Bracht and Joyce Take Titles at Ironman Lanzarote

Timo Bracht of Germany and Rachel Joyce of Great Britain won Ironman Lanzarote

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Timo Bracht of Germany and Rachel Joyce of Great Britain won Ironman Lanzarote

Ironman Lanzarote took place on Saturday, May 21, 2011 in the Canary Islands—a group of volcanic islands once thought to be remnants of the lost city of Atlantis. More than 1,500 athletes from all over the world descended upon this island to participate in the 20th year of this race. More than 4,000 volunteers and thousands of spectators were also in attendance. Ironman Lanzarote awarded 55 qualifying slots to top age-group finishers and was a 1000-points qualifying race for the pros. The pro field was stacked with mostly Europeans due to Lanzarote’s close proximity to their home training grounds, making it easier and less expensive for them to chase Kona points. The day started out with cloudy skies, which was very unlike sunny Lanzarote. But the clouds started to clear just as the pros were nearing the end of the bike course, which made for a hot marathon.

Taking the titles for 2011 were German Timo Bracht and British Rachel Joyce, last year’s fifth-place finisher at the Ironman World Championship and one of Britain’s fastest triathletes. Joyce was a late edition to the Ironman.

The swim course took place at Playa Grande, Puerto del Carmen, the main tourist resort of the island. It was a two-lap-course with a short running passage between the two laps. In the men’s race, Konstantin Bachor was first out of the water with a time of 46:31, followed by Bracht with a swim split of 47:52. Both men headed out of T1 in that order with less than 30 seconds between them. On the women’s side, first out of the water in under 53 minutes was Joyce who led the way out of T1. Also coming in around the 53-minute mark was Kate Bevilaqua with a time of 53:24 and Heidi Jesberger, 53:41.  But in T1, women jockeyed for second and third position. Out of T1 were Stefanie Adam and Nicole Woysch in second and third, respectively.

The bike course took athletes all over the island and included 2,551 meters of climbing. It has a notorious reputation for strong winds and challenging terrain. For the men, Bachor was able to hang onto his lead, but Bracht was right behind coming into T2. Bachor’s bike split was 4:47:28 with Bracht just 2:25 back.  For the women, Joyce held the lead but Natasha Badmann moved into second. Joyce did have a 5:10 lead coming into T2.

Athletes then ended the race on a three-loop run course over the flat seafront along the Avenida de Las Playas. The island heat was a factor. Bracht had the best run of the day with a time of 2:47:20 and was able to cross the finish line first, followed by Bachor and Esben Hovgaard. For the women, Joyce held the lead with Badmann and Adam in second and third, respectively through the first 10K. Joyce’s reputation as one of Britain’s fastest triathletes rang true, as she increased her lead and crossed the finish line in first, over 15 minutes ahead of her nearest competitor. Badmann, who suffered a terrible bike crash during the 2007 Ironman World Championship and has struggled to regain proper form, placed second. She dropped out of Ironman South Africa earlier this year. Karina Ottosen made a comeback and surged into third in the last few miles of the marathon, giving her a podium finish.

Ironman Lanzarote
May 21, 2011
Swim: 2.4 miles, Bike: 112 miles, Run: 26.2 miles

Men’s Results:

1. Timo Bracht, 8:30:34
2. Konstantin Bachor, 8:44:06
3. Esben Hovgaard, 8:54:38
4. Joel Jameson, 9:01:49
5. Nicholas Peter Ward Muñoz, 9:02:45
Women’s Results:

1. Rachel Joyce, 9:28:12
2. Natasha Badmann, 9:43:39
3. Karina Ottosen, 10:10:14
4. Emma Ruth Smith, 10:31:07
5. Angela Niklaus, 10:34:04

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