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The pro men kick off the action in Tempe Town Lake.
It was a beautiful day for setting records.
Brazil’s Rafael Goncalves was first out of the water in 45:31.
Eventual winner Lionel Sanders had a stellar swim for him, coming out of the water in 53:45.
American Meredith Kessler was first of the water for the pro women at 49:31.
2012 Ironman world champion Leanda Cave was third out of the water at 53:14.
The Netherlands’ Yvonne Van Vlerken on her way to a 4:40:40 bike split.
American Jessica Smith on the bike.
Kessler going for the three-peat at Ironman Arizona.
Sanders turned in a fast ride but spent most of the bike ride chasing Australia’s Cameron Wurf.
Concalves on the bike.
Sanders set himself up for the Ironman record with a stellar 4:04:38 bike split.
Kessler was first off of the bike with a 4:44:24 bike split.
Professionals must navigate their way through the age-group field on the second and third laps of the bike.
Canada’s Brent McMahon turned in the fastest Ironman debut at this race two years ago.
American TJ Tollakson has now finished on the Ironman Arizona podium five times.
Sanders quickly took over the top spot once on the marathon.
Sanders said that he was aware of the record, but had some moments in the marathon where he didn’t think it would be possible.
Slovenia’s David Plese on his way to a fourth-place finish.
Australia’s Joe Gambles finished seventh in 8:12:36.
McMahon had the fastest marathon of the day at 2:40:17.
Australia’s Cameron Wurf was first off of the bike.
Tollakson ran a 2:56:43 marathon.
Sanders averaged a 6:12 mile over the marathon.
Kessler has struggled with an injury this year but managed to make it through the marathon and earn her third-straight win here.
At one point Van Vlerken appeared to be cutting into Kessler’s lead, but her pace slowed in the final miles.
A happy Jen Annett on her way to a seventh-place finish.
Ruth Brennan Morrey posted the fastest run split of the women (2:57:45) to finish in fourth.
Americna Kelly Williamson on her way to an eighth-place finish.
Van Vlerken went on to finish second.
Sanders’ face shows the pain of the final miles of the fastest Ironman ever.
Sanders capped of his day with a 2:42:31 marathon.
The official time and a new Ironman record: 7:44:29.
It also marks the second-straight victory at Ironman Arizona for the Canadian.
McMahon had an amazing day, crossing the finish line in second at 7:50:15.
Tollakson cruises in for third, making the podium the exact same as last year.
Kessler makes it three in a row at one of her favorite races.
She crossed the line at 8:48:23.
The top two female finishers pose with the Voice of Ironman, Mike Reilly.
Photos: Paul Phillips/Competitive Image/
Lionel Sanders (CAN) and Meredith Kessler (USA) showed strength and fortitude as they battled a competitive professional field to claim victories at the 2016 Ironman Arizona triathlon. Sanders pulled off a brilliant race to end the North American season, breaking the Ironman triathlon World Record by a minute and a half with a finish time of 7:44:29. Kessler was consistent from the start line to the finish tape to claim her third win in a row at Ironman Arizona with an impressive time of 8:48:23.
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