It was a great day for New Zealand's own defending Ironman New Zealand champions Cameron Brown and Joanna Lawn. They've won the Ironman race in Tapou over the last several years and with the win's today they've set new unique Ironman records.
With the win Cameron Brown becomes the first man to ever win an Ironman race seven times. Not to be out done, Joanna Lawn has her day as well as she sets a new record with the win and becomes the first person / women to win the same Ironman race six consecutive times. She also set a new course record with a time of 9:16.00, breaking her previous record set back in 2003.
The day in Tapou started off nice but went from good to miserable as the race progressed with windy and raining conditions. It didn't matter to Brown who was patient while hanging around the lead all day. At the T2 Brown was down to Kieran Dow by about seven minutes. Brown cut the lead down and took the lead on the run and pulled ahead for the win. It was a tougher day for Lawn on the women's side. Lawn rode into T2 with a four minute lead but got chased down by Kate Bevilaqua who passed her around the 28km mark. Lawn stayed tough and ran with Bevilaqua for the next 10km step-by-step. Catching Lawn proved to be a little too much for Bevilaqua today, she started fading around the 39km mark as Lawn built up a lead and eventually pulled ahead for the record setting win and new course record.
Kieran Doe who recently beat Brown at the Port of Tauranga Half Ironman triathlon in January had a solid day. He pushed the pace and Brown all day until Brown passed him around the half way point on the run. In 2004 Doe finished 16th, last year he moved up to 6th place and today in Tapou he finished in 3rd, nine minutes behind Brown.
2008 Ironman New Zealand Results:
|1 - Joanna Lawn||9:16.00||1 - Cameron Brown||8:24:49|
|2 - Kate Bevilaqua||9:20:06||2 - Frederik Van Lierde||8:31:35|
|3 - Emi Shiono||9:23:26||3 - Kieran Doe||8:33:35|
|4 - Bella Comerford||9:25:33||4 - Stephen Bayliss||8:37:03|
|5 - Gina Ferguson||9:33:29||5 - Pete Jacobs||8:47:03|
The much anticipated re-match between Luke Bell and Brown fizzled when Bell was tagged for a four minute drafting penalty out on the course. He was five minutes behind Brown at T2 and in 4th place but disappeared and ended the day with a DNF.
How about Frederik Van Lierde, the 2007 European Long Distance Champion. In his Ironman debut he finished in second place seven minutes behind Brown. Earlier this year he also finished in second place at the much shorter distance Ironman 70.3 South Africa race.
Additional coverage of the Ironman New Zealand race in Taupo:
- Brown wins 7th Ironman NZ (+pics) via stuff.co.nz
- Rain another test for Ironman athletes video via stuff.co.nz
- Ironman New Zealand 2008 Race Coverage via Ironman.com