Spectators in Taupo, New Zealand experienced a memorable day of rain and firsts. The cool and miserable conditions couldn't stop the King of Ironman New Zealand Cameron Brown from winning his record 10th Ironman New Zealand title as well as fellow Kiwi Samantha Warriner winning her first Ironman title. The younger pro's gave everything they had in Taupo, but in the end the elders Brown and Warriner showed then what 39 and 40 year's can do!
Pelting rain on the course made it difficult for athletes, volunteers and spectators throughout the day. (As we write this post, it's still raining 13 hours into the race.) For the 3rd year in a row fellow Kiwi Terenzo Bozzone finishes in second place behind Brown. Warriner's win prevented the Queen of Ironman New Zealand Joanna Lawn from notching her 8th Ironman New Zealand title.
Brown's historic day started off 4 minutes behind Brent Foster who was first out of the water in a time of 46:02, as well as 3 minutes behind Bozzone. Out on the bike course Bozzone took the early lead until Canadian Scott Curry took control of the lead for most of the day on the wet roads. Brown patiently moved into second place and held that spot all the way into T2 behind Curry who finished the bike leg in 4:39:58. Curry's two minute lead on the King wasn't enough as Brown made up the difference 8.5km into the 42km run. The 39-year olds lead was seven minutes on 26-year old Bozzone who tried to gain time on Brown but couldn't. Brown's 2:52:09 marathon was sufficient for his 10th victory in Taupo, he becomes the first person to ever win the same Ironman 10 times! Bozzone finished in second, ten minutes behind Brown while Curry held on for fifth place. Petr Vabrousek finished the day in sixth place which is his 100th Ironman finish in 13 years.
2011 Ironman New Zealand Results:
Taupao, New Zealand
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On the women's' side, Warriner's day started out in front out of the water and pretty much stayed that way all day in her first official Ironman event. The former ITU star who retired from short course racing didn't flinch in her Ironman brand debut, even behind the likes of 2010 Ironman World Champion Mirinda Carfrae and seven time winner Joanna Lawn. She did have a bit of luck on her side as both Carfrae and Lawn had to deal with tire issues out on the bike course.
Warriner's victory is quite amazing as not long ago she had to have heart surgery. 150km into the bike, Warriner had a 16 to 18 minute lead on Lawn and Carfrae respectively. Out of T2 Kate Bevilaqua was holding strong behind Warriner in second place. Lawn had cut the lead to 13 minutes while Carfrae's grew to 22 minutes dues to another flat out on the bike. Half way through the run it was apparent that Carfrae wanted a taste of victory as she cut down Warriner's lead by roughly 9 minutes. In the next 21km, she cut her T2 22 minute deficit down to 3 minute but fell short and finished in second place. Lawn has to wonder what the day could have been if she didn't have the tire issues out on the bike course, she finishes in third place. Belinda Harper in her first pro race today finishes in fifth place.
How close was it, here are the splits for the top 3 women.
Vabrousek finished his 100th Ironman race today while Mike Reilly established his own feat by announcing his 100th Ironman event with his famous saying "You are an Ironman!" Story link: Mike Reilly's 100th Ironman [via Ironman.com]
Brisbane student Katie Strickland was the youngest female at 19. She was competing alongside her father Andrew who was 50. Quite an amazing day for the father-daughter pair as dad finishes the day in 11:38:26 while Katie does her Ironman race in 12:34:46.
Ironman New Zealand was established in 1985 and is the oldest official Ironman qualifier race for the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii.
You can see 2011 Ironman New Zealand race coverage, pictures and results here: www.ironmanlive.com/?race=newzealand&year=2011
Additional Race Coverage:
- Brown wins 10th, Warriner takes her 1st IM at Taupo [via Slowtwitch]
Photo Credits: Ironman.com