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Maximilian Longree and Mariska Kramer-Postma Victorious in Louisville

ironman louisvilleIt seems like a hot and humid day in Louisville was no problem for Maximilian Longree and Mariska Kramer-Postma, winners of Ironman Louisville. It was an amazing day for both as the victory was the first Ironman title for both athletes. The defending champions Chris McDonald and Heather Gollnick had good races today but both took second place.

Longree of Germany was seven minutes down after the swim and just over seven minutes down 4 miles into the run. He kept his cool and little by little he moved up to 2nd place and eventually passed McDonald halfway into the marathon. The hot and humid condition didn't seem to affect Longree as he finished the day with 2:48 marathon and a new course men's course record with a time of 8:33:55. How fast was Longree today, well he finished 20 minutes ahead of defending champion and 2nd place finisher McDonald, heck he even had time to take a few bites out of an American cheeseburger before McDonald came in. Sergio Marques used his great running legs to push himself from 6th place to 3rd place.

On the women's side Bree Wee took the on the bike and lead and managed to stay out in front on the run until new mom Lisbeth Kristensen passed her around mile 7. Last week Wee dropped out of Ironman Canada at the one mile mark on the run, so a much better day for her in Louisville. Kristensen had a nice lead holding off Hillary Biscay and Heather Gollnick through at least mile 20 until she found herself lying on the ground, throwing up. Behind the scenes Mariska Kramer-Postma of the Netherland's was closing in. She had started the run in 7th place, some seventeen minutes down but slowly moved up through the field. Kramer-Postma surge and faster marathon pace help her pass the field and take the lead at roughly mile 22. She continued her surge including fending of Gollnick who was trying pull of the repeat victory to take the win. Kramer-Postma finished in 3rd place last year, today she dropped 30 minutes from her time last year for her first Ironman title. Even with a technical issue on the bike Gollnick managed to take 2nd place today and Kristensen who was down on the ground at mile 20 managed to pick herself up and take 3rd place.

2008 Ironman Louisville Results:

     Men          Women  
1 - Maximilian Longree 8:33:58*    1 - Mariska Kramer-Postma 9:54:17
2 - Chris McDonald 8:54:52    2 - Heather Gollnick 9:56:53
3 - Sergio Marques 8:59:15    3 - Lisbeth Kristensen 9:58:33
4 - Michael Goehner 9:04:24    4 - Hilary Biscay 9:59:31
5 - Chris Hauth 9:13:24    5 - Rebecca Preston 10:06:15
* = new course record

Lisbeth's husband, Andrew Johns who was first out of the water today and held the lead on the bike through mile 68 finished the day with a DNF.

The race again featured a time trial start for the age-group athletes. A nice feature for those who don't like the mass swim start most Ironman races have. It takes roughly 40 minutes to get all of the athletes into the water. Athletes start about 1 every second.

Additional race coverage:
- Longree and Kramer-Postma win in Kentucky
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