As Ironman Texas 2012 prepares to get under-way it looks like it could be a typical hot and windy day out on the course.
The one-loop 2.4 mile swim will take place in Lake Woodlands and will lead the triathletes into the 112-mile bike course that takes part in the rolling foothills of East Texas.
The entire marathon is within the Woodlands with a great finish area awaiting the triathletes on Waterway Ave.
It’s a very strong field of pro on hand for Ironman Texas.
One of the pre-race favorites is Jordan Rapp who I watched cross the Ironman Canada 2011 finish line with an incredible effort after almost being killed in a hit-and-run accident in 2010.
Rapp will be up against Rasmus Henning, Paul Amey, Balazs Csoke, and Mathias Hecht. Mathias Hecht could win this race on the strength of his biking talent, but time will tell.
He goes out very fast and could be run down in the marathon.
Jordan Rapp USA Rasmus Henning DNK Paul Amey GBR Jozsef Major HUN Mathias Hecht SUI Torsten Abel GER Christian Brader GER Balazs Csoke HUN Matthew Russell USA Justin Daerr USA Patrick Evoe USA Kevin Taddonio USA Jonathan Shearon USA Jim LaMastra USA Brandon Marsh USA Erich Kunz SUI Mike Schifferle SUI Mac Brown USA Robert Wade IRL Benoit Bourguet BEL Scott DeFilippis USA Anthony Toth CAN Sergio Quezada MEX Olly Piggin NZL Richard Wygand BRA Jesse Vondracek USA Eneko Elosegui ESP Thomas Gerlach USA Joe Umphenour USA Pedro Gomes PRT
For the women, I just have to go with Mary Beth Ellis who was simply amazing in 2011 when she won Ironman Austria, Regensburg, and Canada with less than 2 months separating all three victories.
Mary Beth will have her sights set on gaining valuable Kona points early this year so she can avoid the heroic last-ditch effort she went though last year in order to qualify for the World Championships. By the time she reached Hawaii she was pretty much out of energy.
Her biggest challenges in today’s race will most likely come from Amy Marsh, Caitlin Snow and Christie Sym.
Mary Beth Ellis USA Amy Marsh USA Caitlin Snow USA Tami Ritchie USA Sarah Piampiano USA Charisa Wernick USA Corinne Abraham GBR Kathleen Calkins USA Jackie Pearce CAN Caroline Gregory USA Sandra Soldan BRA Stephanie Jones USA Christie Sym AUS
It was Brandon Marsh leading the way in the swim with Rasmus Henning drafting along on his heels. Ultimately it was Joe Umhenour who would complete the swim course first.
Many of the top pros seemed content to just take it easy in the swim and the bike course is very fast and the more energy they can save the better.
Umphenour, Joe................00:48:4 Marsh, Brandon................00:48:48 Csoke, Balazs.................00:48:50 Hecht, Mathias................00:48:54 Henning, Rasmus...............00:48:55 Abel, Torsten.................00:51:11 Quezada, Sergio...............00:53:29 Lamastra, Jim.................00:53:31 Gomes, Pedro..................00:53:31 Rapp, Jordan..................00:53:36
Mary Beth Ellis led a group of four pro women out of the water. She loves to race from the front and it will be interesting to see if that happens in Texas.
Ellis, Mary Beth..............00:53:32 Ritchie, Tami.................00:53:33 Marsh, Amy....................00:53:33 Soldan, Sandra................00:53:37 Snow, Caitlin.................00:55:32 Sym, Christie.................00:59:09 Wernick, Charisa..............00:59:11 Gregory, Caroline.............01:02:55 Piampiano, Sarah..............01:03:13 Abraham, Corinne..............01:04:06
It was Rasmus Henning and Mathias Hecht leading the way on the bike. It would be no surprise to see Mathias Hecht pull away before the bike leg is over as he is most likely the strongest cyclist in the field.
According to race spotters they appear to be pacing each other. It’s a good tactic to keep the chasers at bay.
The same is happening for the women as true to form, Mary Beth Ellis is out front being paced by Amy Marsh.
The big running threat is Caitlin Snow, so you can bet the bike leaders will be trying to put some distance between themselves and Caitlin.
By the half-way point in the bike Mathias Hecht is in front by almost six minutes.
