His Serene Highness Prince Albert of Monaco started the 1,200 athletes gathered on the Larvotto Beach to participate to the 5th edition of the Monaco Ironman 70.3. Then, 82 athletes competing in the Relay Challenge started 7:15 am. The day featured nice and sunny weather, which helped create a great atmosphere for athletes and spectators alike.

In the blue, 21 degree (Celsius) waters, Axel Zeebroek left the water in pole position in 25:31. Romain Cadiere was second in 26:25. On the women’s side, Marion Lorblanchet, a young Frenchwoman, finished the swim in 28:12, in front of Daniela Sammler in 29:01 and Jeanne Collogne, who was considered one of the race favorites.

The bike race was very fast for both women and men. Olivier Marceau won a few seconds during the transition and left second behind Zeebroeke and before Cadiere. After leading the whole race in the hinterland, Axel Zeebroeke finished the bike leg in 02:29:24, followed by Michael Weiss, who raced in 02:25:47 and Hervé Banti 02:31:55. For the women, the three leaders were all from France. Marion Lorblanchet and Collogne were joined by Christel Robin at the 20th km mark. Then, after the 46 km, Robin took a lead that she would keep into T2, followed by Lorblanchet in 02:52:00 and Collogne a few seconds behind.

Then, the half marathon began. For the pro men and women the leaders of the bike lead all along the Formula 1 race circuit, leaving the rest to race for second and third. Finishing the race in 04:15:16, Zeebroeke won ahead of Michael Weiss (04:19:37). Third went to the surprising Tyler Butterfield from Bermuda in 04:20:10. Hervé BantiI from Monaco, finished in fifth place (4:20:26). Warmly welcomed with a “Happy Birthday” by the public, the speakers, the organizers and the VIPs, Robin crossed the finish line in first (4: 47: 20). Lorblanchet, competing in her first Ironman event, finished second in 04:51:59,  ahead of Collogne (4:52: 27), who made it three Frenchwoman on the podium.