Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i (Oct. 13, 2012) – New champions were crowned as Pete Jacobs (AUS) and Leanda Cave (GBR) overtook a challenging, world-class field under difficult conditions at the 2012 IRONMAN World Championship presented by myList. Jacobs, who finished second at last year’s race, captured his first IRONMAN World Championship title. Finishing in 8:18:37, the Australian ran his way to the title after beginning the marathon more than seven minutes behind Marino Vanhoenacker, who led off the bike. An Australian has claimed the men’s title at the last six consecutive IRONMAN World Championship races. Cave had a solid race from start to finish and overcame surges by multiple competitors throughout the run to secure her first IRONMAN World Championship title, crossing the line in 9:15:54.
Jacobs excelled over an impressive men’s field that included last year’s third place finisher Andreas Raelert (DEU), Frederik Van Lierde (BEL) and last year’s champion Craig Alexander (AUS). Andy Potts (USA) exited the water first for the second year in a row, but Vanhoenacker (BEL), Sebastian Kienle (DEU) and Jacobs established themselves through the lava fields of the bike course with the Belgian and German ultimately pulling away just before the turn-around in Hawi. Kienle got a flat tire, leaving Vahoenacker to lead the way into T2 with the lead. He held his position for almost 16 miles of the run until Jacobs, who posted last year’s fastest run-split, made the pass to take the lead. The rest of the race was a dash to the finish as the Aussie secured the title in convincing fashion.
“It still hasn’t sunk in, it’s all a bit surreal how it happened,” Jacobs said after the race. “I was confident heading into the race that I could do it, and I just still can’t believe it finally happened.”
Top five professional men:
1. Pete Jacobs AUS 8:18:37
2. Andreas Raelert DEU 8:23:40
3. Frederik Van Lierde BEL 8:24:09
4. Sebastian Kienle DEU 8:27:08
5. Faris Al-Sultan DEU 8:28:33
After finishing the 2011 IRONMAN World Championship in third place, Cave returned to the Island of Hawai`i fresh off a victory at the IRONMAN World Championship 70.3. Amanda Stevens (USA) exited the water first, followed closely by Meredith Kessler (USA), Gina Crawford (NZL), Cave and Mary Beth Ellis (USA). A strong pack of females, including four 2012 IRONMAN Champions, charged along the 112-mile bike course of the Queen Kaʻahumanu Highway as Ellis, Caroline Steffen (SUI) and Cave pulled away and headed into T2 with the lead. After Steffen set the lead pace for much of the run, the race would turn into a close battle when, in the final 5k, Cave made her pass for the win. With the victory, Cave became the second person in IRONMAN history, and first female, to win the IRONMAN World Championship 70.3 and IRONMAN World Championship in the same year. Great Britain has held on to the women’s IRONMAN World Championship title the last five out of six races.
“It’s good to keep the title in the U.K.,” said Cave. “Chrissie [Wellington] did say in the press this week that she wanted either myself or Rachel [Joyce] (GBR) to fly the flag of G.B. and I’m proud to be able to say we still hold that title and next year I hope we can do it again.”
Top five professional women:
1. Leanda Cave GBR 9:15:54
2. Caroline Steffen SUI 9:16:58
3. Mirinda Carfrae AUS 9:21:41
4. Sonja Tajsich DEU 9:22:45
5. Mary Beth Ellis USA 9:22:57
Nearly 2,000 athletes representing more than 60 countries and all 50 states started the IRONMAN World Championship presented by myList, which consists of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile run on the Island of Hawai`i. Competitors ranged in age from 19 to 82 years old. The Emmy Award-winning IRONMAN World Championship broadcast will air on NBC on Oct. 27, 2012, from 4 – 6 p.m. ET. Check local listings and www.ironman.com for details.
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