2010 Ford Ironman World Championship – Sport Photographer

This past week the athletes were acclimating themselves to the Kailuna-Kona humidity and reviewing the areas in which they were going to compete. It was very inspiring to see runners, bikers and swimmers everywhere that I gathered up the courage to run along side a small crowd of athletes for part of my 6 mile run one morning. That only lasted only about 2 minutes for me, but hey, at least I can say I ran with some future Ironman Athletes BUT I needed to save my strength for the big day!

Now, on to the winners of the 2010 Ford Ironman World Championship Saturday, Oct. 9, 2010 in Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i

Two Australian’s claimed the Ironman Championship Saturday: Chris “Macca” McCormack and Mirinda Carfrae. McCormack added a second World Championship title to his name when he finished in 8:10:37 (2007 was his first). Carfrae secured her first Ironman title crossing the finish at 8:58:36, the fourth-fastest women’s time ever set in Kona!

There was an impressive line up for the men’s division including two-time defending champion, Craig Alexander (AUS), Chris Lieto (USA), Andreas Raelert (DEU), Marino Vanhoenacker (BEL) and Raynard Tissink (ZAF). Andy Potts (USA) came out of the water first, but Lieto, Andreas Bocherer (DEU) and Maik Twelsiek (DEU) caught up in the bike ride and built a gap on the men’s faster runners. McCormack took the lead 11-and-a-half miles into the run, and although Raelert caught up from miles 22 to 25, they were side-be-side the last few miles. McCormack kicked in a last minute surge for the win. (See photo below.) Although Craig Alexander posted the second-fastest run split of the day, he could not make up his deficit from the bike.

2010 Ford Ironman World Championship

2010 Ford Ironman World Championship

2010 Ford Ironman World Championship

Men’s Results:

1. Chris McCormack, AUS, 8:10:37 (pictured above)

2. Andreas Raelert, DEU, 8:12:17

3. Marino Vanhoenacker, BEL, 8:13:14

4. Craig Alexander, AUS, 8:16:53

5. Raynard Tissink, ZAF, 8:20:11

Last year’s runner-up, Mirinda Carfrae (pictured below) dominated a women’s field that included Ironman 70.3 World Champion, Julie Dibens, Virginia Berasategui (ESP), Caroline Steffen (AUS) and Rachel Joyce (GBR). Joyce was out of the water first, Dibens caught up and was in the lead from mile 12 throughout the 112-mile course. Carfrae was 11 minutes behind when she entered the second transition. Sshe then ran her way to the lead by mile 16 and set a new run-course record of 2:53:32 in the process. Switzerland’s Karin Thuerig, the 49th woman out of the water, finished the bike in 4:48:22, breaking Paula Newby-Fraser’s 1993 record by eight seconds and finishing sixth overall.

2010 Ford Ironman World Championship

Women’s Results:

1. Mirinda Carfrae, AUS, 8:58:36 (pictured above)

2. Caroline Steffen, AUS, 9:06:00

3. Julie Dibens, GBR, 9:10:04

4. Virginia Berasategui, ESP, 9:16:47

5. Rachel Joyce, GBR, 9:18:48

A few Stats:

Close to 1,800 athletes competed and represented 45 countries and nearly all 50 states
The Ford Ironman World Championship consists of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile run
This year’s event too place on the Big Island of Hawai’i
Competitors ages ranged from 19 to 80 years old
The Emmy Award-winning Ford Ironman World Championship broadcast will air on NBC on Dec. 18, 2010, from 4 – 6 p.m. EST
Check local listings and ironman.com for details.
Visit www.ironman.com for complete coverage and results