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Australian Luke McKenzie and American Amy Marsh overcame the tough conditions of Haikou, China to take the wins at Ironman China.
The anticipated appearance of Australian Chris McCormack on the Ironman China course was short lived as the former Ironman World Champion was forced to drop out early on the bike due to stomach issues he had been suffering in the 24 hours prior to the race. With McCormack on the sidelines, it looked like it would be a wide open battle. McKenzie had other ideas as he dominated the swim in a time of 45:45. The Australian kept a steady pace through the bike and run to take the victory at 8:41:15. Hungary’s Jozsef Major came out of the water at 57:59 and had to get to work to make up the 12-minute gap McKenzie had built before Major even entered T1. In the end, that gap turned out to be too much and Major settled for second at 8:52:29. The third athlete across the line was Denmark’s Jens Groenbek at 9:17:06.
The women’s race played out on the 112-mile bike ride. Japan’s Maki Nishiuchi was the first woman out of the water at 51:17. Marsh was third into T1 and quickly made up the three-minute gap to Nishiuchi. The pair rode together through the first half of the bike ride, but Nishiuchi was unable to keep pace as conditions toughened. Marsh cycled her way to a 5:10:25 bike split, which is 16 minutes faster than any other female cyclist. Once on the run Marsh put out a steady effort, posting a 3:42:43 to earn the victory at 9:52:45. Behind her, Germany’s Nicole Leder was quickly working her way up from sixth off of the bike. In the end, Leder’s 3:20:47 marathon was enough to give her second place at 10:02:58. Germany’s Heide Jesberger posted a steady effort across swim, bike and run to earn third at 10:08:52.
March 14, 2010 – Haikou, Hainan
2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run
1. Luke McKenzie (AUS) 8:41:15
2. Jozsef Major (HUN) 8:52:29
3. Jens Groenbek (DEN) 9:17:06
4. Shingo Tani (JPN) 9:19:01
5. Mike Schifferle (SUI) 9:30:16
1. Amy Marsh (USA) 9:52:45
2. Nicole Leder (GER) 10:02:58
3. Heidi Jesberger (GER 10:08:52
4. Maki Nishiuchi (JPN) 10:21:52
5. Shiao Yu Li (TWN) 10:48:26