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The Germans dominated on home turf at today’s Ironman 70.3 European Championship in Wiesbaden. Michael Raelert’s winning time of 4:03:58, nearly three minutes ahead of runner up Bart Aernouts of Belgium, established a new course record. Beranek finished more than four minutes in front of Virginia Berasategui, who was recently fourth at the ITU Long Distance World Championship in her native Spain.
Raelert raced at the front of the race from start to finish, exiting the swim in third (21:53) but in a tight pack of 10 that included 2012 Russian Olympian Ivan Vassiliev, Stephan Poulat of France, Czech Filip Ospaly and Mark Threlfall of Great Britain. The foursome formed the lead pack in the early miles of the bike leg, with Aernouts and France’s Toumy Degham working their way to the front by the closing miles. Aernouts posted the fastest bike split of the day (2:25:12), but Raelert was still first onto the run after his 2:27:58 ride. Raelert ran away from the rest of the men’s field, running a race best 1:11:16 half marathon for the win and new course record.
Great Britain’s Jodie Swallow was the first woman out of the water, and among the top 10 overall racers onto the bike. Beranek took the lead on the bike by mile 15 and never relinquished it. She was the first into T2 after her 2:24:28 ride, a race best, with Berasategui less than three minutes back. Swallow was third onto the run, with German Julia Gajer (runner-up at July’s Ironman Frankfurt) just behind Swallow. Beranek held off runner-up Berasategui for the victory, and a hard-charging Gajer passed Swallow for third.
Ironman 70.3 European Championship
Wiesbaden, Germany – Aug. 12, 2012
1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run
1. Michael Raelert (GER) 04:03:58
2. Bart Aernouts (BEL) 4:06:28
3. Boris Stein (GER) 4:07:51
4. Toumy Degham (FRA) 4:08:12
5. Ivan Vassiliev (RUS) 4:08:36
1. Anja Beranek (GER) 4:36:09
2. Virginia Berasategui (ESP) 4:40:30
3. Julia Gajer (GER) 4:40:39
4. Jodie Swallow (GBR) 4:42:26
5. Lucy Gossage (GBR) 4:44:09