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Bockel & Sessner Claim First Ironman Titles in Regensburg


Ironman Regensburg Dirk BockelIn a day of many firsts, Luxembourg triathlete Dirk Bockel, a member of the Leopard Trek Team, came out on top. He bested Michael Raelert in his Ironman debut in Regensburg for the win, his first Ironman title. He finished in a time of 8:11:59, which also gave him the new course record for Ironman Regensburg. On the women's side, Heidi Sessner wins her first Ironman title as well in a time of 9:43:52.

Bockel win the third edition of the Ironman Regensburg race in Germany. The 35-year celebrated his first Ironman victory as well as a personal best. His day wasn't easy, as he had to contend with Raelert who was racing in his first Ironman race.

"It was incredibly hard today - but in the marathon the audience pushed me to the finish line", Bockel said delighted.

Raelert exited the swim just ahead of Bockel and set a new swim course record of 45:01. Raelert lead most of the bike, but it was Bockel how overtook him late and flew into T2 with a 4:31:08 bike split. Bockel enjoyed four minute lead heading out on the run as Raelert finished the bike in 4:35:32.

Bockel knew he had to run hard to stay ahead of Raelert who could run and he did. He managed to extend his lead on the run by running a 2:51:56, which was three minutes faster that what Raelert could do today. He finishes the day with a 2:54:40 and second place in his Ironman debut.

Mike Schifferle from Switzerland managed third place in 8:36:53 hours. Jens Kaiser was fourth in 8:43:57 hours - and he got rewarded for a sensational comeback: He came out of the water in 99th position and collected an athlete after another. The fifth place went to Ironman legend Peter Vabrousek from the Czech Republic in 8:47:53 hours.

2012 Ironman Regensburg Results:
Regensburg, Germany - June 17, 2012

Top 5 Men Results Time
Place
Top 5 Women Results Time
Dirk Bockel 08:11:59*
1
Heidi Sessner 09:43:52
Michael Raelert 08:18:53
2
Nicole Bretting 09:50:18
Mike Schifferle 08:36:53
3
Maria Lemeseva 09:52:31
Jens Kaiser 08:43:57
4
Karin Gerber 10:00:31
Petr Vabrousek 08:47:53
5
Barbara Geilhof 10:00:48
* = New Course Record        

imregSessner12.jpgOn the women's pro side, which wasn't that big, Sessner of Germany used her quick swim to keep her out in front during the race. Alisa Scudamore beat Sessner out of the 3.8km swim. She dominated on the 180km bike course along with Monika Stadlmann. Sessner didn't have the fastest bike split of the day, but her swim lead is what helped her stay out in front against the rest of the field. Her steady and tough run, which was only out done by Maria Lemeseva's 3:23:53 is what helped her cross the finish line for the win and her first Ironman title. She wins in a time of 9:43:52.

"I am so happy that I have no words for it. I have not dared to believe in it, I fought to the finish." said Sessner

In second place of the women's race there was Nicole Bretting with the best performance of an agegroup athlete. She was runner-up in 9:50:18 hours. Maria Lemeseva from Russia claimed third place in 9:52:31 hours. Fourth place went to Karin Gerber (Switzerland) in 10:00:31 hours - fifth was Barbara Geilhof from Germany (10:00:48 hours).

James Lawrence of TriAndGiveaDam finished his 11th iron distance triathlon in the past 6 months. He is on an Iron Distance World Record quest do to 30 iron distance triathlons in 2012. He finishes the date in 11:25:56.

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