Australia’s Joe Gambles turned in an impressive performance to win in his first attempt at the Ironman distance in record-breaking fashion, while Ironman veteran Gina Crawford dominated the bike to earn another long-distance victory.
American John Flanagan found his usual spot out front of the swim and headed into T1 with a dominating time of 44:56. Nearly five minutes passed before there was any sign of the second fastest swimmer. The United States’ Brandon Marsh, France’s Romain Guillaume and a large chase pack eventually made way their way into transition and went to work to catch Flanagan. Flanagan struggled on the bike, turning in a lackluster 5:11:45 bike split. With Flanagan out of the picture. Guillaume and Germany’s Konstantin Bachor took charge at the front. Gambles was on their heels until he received a penalty for crossing the center line. Bachor used the final miles to excel away from Guillaume, entering T2 with a 90 second lead. Bachor was next onto the run course and was followed by Madison-local Eric Bean. Despite the penalty, Gambles was fourth onto the run course at about 6:30 back from the leader. Bachor’s efforts on the bike proved to be too much, as he had to resort to walking only a few miles into the race. While Guillaume continued to run steady, it was Gambles who had the freshest legs. His 2:54:51 marathon earned him his first Ironman victory in 8:38:32, which is also a new course record. Guillaume earned second, with Bean earning the final podium spot.
The women’s race did not feature the same shuffling as the men’s. American Hillary Biscay, who is competing in her third iron-distance race in four weeks, was one of only two women to experience the lead on the day. Biscay exited the water in 53:26 to take the early lead. Her lead was short lived as Crawford headed into T1 less than ten seconds back of the American. With fresher legs than Biscay, Crawford quickly took the lead on the 112-mile bike ride and never looked back. She paired a 5:12:50 bike split with a 3:14:22 marathon to earn her fifth Ironman victory in 9:27:26. Germany’s Kristin Moeller ran her way from fourth off the bike to second at the finish line with a 3:00:26 marathon.
Madison, Wis. – Sept. 12, 2010
2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run
1. Joe Gambles (AUS) 8:38:32
2. Romain Guillaume (FRA) 8:49:42
3. Eric Bean (USA) 8:51:36
4. Stefan Riesen (SUI) 8:53:39
5. Blake Becker (USA) 8:55:44
1. Gina Crawford (NZL) 9:27:26
2. Kristin Moeller (GER) 9:39:43