Oct 15, 2013
The 2013 GoPro Ironman World Championship – Mirinda Carfrae and Frederik Van Lierde shine
The Outdoor Journal
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More than 2,000 athletes representing 52 countries vied for this year’s Ironman World Championship. One of the world’s toughest endurance events, it’s the culmination of 30 global Ironman competitions
It was a record-setting day at the 2013 GoPro Ironman World Championship for Mirinda Carfrae (Aus) who was crowned champion for the second-time (she had won the championship before in 2010). Frederik Van Lierde (Bel) improved his third-place performance from a year ago to earn his first men’s World Championship title (he’s also won the Nice Ironman in France three times in a row since 2011). Carfrae set a new women’s course record with a blistering time of 8:52:14 (previous best was Chrissie Wellington of Great Britain, who’d set the record back in 2009 clocking 8:54:02), while Van Lierde was steady throughout the day recording 8:12:29, the eighth fastest course time in Ironman World Championship’s history.
With American Olympic swimmer Andy Potts pulling out on the race morning due to a nagging nerve injury, the first part was wide open for Australian super-swimmers like defending champion Pete Jacobs, who headed onto the bike course first.
Andrew Starykowicz (USA), a Kona rookie whose 04:04 bike split from Florida last year is the fastest in Ironman history, overtook Jacobs almost immediately. While Starykowicz was able to hold his lead for the majority of the biking section, Australia’s Luke McKenzie overtook the American, and the rest of this course became a cat and mouse game between the two strong cyclists. Starykowicz headed into the second transition barely a minute ahead of McKenzie, clocking the fastest bike split of the day- 04:21:50.
McKenzie held onto his lead until mile 17 of the run. That’s when fast runner Frederik Van Lierde, patiently waiting for his turn, made his move and overtook the Australian to be crowned the 2013 GoPro Ironman World Champion. 34 years old Van Lierde broke through a six-year Australian winning streak (Pete Jacobs in 2012, Craig Alexander in 2008, 2009 and 2011 and Chris McCormack in 2007 and 2010) as the hard-working competitor benefited from unflinching strategy that eventually delivered him into the lead over an incredibly competitive field (of the likes of defending champion Pete Jacobs and Andrew Starykowicz).
Two minutes ahead of Chrissie Wellington’s record (UK), Mirinda Carfrae soared across the finish line teary eyed and with a leap into her fiancé’s arms (fifth-place pro Tim O’Donnell from the US). Carfrae set a new record as well as the third-fastest overall run split of the day, 02:50:38.
Top 3 men finishers:
|1.||Frederik Van Lierde||Belgium||00:51:02||04:25:35||02:51:18||08:12:29|
Top 3 women finishers:
|2.||Rachel Joyce||Great Britain||00:54:09||04:55:25||03:03:37||08:57:28|
|3.||Liz Blatchford||Great Britain||00:54:07||04:57:40||03:03:23||09:03:35|
ABOUT THE RACE:
The GoPro Ironman World Championship triathlon consists of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile run. The race is an annual event held in Kona, Hawaii. Competitors ranging from 18-81years. It’s one of the toughest Ironman race because of the heat and the winds. The swim starts and finishes at Kailua Pier. The bike takes cyclists through the lava fields of the Kona and Kohala Coasts and the run course travels through Kailua-Kona. The race offers a professional prize purse of $650,000 (4,00,00,000 INR) as well as a $20,000 (12,00,000 INR) Timex Ironman watch bonuses.
PS- Craig Alexander, three-time Kona Ironman world champion, called it shots for this competition and that 2013 was his last time competing here.
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Image © GoPro Ironman World Championship