German Faris Al-Sultan and Swiss Caroline Steffen win the 10th Anniversary race in Frankfurt. The 2011 Ironman European Championship triathlon started nearly 60 professionals and over 2,400 age groupers. Cool temperatures and frequent rain showers did not dampen the spirits of those racing in Germany.
Al-Sultan surprised himself and the German fans, dominating the day with the fastest bike split of the day along with a sub 3-hour marathon split to finish with an 8:13:50 time. It was an all German podium with Jan Raphael taking second place and Michael Göhner taking third. Al-Sultan not only won his share of the $100,000 prize purse but he meets his one Ironman qualifying race requirement for the Kona Pro Rankings and moves up in the standing with his 4000 points.
The men's race attracted a significant number of pros, all looking for KPR points and their chance of making the 2011 Ironman World Championship race in Hawaii. The man that attracted all the attention before the race was Michael Raelert even though Al-Sultan would be wearing bib number 1. Raelert, who was making his Ironman distance debut dropped out of the Ironman European Championship before race day due to a reported hip injury.
2011 Ironman European Championship Results:
|Pro Men Results||Time||
|Pro Women Results||Time|
|Yvonne Van Vlerken||9:15:37|
|Heleen Bij de Vaate||9:32:51|
Caroline Steffen, the 2010 Ironman European Championship runner-up moves up a spot on the podium. Steffen, who ran a very slow 3:27:38 marathon manages to hold on to the win fast charging Lucie Zelenkova. Her blazing bike split of 4:51:07 helped build her lead on the women's field but it made it tough on her on the run. Germany's Sonja Tajsich had the fastest run split of the day, a 3:04:48, but only manages to take the third spot.
With the win and 4000 points Steffen takes the lead in the Women's Kona Pro Rankings. Both Zelenkova and Tajsich solidify their chances for a Kona starting slot with the valuable points earn with their podium places. In other KPR news, Virginia Berasategui meets her one Ironman qualifying race requirement and gains points in the standings with her tenth place finish.
Quite an amazing stat from Germany. About 2,500 athletes started the 10th running of the Ironman European Championship race. How fast is the course and those athletes out racing, well 1,700 finishers came across the finish line by 12:40:39.
- 2011 Ironman European Championship Race Coverage and Athlete Tracker [via Ironman.com]
- Al-Sultan, Steffen take Frankfurt [via Slowtwitch]
Don't forget to check out our 2011 Ironman Triathlon Results Grid along with our Ironman Podium Scoreboard at www.trijuice.com/2011imrg
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