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Kirill Kotsegarov (EST) and Carrie Lester (AUS) fought off competitive professional fields as each claimed victories at the Ironman Chattanooga triathlon with times of 8:08:32 and 8:56:00, respectively. Kotsegarov took the title after an exhilarating sprint to the finish line, winning by just two seconds while Lester out-biked and out-ran her competition for a well-deserved win.
Read the race recap from Ironman below:
The men’s race was a spectacular show of talent ending in a sprint to the finish among the top three professional athletes. The day began with a point-to-point swim in the Tennessee River with Balazs Csoke (HUN) first out of the water in 40:48. Eric Limkemann (USA), Matt Chrabot (USA) and Alberto Casadei (ITA) were next to hit the exit at Ross’s Landing, just seconds after the leader.
Once on the bike Limkemann, TJ Tollakson (USA) and Chrabot forged to the front early. Rider positions were shuffled nearing the end of the bike course with Limkemann dismounting his bike with a 90 second lead over Karl-Johan Danielsson (SWE) Stefan Schmid (DEU) Kirill Kotsegarov (EST), Tollakson and Chrabot. With the first six men off the bike all within 1:48 of each other, it was a forgone conclusion there were going to be fireworks in the men’s race.
Nearing the first half of the marathon, Chrabot caught Limkemann and eventually distanced himself from the early leader. Behind the pair, Kotsegarov and Schmid were running in third and fourth a minute and a half back. With three miles to go, Chrabot, Kotsegarov and Schmid were running shoulder to shoulder. Nearing the finish line, Kotsegarov and Chrabot dropped Schmid and the pair were left to sprint it out for the win within the finish line chute. Kotsegarov put in a final surge at the end to capture the win by less than two seconds over a diving Chrabot. Schmid was third, a mere eight seconds after Kotsegarov.
The women’s race began with Anna Cleaver (USA) leading Christina Jackson (USA) out of the water by eight seconds. Over a minute and half back were Katy Blakemore (USA), Darbi Roberts (USA), Kathryn Thomas (USA) and Carrie Lester (AUS).
Lester proved to be the strongest on the bike and continued on to record the fastest bike split of the day in 5:01:16. She managed to carry advantages of over seven minutes on Bree Wee (USA) and Cleaver racing into T2.
Once out on the run Lester pulled away from the field, holding a 15 minute leading margin at one point in the race. Behind her, Lisa Roberts (USA) was laying down the fastest run time of the day and making her way through the field. Lester would claim the title with an 8:56:00 finish time and a 12:47 winning margin over Roberts, while Kim Schwabenbauer (USA) would finish third with a time of 9:14:11.
Chattanooga, Tenn. – Sept. 27, 2015
2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run
1. Kirill Kotsegarov (EST) 8:08:32
2. Matt Chrabot (USA) 8:08:34
3. Stefan Schmid (GER) 8:08:40
4. Eric Limkemann (USA) 8:12:59
5. Esben Hovgaard (DEN) 8:15:56
1. Carrie Lester (AUS) 8:56:00
2. Lisa Roberts (USA) 9:08:46
3. Kim Schwabenbauer (USA) 9:14:11
4. Bianca Steurer (AUT) 9:18:17
5. Bree Wee (USA) 9:19:41