Estonia’s Marko Albert and American Meredith Kessler won Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Ironman New Zealand on Saturday. This was Kessler’s third win in New Zealand and she broke the women’s course record by almost six minutes. Kessler dominated from the start with the ninth fastest swim of the day followed by a fast ride despite problems with her chain and fantastic run to finish in 9:08:45. New Zealand’s Gina Crawford was second in 9:15:52 and Candice Hammond was third in 9:30:03.
Kessler was thrilled with the outcome: “It started with a very good swim and I came out of the water faster than last year. The bike was tough, but the main goal of the day was not to come home in the run feeling like I was in a coffin. It was my best marathon for two years and I can use this as a stepping-stone for Kona. To put together this performance on the 30th anniversary of the race, I’m really grateful.”
Crawford was five minutes faster than last year and was pleased with the outcome: “I’m pretty pleased with how it went. The last 45 km of the bike into the wind was hard and from 25 km on the run was tough. Sometimes you do well and it is only good enough for second and today was one of those days.”
In the men’s race, Albert built up a six minute lead on the bike, crossing the line in 8:17:32, the second fastest time in the 30-year history of the race. In second was ten-time former winner, Cameron Brown in 8:21:54. Brown’s fellow New Zealander, Terenzo Bozzone, took third in 8:28:55 to secure his fourth podium finish at Ironman New Zealand.
Bevan Docherty, the defending champion and two-time Olympic medallist, was in contention for third, but dropped out on the run.
|Tim Van Berkel||AUS||8:29:52|