American Jackie Arendt won her first ever Ironman in her hometown race at Ironman Wisconsin, while German Maik Twelsiek claimed his second title. Twelsiek finished in 8:40:15 and Arendt recorded a winning time of 9:47:07.
In the women’s race, 2008 Ironman Wisconsin Champion Hillary Biscay led the women up the Helix at the Monona Terrace. Her 55:31 swim put her ahead of fellow Americans Malaika Homo (56:41), Arendt (57:00), and Suzanne Serpico (4:22).
Once on the bike, Homo quickly took control of the lead by mile 10. She posted a 5:23:03 ride, and American Kendra Lee followed just 12 seconds later (but had to immediately drop out of the race due to an injured foot). This vaulted Arendt into second, with American Beth Shutt in third.
Heading out of T2 behind by 4:54, Arendt was patient, steadily chewing into Homo’s lead. Shutt was down by 11:04 but she too was running strong and making up ground. At the 15-mile mark, Arendt finally tracked Homo down and passed her. With seven miles to go, Arendt’s lead was 4:57 over Homo. Shutt made her move one mile earlier and took possession of second. Feeling the pressure from behind, Arendt closed with a 3:16:03 marathon to win in 9:47:07. Shutt ran 3:15:50 to finish second in 9:53:42, and Homo held on for third (9:58:49).
In the men’s race, South Africa’s Kent Horner led the way out of Lake Monona in 52:34. Just a few seconds behind were France’s Romain Guillaume (52:37) and Germany’s Maik Twelsiek (52:38). A second group contained Australian Josh Rix (52:54), German Stephan Vuckovic (52:56), and American Daniel Bretscher (53:00). Guillaume made quick work in transition and was headed off on the bike first, determined to set the pace for the rest of the day.
On the bike, Guillaume did exactly that, along with the 2007 Ironman Wisconsin Champion Twelsiek. The two worked together out front and led for the majority of the ride, never more than a few seconds from each other. Guillaume tried to shake free of Twelsiek several times but the German wouldn’t have it. At the 80-mile mark, Twelsiek opened up a gap of 1:10, and sensing the Frenchman’s fatigue, cranked up the pace even more in the last 12 miles, finished the 112-mile unrelenting course in 4:34:58 and setting the new course record (previously set by 2012 Ironman Wisconsin Champion Ben Hoffman). Guillaume came into transition next down 11:30, followed by American Daniel Bretscher who was 14:42 behind.
On the marathon, Twelsiek’s double-digit lead allowed him to run a solid 3:06:09 to claim his second Ironman Wisconsin title in 8:40:15. Bretscher ran 2:57:26 to pass Guillaume for second (8:46:00), and Canadian Elliot Holtham moved up one spot during the run to finish third in 8:50:45.
Ironman 70.3 Muskoka
Lionel Sanders faced a solid men’s field at Ontario, Canada’s Ironman 70.3 Muskoka and came away with the biggest win of his career. Sanders took the win in his home province, making this victory just that much sweeter. In the women’s race Mirinda Carfrae used her patented come-from-behind move on the run for the win, but more importantly, her performance shows she is on track with her preparation for the Ironman World Championship next month.
Sanders lit it up on the run and quickly grabbed the lead from a fading Tom Davison in the early kilometers of the half-marathon. Race-favorite Andreas Raelert was unsuccessful in reducing the gap to Sanders, but was running faster than everyone in front of him as the run reached the halfway point. Eventually it was Sanders’ race-best run that sealed the deal for the his win in a time of 4:01:20, good for a 6:31 winning margin over Raelert, who recorded a 4:07:50 finish time. Davison hung on over the closing km’s of the run to claim the final podium position, finishing in 4:11:29.
In the women’s race, Angela Quick (CAN) was just seconds in front of Tara Ross (CAN), Michelle Vesterby (DNK) and Lisa Mensink (CAN) as the lead pack of four headed into T1. Race favorite Rachel McBride (CAN) was only 49 seconds back of the lead in fifth, with Carfrae sitting in seventh, 2:12 off the leader’s pace.
McBride muscled her way to the front of the women’s race and carried a 3:33 advantage over Carfrae at the conclusion of the bike, while the remainder of the field appeared to be left to fight it out for the final podium position.
On the run, Carfrae immediately started clawing her way towards the leader and had reduced McBride’s advantage to 50 seconds after the first half. Carfrae’s pace was too much for McBride to handle as she surrendered the lead to the former Ironman and Ironman 70.3 world champion after 15 km’s. Carfrae went on to capture the win, stopping the clock at 4:29:34, 1:56 faster than McBride, who finished second in 4:31:30, while Mensink finished off the podium with a 4:44:16.
Stephen Bayliss led the men out of the swim in 48:04, followed closely by Rhys Davey to take him into an early lead. However, Tom Lowe managed to blast through a 4:42 split, leaving him right on the toes of Bayliss coming into T2. Out on the run, Lowe looked strong and confident, and was able to inch further away from Bayliss as the laps passed by. Victorious down the finishing chute, in 8:30:19, Lowe posted the fastest run-split of the day with a 2.48 marathon, giving him a lead of nearly seven minutes on second placed Bayliss. Joel Jameson, who also posted a sub nine-hour race time, finished in 8:49:23, rounding off the men’s podium.
In the women’s race, all eyes were on the female pros – including the familiar faces of Bella Bayliss and Yvette Grice. Grice led out of the water, posting a fast 57-minute swim, followed by Bayliss and Julia Grant — who came out just over three minutes later. Out on the bike course, it was Bayliss’ for the taking. She posted a 5:18 bike split – the fastest lady of the day by nearly 23 minutes. With a lead of over 20 minutes coming into the run, it was soon clear that Bayliss had the win secured, and she finished in an impressive time of 9:41, capping her racing career in style.
Grice finished in 10:05 and Grant took third place, with a strong and consistent performance across all three disciplines, finishing in 10:15:59.