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Natascha Badmann Wins Ironman South Africa

Natascha Badmann proves "Anything is Possible" on a tough day as she wins the 2012 Ironman South Africa women's pro division at the age of 45. On the men's side, Clemente Alonso-Mckernan from Spain takes the title in Port Elizabeth.


Weather has been a factor as several races so far this year and it was no different in Port Elizabeth. Days before the race the swim discipline was in doubt due to high winds and huge swells expected on race day. Conditions improved the day before the race, but still proved to be tough. The 8th edition of Ironman South Africa proved to be an extra challenge for everyone as cold, wet and windy conditions greeted athletes at the start of the race and throughout the day.

Alonso-McKernan was able to overcome Andi Boecherer of Germany, Cyril Viennot of France and hometown favorite Raynard Tissink with a strong performance, but its Badmann who will be remembered as the star of the race. Badmann collected her fourth Ironman South Africa title after a battle with race day condition while trying to catch fellow swim pro triathlete Simone Braendli and passing her on the run for the win. The catch is Badmann wins the race at 45 even while still feeling the effects from her 2007 bike crash in Kona. The age gap on the top 5 women finishers today averaged 16 years. She might be the oldest female to win and Ironman title.

It was Braendli who led the women out of the swim and for the most part led the women's race heading out of T2 on to the run. Badmann started her day 14 minutes behind Brandli and others. Virginia Berasategui pushed Braendli on the bike course but could not overcome her; she faded a bit on the third loop. Badmann somehow managed to conquer the windy condition on the three-loop course and make up time on Braendli. She finishes the day with the fastest women's bike split 5:14:55 and headed into T2 in second place.

On the run, Badmann erased Brandli's nearly 9-minute advantage and took the lead somewhere around the 23km mark. She gradually extended her lead from there and finishes the day with the fastest women's run split, nearly 11 minutes faster than Braendli. A bitter sweet day for Badmann as she wins her new title at the race she last won an Ironman title on.

2012 Ironman South Africa Results:
Port Elizabeth, South Africa - April 22, 2012

Pro Men Results Time
Pro Women Results Time
Clemente Alonso-Mckernan 08:34:45
Natascha Badmann 09:47:10
Cyril Viennot 08:41:48
Simone Braendli 09:52:26
Mike Aigroz 08:46:04
Diana Riesler 10:01:14
Markus Fachbach 08:57:21
Dianne McEwan 10:07:55
Trevor Delsaut 09:03:03
Susan Dietrich 10:08:02
Petr Vabrousek 09:09:57
Virginia Berasategui 10:13:00
Craig Twigg 09:10:48
Emi Sakai 10:28:03
Sylvain Rota 09:11:24
Anne Basso 10:33:12
Kent Horner 09:14:39
Nina Pekerman 10:34:24
Guilherme Manocchio 09:20:56
Jacqui Gordon 10:41:13

imsa12clemente.jpgOn a tough and slow swim at Nelson Mandela Bay, Alsonso-McKernan of Spain started the day in the same spot he finishes, out in front and in first. He narrowly out swims Boecherer for the lead but that didn't last long.

Boecherer took the lead on the challenging bike, cutting through the wind on his way to a 4:44:04 bike split, second behind Viennot's 4:43:59. Alonso-McKernan wasn't far behind with a 4:48:52. Defending champion Tissink struggled in the wind, ending the day with a 5:04:32 split. The chase was on as Boecherer exited T2 out in front. The German looked good early in the run but probably started feeling the effects of the challenging bike and eventually dropped out around the 18km mark. The door was open for the chase pack of Alonso-McKernan and Viennot.

Alonso-McKernan out runs Viennot with his 2:46:15 marathon split and picks up the win, Viennot takes second place. In front of his fans and on a tough day on the course Tissink struggled but made it to the finish line in 14th place with a 9:31:42 time.

Additional Coverage:
- 2012 Ironman South Africa and Athlete Tracker [via Ironman.com]

Check out our 2012 Ironman Triathlon Results Grid where at a glance you can see the top three professional triathletes that made the podium at each of the Ironman Series races around the world.
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