:31:37

9. Schniertshauer Rainer (GER)  8:33:43

10. Lang Robert (AUT)  8:34:21

Top 10 Women

1. Ellis Mary Beth (USA)  8:43:34

2. Csomor Erika (HUN)  8:51:10

3. Riesler Diana (GER)  8:53:34

4. Bij De Vaate Heleen (NED)  8:56:11

5. Dollinger Eva (AUT)  9:05:13

6. Helfenschneider-Ofner Simone (AUT)  9:11:36

7. Rudolf Michaela (AUT)  9:14:16

8. Wolfe Joyce (IRL)  9:15:42

9. Görtz Beate (GER)  9:18:57

10. Woysch Nicole (GER)  9:23:31