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Marino Vanhoenacker Defends Title at Ironman Austria

imaustrialogo.jpgMarino Vanhoenacker, who melted in the hot and humid conditions two months ago at the inaugural running of the Triathlon One O One race in Bradenton, Florida excelled today in Klagenfurt at Ironman Austria. The mild weather conditions helped the defending Belgian champion seal the deal for his 2nd consecutive title at Ironman Austria with a time of 8:06:39. Vanhoenacker had a blazing 4:21:14 split on the bike and a 2:53:28 on the run to finish 13 minutes ahead of Norbert Langbrandtner of Austria. Max Longree of Germany had the fastest marathon split with a time of 2:43:51 but trailed Vanhoenacker on the bike by 20 minutes, Longree finished in third place.

In the women's race, Edith Niederfriniger of Italy won in a time 9:08:47, edging out Veronika Hauke of Austria by 46 seconds. Niederfriniger who trailed Lisa Hütthaler by nine minutes after the bike managed to chase down Hütthaler, Rebecca Preston and Hauke with her 3:07:26 marathon split, the fastest of the day to take the lead during the last 10km of the run. Hütthaler faded on the run and did not finish the race. Desiree Ficker had the 2nd fastest bike split of the day 4:58:59 but had to serve a six minute penalty in T2 for drafting, she ultimately finished in seventh place behind Hillary Biscay who finished in sixth place.

Ironman Austria Results:

     Men          Women  
1 - Marino Vanhoenacker (BEL) 8:06:39   1 - Edith Niederfriniger (ITA) 9:08:47
2 - Norbert Langbrandtner (AUT) 8:19:58   2 - Veronika Hauke (AUT) 9:09:33
3 - Max Longree (GER) 8:20:13   3 - Rebecca Preston (AUS) 9:15:55
4 - Kai Hundertmarck (GER) 8:27:35   4 - Sara Gross (CAN) 9:24:08
5 - Alexander Frühwirth (AUT) 8:33:07   5 - Tara Norton (CAN) 9:32:53
      6 - Hillary Biscay (USA) 9:39:25
      7 - Desiree Ficker (USA) 9:46:55

Defending champion Rebecca Preston of Australia who two weeks ago raced and won Ironman Switzerland took third place, seven minutes behind Niederfriniger. Preston was aiming to repeat her extraordinary double from last year when she won back-to-back Ironman Switzerland and Austria. She was in the thick of things all day but it seems that her impressive win in Switzerland had take a toll on her legs during the run as she held on for a stunning third place finish.

Mario Vanhoenacker’s wife, Elke Vanrenterghem also raced and finished in sixth place in the women’s 30-34 age group.

Almost 2,200 triathletes raced today in Klagenfurt.

For more results and coverage of Ironman Austria go to Ironman.com or the Ironman Austria website.