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Raelert Defends, Swallow Wins Ironman 70.3 World Championship

im703wc2010.JPGOn a perfect day in Clearwater, Florida and for the last time, Germany's Michael Raelert successfully defends his Ironman 70.3 World Championship Title while Great Britain's Jodie Swallow wins and becomes the newly crowned Champion. In the 5 year history in Clearwater, Raelert becomes the first repeat champion, while Swallow becomes the fifth unique women's champion.

Rough water conditions and some wind on the bike course caused this year's times to be slightly slower. Raelert trailed Trek/K-Swiss teamamte Joe Gambles early, but caught up on the bike and then lead out of T2. It was then an early battle against Gambles and Filip Ospaly of the Czech Republic on the run. Raelert steadily put the pressure on and eventually broke away shortly past the midway point of the run with his 1:09:57 half marathon pace. Ospaly held on strong for a nice second place finish while American Tim O'Donnell finished third.

2010 Ironman World Championship 70.3 Results:

Pro Men Results Time
Pro Women Results Time
Michael Raelert 3:41:19
Jodie Swallow 4:06:28
Filip Ospaly 3:42:56
Leanda Cave 4:12:34
Timothy O'Donnell 3:44:18
Magali Tisseyre 4:13:04
Joe Gambles 3:44:48
Amanda Stevens 4:13:32
Richie Cunningham 3:45:33
Heather Jackson 4:17:08
Igor Amorelli 3:45:46
Lesley Paterson 4:18:01
Daniel Fontana 3:47:15
Angela Naeth 4:18:40
Kevin Collington 3:47:32
Julie Dibens 4:20:55
Matt Reed 3:48:13
Nina Kraft 4:21:18
Chris Legh 3:48:33
Emma-Kate Lidbury 4:22:55

Swallow, who now is part of TeamTBB and trains with coach Brett Sutton led the race from start to finish to win her first Ironman 70.3 race of 2010 and another World Championship title. She ends another year with a World Championship title, last year she won the ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships in Perth, Australia. She dominated the day winning both of the Timex bonuses and beating out defending champion Julie Dibens. Behind Swallow is where the race had some action with Dibens, Leanda Cave, Magali Tisseyre and Amanda Stevens. Cave coming off a 10th place finish in Kona and a victory in Miami worked her way through the field to finish in second place as did Tisseyre who finished in third. Defending Champion Dibens finished in eight place.

Jason Gunter, who last year DNF'd in Kona just shy of the finish line finishes today's race in 6:17. He lost a leg and an arm in a boating accident in 1992.
Vitor Meira wins the IndyCar battle over Tony Kanaan in a close race. Meira finishes the day in 4:50 while Kanaan crossed the finish line in 5:01.

In the battle of 80 year olds, Bob Scott wins over Lew Hollander. Scott crossed the finish line in a time of 6:05 with Hollander finishing in a time of 7:04. An amazing accomplishment for both athletes.

Next year's 2011 Ironman 70.3 World Championship race is moving to Henderson, Nevada and will be held in September instead of November. It will feature a much tougher course and hopefully improve on the events pitfalls in Clearwater. It's won't be the end of racing in Clearwater as the site becomes the new host of the new 5150 Series finale.

Additional Race Coverage:
- 2010 Ironman 70.3 World Championship Coverage [via Ironman.com]
- Raelert repeats, Swallow surprises [via Slowtwitch]
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