IRONMAN AUSTRALIA RESULTS 2011
The Ironman Australia results 2011 feature first-time winners in both pro divisions.
Despite fears of past injuries re-occurring, Pete Jacobs and Caroline Steffen both gave outstanding performances in winning pro men and women divisions.
Going into the 26th running of the race, things were not looking that bright for Ironman Australia along with the first ever Ironman 70.3 that for the first time was running together with the Ironman.
I remember how remarkable it seemed when I first heard that China was attempting this same thing several years ago.
It seemed to me that it would take a lot of logistical planning as just putting on an Ironman is a big task.
Anyway it seemed to organizers that the rain would never stop and it made even the pre-race activities a challenge.
To top that off, Craig Alexander dropped out at the last minute. It’s not the first time that has happened. He was also a much anticipated entry in the Ironman Calgary 70.3(where I call home)a few years ago and he never showed up.
However there was still a very strong field on hand for Ironman Australia 2011 in both the men’s and women’s division.
PRO WOMEN PRE-RACE FAVORITES
Caroline Steffen went into the race in fine form. Caroline calls Australia her second home as she spends most of her time on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland even though she is Swiss.
It seems to be the way of things this year that the athletes who have had solid, or in a case like Caroline, exceptional seasons the year before, are having great results in 2011.
The Ironman is a natural progression when you are an elite swimmer and professional cyclist going into the sport.
No doubt these skills were instrumental in getting her a second place finish in Kona last year. Not to shabby when the only one to beat you is Mirinda Carfrae.
Caroline also won several 70.3 races in 2010.
Her main competition going into the race was expected to come from some exceptional home town triathletes Amelia Pearson, Nicole Ward, and Kirsten Molloy.
PRO MEN PRE-RACE FAVORITES
It’s sure hard not to expect great things from someone who has won Ironman Australia 4 times already. Patrick Vernay who hails from New Caledonia will be attempting his fifth win on Sunday at Port Macquarie.
Although he will not have to contend with Craig Alexander who cancelled at the last minute, there are still some very capable Australians who were sure to challenge him for top spot.
Courtney Ogden had a stellar 2010 season with a win at Ironman Western Australia and a second at Ironman Coeur d’Alene.
Pete Jacobs went into the race looking for his first Ironman win after placing second in three Ironman races.
He’s a great swimmer and would not be a surprise to see him first out of the water, but better yet, he ran a 2:41 marathon in Kona and only Dave Scott and Mark Allen have been faster.
However the Ironman can sniff out an injury just like the foot injury Pete has so time will tell if he will hold up.
It would be no surprise to see Scott Curry from Canada take the lead in the bike.
Ultimately it seemed that going into the race Ironman Australia results 2011 for the men would be decided by whoever could maintain a torrid pace in the marathon and not crack under the intense pressure that comes with a field of this caliber.
As expected Pete Jacobs demolished the field in the swim and came out of the water with almost a 3 minute lead over Adam Holbrow.
Patrick Vernay was nowhere to be seen in the top ten men coming out of the water.
THE TOP FIVE MEN IN THE SWIM
Pete Jacobs.................0:46:29 Adam Holborow...............0:49:10 Robert Hurley...............0:49:11 Christopher Mumme...........0:49:11 Scott Neyedli...............0:49:11
Peter Jacobs was strong in the early going on the bike and at just over the 50k mark held almost a 3 minute lead over the chasers. Among those chasing was Patrick Vernay who seemed to be conserving his energy.
By the 90k turn-around Vernay was in fourth, but still just less than 3 and half minutes behind the Peter Jacobs the leader.
Mitch Anderson, an age-grouper was in second place in the bike followed closely by Adam Holbrow. There were less than 3 minutes behind the leader and you still get the feeling that the real race for the men would really start when they got off their bikes.
Things are really happening in the second leg of the bike. Pete Jacobs is still in the lead by just over 3 minutes but it is age-grouper Mitch Anderson who has taken over second all by himself as Adam Holborow drops back and is behind by over 7 minutes.
Patrick Vernay is falling back as well at the 110k mark but fights his way back into third at 125k. Perhaps the biggest surprise of all is that Canadian Scott Curry cannot catch up to the leaders as he falls 14 minutes behind.
At the start of the marathon it’s a bit of a surprise that Peter Jacobs has a lead of over three minutes on Mitch Anderson and over 11 minutes on 4-time winner Patrick Vernay. Dam Holborow goes into the run 14 minutes back in fourth.
