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Defending champion Chris McDonald (AUS) and two-time Ironman Louisville winner Nina Kraft (GER) battled the August heat to claim victories at the 2014 Ironman Louisville triathlon presented by Norton Sports Health. McDonald earned his fourth overall victory in Louisville (2007, 2011, 2013) with a time of 8:40:51, while Kraft posted a winning time of 9:31:19 for her third victory (2009, 2011).
Read the recap from Ironman below:
New Zealand’s Guy Crawford led the swim, exiting first from the water with McDonald close behind him. Through transition and onto the bike, McDonald used his familiarity with the course to his advantage and powered ahead to the front of the race—where he sat in second, behind Crawford, for the remainder of the ride with Thomas Gerlach (USA) and Patrick Evoe (USA) close behind. On the run, the father of three-week-old twins, showed why he’s won this race three times before—using his experience to stay at the front of the pack. Last year’s runner-up Evoe made an early move into first, passing McDonald, but as Crawford began to fade, McDonald stayed strong and took the lead at mile eight. McDonald and Gerlach battled to the finish line, with McDonald running a 3:08 marathon to capture his fourth Ironman Louisville title. Evoe would round out the podium in third.
Kraft displayed her swim dominance early on, pulling ahead of defending champion Kate Bevilaqua (AUS), who exited the water only a minute behind Kraft. On the bike, it was all Kraft and Bevilaqua, who rode together exchanging leads all day as the rest of the field thinned out to 10 and then 20 minutes behind them. Bevilaqua led the run until about mile nine, when Kraft overtook her for good. From there, Bevilaqua faded and was passed by Jackie Arendt (USA), Molly Roohi (USA) and the fast-advancing Caroline Gregory (USA)—who used her race-best marathon (3:16) to finish third, behind Arendt. After winning the race in 2009 and 2011, Kraft returned this year and with this title became the oldest woman (at 46) to win an Ironman.
Louisville, Ky. – Aug. 24, 2014
2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run
1. Chris McDonald AUS 8:40:51
2. Thomas Gerlach USA 8:41:07
3. Patrick Evoe USA 8:49:27
4. Mike Hermanson USA 9:00:27
5. Michael Starkey USA 9:01:10
1. Nina Kraft GER 9:31:19
2. Jackie Arendt USA 9:43:25
3. Caroline Gregory USA 9:47:02
4. Molly Roohi USA 9:51:49
5. Amy Javens USA 10:07:16