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Ironman Wales 2011
The Ironman Wales 2011 race was quite a debut by anyones definition. Caught in the tail wind of Hurricane Katrina, an already tough course was reclassified as ‘epic’, with strong winds and rain adding to the toughness the event organisers had already built in by design. Such were the weather conditions, the race start was moved to another beach in order to avoid dangerous swells and a 1km run to transition was another challenge competitors would have to face.
The mens pro race was looking quite tasty with frenchman Jeremy Jurkiewicz in town and talking himself up as a future winner of Kona. IMUK winner Aaron Farlow was in town as well and for many he was overwhelming favourite to add to his titles. Oliver Simon, a local pro athlete and winner of the Long Course Weekend (held over the same course) earlier this year was the the crowd favourite.
The ladies race was distinctly lacking in quality, which was a suprise as I had imagined that a few athletes looking to pick up KPR points might have turned up – but it wasn’t to be and the only real class act on show was Kristen Moeller, who had also won IMUK and held the Ironman circuit run leg world record.
Out of the swim then Jurkiewicz and Simon came making the waves look easy as they scored very impressive times – however the bike course was all about Farlow who was an incredible 12 minutes quicker than his nearest rival coming into T2. The run then developed into a bit of a classic and our very own ‘iron-war’ for these shores. Mile by mile Jurkiewicz inched closer to Farlow whose legs just ran out of steam. In the last 50 metres of a 140.6 mile race, unbelievably Jurkiewicz took Farlow and finished down the home straight for the thrilling victory of 9:04:21. Ironman Wales will surely never have a more fantastic race than this in its debut year. Bruno Clerbout took third and first Brit male to finish was Kit Stokes (35-39) in 19th. Oliver Simon trailed in 24th.
Kristen Mueller read the script and dominated, finishing over 14 minutes ahead of second placed pro Anja Ippach in a time of 10:01:19. Best AG performance of the day goes to Stefanie Adam (30-34) who finished in a credible time of 10:40:59 but even more impressively 3rd lady.
|Kit Stokes (GB) (19th)||9:48:18||00:55:53||5:35:05||3:04:25|
|Stefanie Adam (GB 30-34)||10:40:59||00:54:18||5:47:36||3:44:30|