Posted by: Joe English | October 11, 2008

Triathlon: Alexander, Wellington win Ironman World Championships

Craig Alexander

Craig Alexander

KAILUA-KONA — Craig Alexander and Chrissie Wellington have won the Ford Ironman World Championships for 2008. Alexander improved on his second-place performance in 2007 to win the race in 8:17:45. Wellington repeats as champion in a blazing 9:06:23, crushing the women’s field and beating her next closest finisher by 15 minutes.

Television coverage of this race airs December 13th, 2008 on NBC. For more information, click here.
Both Alexander and Wellington were amazing on their feet. Alexander ran 2:45:01 in the marathon, having run sub-2:30 in races coming into the race. Wellington ran 2:57:44, her marathon time besting some of the top-10 men’s finishers. At one point in the race, Wellington was passing the men’s professional field and Alexander was reportedly worried that she might be gaining on him. Wellington ended up finishing 41st overall as she won the women’s field.

The weather in Kona was hot today, baking the competitors as they made their ways through the lava fields of the big Island of Hawaii.

Alexander, second last year in his first Hawaii Ironman, was 11th at the end of the 112-mile bicycle ride. But he moved up after run leaders Torbjorn Sindballe of Denmark and Normann Stadler of Germany faded. At the 18-mile mark, Alexander took the lead from Eneko Llanos of Spain, who finished second in 8:20:50.

“I can’t believe it. It was a hard race,” Alexander said.

Britain’s Chrissie Wellington won her second consecutive women’s title, finishing in 9:06:23. She overcame a flat tire that cost her 10 minutes on the bike ride.

She had a 5-minute lead when her tire went flat. Rebekah Keat of Australia came to the rescue with a spare canister of air, and Wellington quickly regained the lead.

“That was the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” Wellington said. “It didn’t go exactly to plan. I had a good swim and felt strong in the first phases of the bike.”

She thanked Keat, saying, “She’s a legend.”

Nina Kraft of Germany returned to the race after a two-year suspension for failing a drug test. She was the first woman to finish in 2004, but later was stripped of her title.

The competitors were challenged by gusty cross wind and heat during the ride through barren lava fields under bright, sunny conditions.

Defending champion Chris McCormack of Australia dropped out during the bike ride, about four hours into the race, due to a mechanical problem. He later said he had been told it would take 20 minutes to fix a snapped cable.

A total of 1,808 triathletes began the 30th anniversary race, often called the most challenging endurance test in the world.

Here are the top finishers in the race for the men’s and women’s race:

Men’s Top-10 Finishers
1 8:17:45 2 Alexander, Craig Sydney AUS 51:43 1:41 4:37:19 2:04 2:45:01
2 8:20:50 3:05 7 Llanos Burguera, Eneko Vitoria-Ga ESP 51:39 1:48 4:33:27 2:10 2:51:49
3 8:21:23 3:38 41 Beke, Rutger Heverlee BEL 54:44 1:50 4:34:45 2:16 2:47:49
4 8:21:46 4:01 31 Schildknecht, Ronnie Ruschlikon SWI 54:56 1:58 4:34:26 2:08 2:48:20
5 8:26:17 8:32 25 Brown, Cameron Manukau NZL 51:50 2:04 4:36:47 1:59 2:53:39
6 8:30:23 12:38 10 Vernay, Patrick Noumea NCL 51:58 1:52 4:42:49 2:06 2:51:40
7 8:33:50 16:05 36 Potts, Andy Colorado S CO USA 48:38 1:50 4:46:00 2:51 2:54:31
8 8:34:02 16:17 53 Hecht, Mathias Willisau SWI 51:42 1:46 4:36:55 2:28 3:01:13
9 8:34:47 17:02 9 Lovato, Michael Boulder CO USA 52:58 1:52 4:45:21 2:27 2:52:12
10 8:36:53 19:08 13 Sturla, Eduardo Buenos Air BS ARG 54:47 2:02 4:34:27 2:20 3:03:19

Women’s Top-10 Finishers
1 9:06:23 101 Wellington, Chrissie Thetford GBR 56:20 2:06 5:08:16 1:59 2:57:44
2 9:21:20 14:58 156 Van Vlerken, Yvonne Schwarzach AUT 1:06:49 1:50 5:05:34 2:42 3:04:27
3 9:22:52 16:30 127 Wallenhorst, Sandra Hannover GER 1:03:21 2:33 5:14:57 3:28 2:58:36
4 9:24:49 18:26 110 Csomor, Erika Szazhalomb HUN 59:09 2:19 5:18:12 2:06 3:03:05
5 9:28:51 22:29 140 Corbin, Linsey Missoula MT USA 1:00:35 2:22 5:14:33 2:07 3:09:16
6 9:29:15 22:52 135 Berasategui, Virginia Bilbao ESP 58:50 2:10 5:22:17 2:12 3:03:48
7 9:34:08 27:46 128 Comerford, Bella Leysin SWI 59:02 2:27 5:21:46 2:25 3:08:31
8 9:36:53 30:31 118 Ferguson, Gina Oxford NZL 54:45 2:15 5:26:29 2:07 3:11:19
9 9:37:06 30:44 116 Kehr, Gina Redwood Ci CA USA 54:45 2:00 5:21:46 4:02 3:14:36
10 9:39:53 33:31 107 Griesbauer, Dede Boston MA USA 54:52 2:06 5:20:52 2:48 3:19:17

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Responses

  1. […] For our post-race coverage, click here. […]


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