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Hoffman & Kessler Win Final Ironman St. George

imstgpromo12.jpgToday, American's Ben Hoffman and Meredith Kessler won the third and final Ironman St. George triathlon set to be staged by the World Triathlon Corporation. After three years of declining participant numbers, the event next year will be converted to and Ironman 70.3 distance event.

It was kind of fitting, much in line with it's characteristic of being probably the hardest Ironman race in the series, that this year race proved to even be a tougher challenge than normal, even with the much easier run course that was put in place this year. The swim which is normally chilly, was cold but the winds made the 2.4 mile very challenging and down right scary for some as the swells made it quite a challenge. Heath Thurston, the pro from Utah started things off being the first one out of the swim in 51:18, followed by Maik Twelsiek and Hoffman.

The wind continued to gust and made conditions on the bike course even more challenging for Hoffman and Twelsiek who went back and forth on the bike out in front. The wind was so strong out between Gunlock & Veyo that Hoffman was blown off the road and had to unclip and remount his bike. Twelsiek who finished in 2nd place last year, had a lead on Hoffman some 90 miles into the bike, but Hoffman made up the difference and arrived first into T2, with Twelsiek right behind him. Last year Twelsiek, who is strong on the bike, rode a 4:36 and today he only was able to manage a 5:10 split, almost 35 minute slower. Hoffman on the run gradually extended his lead on Twelsiek and wins the Ironman St. George title in 9:07:04, he wins his 2nd career Ironman title. Twelsiek again finished in second place.

After the race Hoffman was quoted saying "that was hands down the hardest thing I've ever done".

2012 Ironman St. George Results:
St. George, Utah - May 5, 2012

Pro Men Results Time
Pro Women Results Time
Ben Hoffman 09:07:04
Meredith Kessler 10:12:59
Maik Twelsiek 09:25:58
Jessie Donovan 10:37:30
Axel Zeebroek 09:35:33
Uli Bromme 10:53:20
Thomas Gerlach 09:49:00
Gillian Clayton 11:15:38
Matthew Sheeks 09:52:03
Erin Spitler 11:16:42

On the women's side, Kessler led the women out of the swim with a five minute advantage over the next pro women Jessica Smith. Kessler was doing the race for the third time, her best finish was in the inaugural year, 2010, when she finished in 2nd place. Last year she DNF'd while on the run. Her previous rides on the course helped her dominate the day on the bike course, even under the windy conditions. He bike splits in comparison for all three years 2010: 05:37:48, 2011: 05:22:03, 2012: 05:57:14. She entered T2 with a commanding 20 minute lead. With nobody close to her, she coasts to a 3:18:23 and finally wins her first and last Ironman St. George title. Jesse Donavan took second, while Uli Bromme came in third.

Notable DNF's for the day inclide Chris McDonald who decided to call it a day at the hot corner while running in 4th place.

Additional Coverage:
- 2012 Ironman St. George 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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