Henning is second Umphenour is third, and Jordan Rapp is back in fourth.
For the pro women it was Amy Marsh and Mary Beth Ellis in front by almost nine minutes back to Christie Sym who was in third.
Mary Beth and Amy Marsh finish the bike course in 4:45:52.
At the bike finish Mathias Hecht had a commanding 11-minute lead over Jordan Rapp.
PRO MALE LEADERS AT BIKE/RUN TRANSITION
5:09:05 Hecht, Mathias WILLISAU LUC SWI 5:21:33 Rapp, Jordan THOUSAND O CA USA 5:21:41 Henning, Rasmus HILLEROED DNK 5:26:35 Major, Jozsef SCOTTSDALE AZ USA 5:26:36 Marsh, Brandon AUSTIN TX USA
Early in the run it is Mathias Hecht leading the way. Henning is second and Jordan Rapp is in third place.
As expected Mary Beth has charged to the front and the race is basically hers to win as her pace is nothing short of electrifying in the early stages of the race considering the heat.
Amy Marsh has lots of experience and knows her pacing well and closes within within two minutes of Ellis, but Mary Beth once again picked up the pace and at mile 13 stretched the lead back out to 2:20.
Jordan Rapp has worked his way into second place and passed Rasmus Henning to take over second place and now Rapp will attempt to chase down Mathias Hecht.
Jordan Rapp has taken over the lead at mile 14 from Matias Hecht and begins to widen the gap.
At mile-18 Rapp has built up a lead of 3:28 on Mathis Hecht.
Nearing the end of the race Jordan Rapp continues to hold a commanding lead in the race and is on his way to victory.
Jordan Rapp wins Ironman Texas in a time of 8:10:43.
Justin Daerr had an amazing marathon to finish in second place.
Mathias Hecht finished in third place.
Mary Beth Ellis continues to lead the race for the pro women and is taking a run at the course record.
Mary Beth is the winner of Ironman Texas and sets a new course record.
Time is not official yet but it is a record by several minutes.
Caitlin Snow has a sensational marathon and came from 25 minutes back off the bike to take second place.
Still waiting for official splits but it seems that Caitlin ran around a 2:53 marathon which would be about 3rd fastest of the day including pro men and women.
Wow! It was a 2:51:47 clocking for Caitlin’s marathon and it is third fastest of the day.
Amy marsh finishes in third place.
TOP TEN PRO MEN
Rapp, Jordan USA 00:53:36 04:25:43 02:46:55 08:10:44 Daerr, Justin USA 00:55:27 04:33:51 02:48:33 08:22:15 Hecht, Mathias SWI 00:48:54 04:18:17 03:11:29 08:22:58 Major, Jozsef USA 00:59:16 04:24:54 02:57:30 08:27:19 Marsh, Brandon USA 00:48:48 04:35:39 03:01:02 08:30:18 Umphenour, Joe USA 00:48:48 04:40:21 03:01:46 08:36:19 Henning, Rasmus DNK 00:48:55 04:30:55 03:13:36 08:37:23 Brader, Christian DEU 00:59:19 04:33:32 03:01:53 08:39:07 Russell, Matthew USA 01:04:47 04:39:52 02:53:25 08:42:50 Gomes, Pedro USA 00:53:31 04:38:48 03:07:54 08:44:53
TOP TEN PRO WOMEN
Ellis, Mary Beth USA 00:53:32 04:45:52 03:11:09 08:54:58 Snow, Caitlin USA 00:55:32 05:08:54 02:51:46 09:01:32 Marsh, Amy USA 00:53:33 04:45:51 03:20:13 09:04:00 Abraham, Corinne GBR 01:04:06 05:08:21 03:01:50 09:18:39 Wernick, Charisa USA 00:59:11 05:07:33 03:16:28 09:27:43 Piampiano, Sarah USA 01:03:13 05:09:00 03:30:18 09:47:38 Sym, Christie AUS 00:59:09 04:58:48 03:53:01 09:55:56 Gregory, Caroline USA 01:02:55 05:29:01 03:31:32 10:07:47 Pearce, Jackie USA 01:11:33 05:15:30 03:36:28 10:09:39 Ritchie, Tami USA 00:53:33 05:48:25 03:42:19 10:30:05