There has been no sign at over 30k in the run that Pete Jacobs has injury issues coming back to haunt him, however Patrick Vernay is showing his championship form and has closed 4 minutes on Peter and is only 8 minutes behind at 33k.
The question was at this point whether Peter Jacobs would falter or not. If he did just a little there no doubt that Vernay was ready to pounce.
Peter Jacobs does hang on for his very first Ironman victory. He stayed strong through the bike and run and nobody was able to catch him and he finishes first in the Ironman Australia results 2011.
Here are the top ten finisher and there were some amazing races.
Of course Peter had a great race as did Patrick Vernay who now has 4 first place finishes and 1 second place finish in 5 years. Amazing.
Speaking of amazing, how about Jason Shortis who came out of nowhere to capture third place. At 40 years old no less.
Then there was age-grouper Mitch Anderson who is an age-grouper and finished 7th over-all. Good for him. What a great race.
TOP MEN IRONMAN AUSTRALIA RESULTS 2011
PETE JACOBS....................8:29:00 PATRICK VERNAY.................8:35:14 JASON SHORTIS..................8:45:43 SCOTT NEYEDLI..................8:46:53 COURTNEY OGDEN.................8:49:38 LUKE WHITMORE..................8:54:35 MITCH ANDERSON.................8:55:53 SCOTT CURRY....................9:06:07 BEN ORR........................9:06:50 LEIGH CHAPMAN..................9:08:27
THE TOP FIVE WOMEN IN THE SWIM
Amelia Pearson.................0:49:46 Caroline Steffen...............0:50:35 Kirsten Molloy.................0:51:27 Nicole Ward....................0:54:05 Cassandra Percival.............0:55:12
No real surprises in the swim for the women. You just get the feeling early on that Caroline was on top of her game and would be hard to beat on this day.
That’s exactly how the race for the women began to unfold as she held almost a 5 minute lead at the 50k mark of the bike.
The race for the women was not nearly as close as the men as Caroline began to really pull away at the end of the first lap. Not only did she have a lead of over 10 minutes, she was in 15th place over-all in the race. What a great race she is having.
The Ironman being the Ironman, Caroline has a flat tire and gives the rest of the pro women an opportunity to catch up a little, however her lead was so large it will probably not matter all that much in the end.
That’s how things appear to be playing out at the beginning of the marathon. Despite the flat Caroline has a 10 minute lead over Amelia Pearson and was well on her way to top spot on the podium in the Ironman Australia results 2011.
Despite “two” flats and not one and a foot injury that flared up Caroline ends up winning by almost 10 minutes. She even had to battle through moments of the run when things got tough but still she fought gamely to the finish. A very brave performance.
TOP FOUR WOMEN IN THE IRONMAN AUSTRALIA RESULTS 2011
CAROLINE STEFFEN..................9:29:54 AMELIA PEARSON....................9:38:23 KIRSTEN MOLLOY....................9:43:55 NICOLE WARD.......................9:49:23
There are several age-group results that really should be noted.
How about Ben O’Neill winning the 18-24 age-group in 10:13:28 and Jessica Simpson of New South Wales coming in first in the 18-24 age-group in a time of 10:33:14? What a great future these triathletes have.
They won’t even hit their peak of endurance for over a decade.
Just can’t say enough about Mitch Anderson who goes in under 9 hours as an age-grouper. Then there is Chris Southwell (NSW) who has an amazing 9:22:21 time in the 45-49 age-group. He’ll never get old.
The ironman indeed seems to know no age barriers as Christopher Domoney (GBR) showed us with his 11:42:38 time in the 60-64 age-group. That is a stunning performance any time and Christopher did it on a very tough day out there.
Then there wasGeoffrey Thorsen (NSW) 12:59:42 in the 65-69 age-group and Karl Mckinlay of Victoria in 14:27:24.
At 62-years-old I feel young and inspired by performances like Bruce Higginbotham (NSW) 14:54:52 in the 70-74 age-group and Garth Barfoot (NZL) who has an Ironman time of 16:39:11. WOW! All I can say to all these age-group winners is GO TO KONA.
Go to the greatest Ironman race in the world because you have earned the right. Go to enjoy it or to compete head on with the best in the world in your age-group, but just go because it’s an amazing opportunity.
Congratulations to all the first-timers who earned their place in the Ironman Australia results 2011.
Check out Ironman.com archives for full race results.