Llanos, Morrison Take Out Defending Champs To Win Ironman Lanzarote

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Spain’s Eneko Llanos and Scotland’s Catriona Morrison beat out a tough field on rigorous course to take the 2010 Ironman Lanzarote titles. Llanos earned the win by staying in the front pack throughout the race. Morrison’s day was not quite as smooth, as she came back from a bike mechanical to take the win.

Llanos started the day on the right foot by exiting the swim in second position, only behind Belgium’s Gerrit Schellens. Once on the bike, Germany’s Maik Twelsiek went out with a hard effort on the mountainous course and charged to the lead. Twelsiek headed onto the run with a ten minute advantage over defending champion Bert Jammaer of Belgium, Llanos and Great Britain’s Philip Graves. Graves immediately withdrew from the race, leaving a three man battle for the top position. Twelsiek’s effort on the bike didn’t leave enough effort for the run as he was ran down by both Jammaer and Llanos. The winner wasn’t decided until the final miles as both Jammaer and Llanos looked to be in contention. In the end, Llanos had the staying power and crossed the finish line at 8:37:43. Jammaer finished second at 8:39:36. Twelsiek maintained a strong enough pace to finish third at 8:42:53.

Unlike the men’s race, the eventual winner did not head onto the run anywhere near the front. While Morrison comes from a duathlon background and has considered her swim to be the weakest link, she exited the swim in an impressive time of 52:38. She headed onto the bike behind American Hilary Biscay and Australian Belinda Granger. Morrison quickly made her move and charged to the front of the pack, establishing a five-minute lead in the first hour of the bike leg. Her lead was short-lived as she was forced to the side of the road with a broken chain. With Morrison on the sidelines, Canada’s Tara Norton took her turn up front and rode away from the pack. Norton headed onto the run with a 10-minute lead over second position. With the rest of the women heading onto the run course, Morrison was still finishing up the bike and was completely off of the leader board. Despite the significant gap, Morrison slowly ran down each of the women ahead of her. It was not until the final miles that everyone realized Morrison had ran her way into contention. Morrison’s 3:04:36 marathon was by far the fastest run of the women, giving her the win at 10:03:52. 25-29 age grouper Louise Collins of England had the second fastest time of the women at 10:05:21. Germany’s Nicole Woysch finished in third.

Ironman Lanzarote
Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain – May 22, 2010
2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run

1. Eneko Llanos (ESP)  8:37:43
2. Bert Jammaer (BEL) 8:39:36
3. Maik Twelsiek (GER) 8:42:53
4. Gerrit Schellens (BEL)  8:56:59
5.  Tuukka Miettinen (FIN) 8:57:17

1. Catriona Morrison (SCO) 10:03:53
2. Louise Collins (GBR)
3. Nicole Woysch (GER) 10:11:18
4. Bella Bayliss (GBR) 10:16:47
5. Tara Norton (CAN) 10:17:37

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