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Jacobs, Steffen Secure 1st Ironman Titles in Australia

ironman australia jacobsIt was a day of firsts. Pete Jacobs and Caroline Steffen win their first Ironman titles of their career in Port Macquarie with their commanding victories at the 2011 Ironman Australia. The 26th running of Ironman Australia in Port Macquarie, New South Wales also hosted the first Ironman 70.3 Port Macquarie triathlon on the same course on the same day. Some 1,500 triathletes were on hard for the challenging events of the day.

In his first Ironman victory, Jacobs lead the men's field from start to finish with a 46:29 Swim, 4:41:04 Bike and a 2:59:14 Run, finishing in a time of 8:29:28, ahead of multiple time winner Patrick Vernay. Jacobs was strong on the bike and had a 3:30 minute lead leaving T2 ahead of second place Mitch Anderson. Damaged ligaments in his foot and his commanding 11 minute lead on Vernay weren't enough to stop Jacobs today for his first Ironman victory. Jason Shortis ran his way to third place in Port Macquarie.
The pre-race event headline was Craig Alexander having to drop out of the race due to a virus he'd been fighting for two weeks. He now has to find another Ironman race to participate and finish in if he wants to qualify for Kona this year.

"It is wonderful to finally breakthrough. The people out there were cheering "do it for the Aussies" so I was thinking about that. Patrick is a great bloke but I was wanting to win for Australia. It is nice to have an Australian win Ironman Australia. I have had a few seconds and some big races in Hawaii but it is nice to do it here," said Jacobs.

2011 Ironman Australia Results:
Port Macquarie, NSW, Australia

Pro Men Results Time
Pro Women Results Time
Pete Jacobs 8:29:28
Caroline Steffen 9:29:54
Patrick Vernay 8:35:50
Amelia Pearson 9:38:23
Jason Shortis 8:46:07
Kirsten Molloy 9:43:55
Scott Neyedli 8:47:16
Nicole Ward 9:49:23
Courtney Ogden 8:49:56
Erin Spitler 10:08:33

ironman australia carolineSwitzerland's Caroline Steffen, who lives and trains in Australia was second out of the water, but quickly took the lead on the bike. She stopped twice on the bike course to fix a flat tire, the first time just adding air and the second time at the 130km mark to replace her tube. Even with her 5+ minute tire change she arrived in T2 with a commanding 9:50 minute lead in the women's race, ahead of Amelia Pearson. It was a tough breakthrough victory for Steffen of TeamTBB who had to deal with a flat on the bike and then issues on the run, she hanged in there for her first Ironman title. Pearson had a faster run split than Steffen but it wasn't enough, she finishes the day in second place.

"It was going really well but then I got two puncture. I lost a lot of time. I hurt on the run and was going to pull out. I think I would have but the crowds were awesome and kept me going for the last two laps," said Steffen.

Dave Orlowski, one of the original Ironman Hawaii athletes finished his 14th different Ironman race as well. He's been on a crusade to race most if not all of the Ironman races around the world.

The oldest female was Brenda Hamill from Sydney finished in 15:15:30. The oldest male was Garth Barfoot, age 76 from Auckland, New Zealand finished his 49th Ironman race in 16:39:11.

The other race of the day featured various Ironman athletes doing the Ironman 70.3 Port Macquarie triathlon to gain valuable points to qualify for this year's Ironman World Championship race in Kona.

Joe Gambles and JoAnna Lawn both outdueled a good field of athletes including Cameron Brown and Belinda Granger to take the inaugural 2011 Ironman 70.3 Port Macquarie titles. The event was run on the same course and started two-half hours after the start of the Ironman race.

2011 Ironman 70.3 Port Macquarie Results:
Port Macquarie, NSW, Australia

Pro Men Results Time
Pro Women Results Time
Joe Gambles 3:58:15
Jonna Lawn 4:29:36
Tim Berkel 4:01:40
Madeleine Oldfield 4:37:24
Cameron Brown 4:03:22
Michelle Wu 4:41:10
Christian Kemp 4:04:11
Belinda Granger 4:43:53
Joseph Lampe 4:08:59
Elly Franks 5:00:31

Additional Race Coverage:
- 2011 Ironman Australia Coverage and Athlete Tracker [via Ironman.com]
- 2011 Ironman 70.3 Port Macquarie Athlete Tracker [via Ironman.com]

Photo Credit: Ironman.com
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