RAPP AND ELLIS DOMINATE DOWNTOWN
Photo Credit: Ironman.com and FinisherPix.xom
The day started off with a down-the-Hudson swim that featured the fastest times ever seen for a 2.4 mile Ironman swim - Australia's Luke Bell was out of the water in 39:08 to lead the men's race, while American Dede Griesbauer, in her first IRONMAN race since crashing in Frankfurt over a year ago, came out of the water in a speedy 40:29.
Once on the bike, though, another Australian, Paul Ambrose, quickly took control of the men's race, riding away from the rest of the men in the field. For almost 100 miles Ambrose managed to stay in the lead. Behind him were Rapp and TJ Tollakson, followed by the rest of the contenders, who eventually were all brought together into one big group. Over the last 20 miles of the ride Rapp made his move and eventually pulled ahead of Ambrose to cruise into T2 with the lead.
Off the bike Rapp's lead was 2:29 on Ambrose, 2:34 on Tollakson, and between 8:09 and 8:45 ahead of a group that included Germans Christian Brader, Maik Twelsiek and Markus Thomschke, Switzerland's Mathias Hecht, Hungary's Joszef Major, Belgium's Bert Jammaer, Aussie Luke Bell and Hawaii's Tim Marr.
Once out on the run course Rapp put his stamp on the race. Through four miles he'd opened up a few more minutes on Tollakson and seemed to be running away from everyone in the field other than Major. The Hungarian's charge to the front stalled as the hot, humid and hilly run course started to take it's toll on all the athletes in the race - other than Rapp.
By the time he was done, Rapp was the only man to finish the marathon in under three hours - his 2:59:22 split got him to the line over 13 minutes ahead of Kriat, who was another 2:30 ahead of Major. As so many of the men wilted on the run, Canadian Trevor Wurtele ran his way to fourth, getting to the line just ahead of Thomschke.
Ellis runs to the win
For much of the ride Amy Marsh and Ellis took turns leading the way on the bike, steadily riding away from the rest of the women in the field. Over the last 10 miles of the bike, though, Marsh put in a surge to pull away from Ellis - she took a lead of just under a minute into T2 over the IRONMAN Texas champion. Behind them were Australia's Christie Sym (7:22) and Rebekah Keat (9:32), followed by American Sarah Piampiano (14:33), Heleen Bij de Vaate (15:01), Haley Cooper-Scott (15:03), Michelle Bremer (15:19) and Kate Bevilaqua (17:12).
Marsh's lead was short lived, though - it only took Ellis a few miles to move to the front. Once there, she never looked back, staying ahead right to the line and taking the U.S. title in an impressive 9:02:48. Marsh gamely hung on to second place for most of the run, only to be passed in the closing miles of the run by Keat. Fourth went to Piampiano and, as Wurtele did in the men's race, Tamara Kozulina came from seemingly nowhere to take fifth.
Lots of age group action
While the pro race was certainly one of the major draws for the event, there were over 2,500 athletes who started their day with a time-trial swim start in the Hudson River, too. Amongst that group were 940 first time athletes.
1. Jordan Rapp (USA) 8:11:18
2. Makim Kriat (UKR) 8:24:32
3. Jozsef Major (HUN) 8:27:00
4. Trevor Wurtele (CAN) 8:29:20
5. Markus Thomschke (GER) 8:30:02
1. Mary Beth Ellis (USA) 9:02:48
2. Rebekah Keat (AUS) 9:13:24
3. Amy Marsh (USA) 9:13:24
4. Sarah Piampiano (USA) 9:30:29
5. Tamara Kozulina (UKR) 9:33:23