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Jacobs and Steffen Each Win First Ironman in Australia

Jacobs had been knocking on the door after Kona last October, when he finished ninth and posted the fastest run split at 2:41.

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After a string of runner-up finishes at the distance, Australian Pete Jacobs won his first Ironman at Sunday’s Ironman Australia in Port Macquarie, New South Wales. The 29-year-old maintained his lead off the bike and won by seven minutes, with a time of 8:29:00 in sunny but windy conditions.

The noted strong swimmer took a three-minute advantage coming out of the water and never looked back, and finished the marathon with a run split of 2:58:46. Jacobs had been knocking on the door after Kona last October, when he finished ninth and posted the fastest run split at 2:41.

“That is the best swim-bike I have ever had,” Jacobs said. “I had to swim and bike hard because I haven’t run for a while with the foot injury but it held out for me.”

2008 and 2009 Ironman World Champion, heavily favored Australian Craig Alexander, dropped out on Friday due to a chest infection he couldn’t overcome in time before his first attempt at Ironman Australia, leaving the field wide open.

Fellow Australian Patrick Vernay, a four-time winner and defending champion, finished second. at 8:35:14. Forty-year-old Jason Shortis took third.

On the women’s side, Swiss national and Australian resident Caroline Steffen also took home her first victory at the Ironman distance. The runner-up to Mirinda Carfrae in Kona last year won here in 9:29:54, comfortably ahead of Australian Amelia Peterson, who took second with 9:38:23.

Steffen lost time due to two tire punctures on the bike and a difficult run.

“I hurt on the run and was going to pull out — I think I would have, but the crowds were awesome and kept me going,” Steffen said.

Ironman Australia

2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run

Men

1. Pete Jacobs – 8:29:00

2. Patrick Vernay – 8:35:14

3. Jason Shortis – 8:45:43

4. Scott Neyedl – 8:46:53

5. Courtney Ogden – 8:49:38

Women

1. Caroline Steffen – 9:29:54

2. Amelia Pearson – 9:38:23

3. Kirsten Molloy – 9:43:55

4. Nicole Ward – 9:49:23

5. Rebecca Everleigh – 10:07:57

For the first time, Ironman Australia featured a 70.3 distance, Ironman Port Macquarie. Click here for the race report.