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Raelert, Carfrae Use Bike And Run Speed To Win Ironman 70.3 California

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Germany’s Michael Raelert and Australia’s Mirinda Carfrae shocked the field by posting strong bike splits on a windy day at Oceanside. Raelert started the half marathon with no one to catch, while Carfrae found herself in the lead less than a mile onto the run. The two used their dominant running legs to take the wins.

The Men

American Kyle Leto started the morning off with a swim time of 22:37. Right on his heels were Germany’s Michael Raelert at 22:38 and Australia’s Richie Cunningham at 22:47. Defending champion Matt Reed of the United States was right with the leaders thanks to a swim time of 22:49. Last year Reed was forced to overcome a nearly three-minute deficit heading onto the bike due to an asthma attack he suffered on the swim.

Once on the bike the athletes faced ripping winds.  Trek/K-Swiss teammates American Andrew Yoder and Raelert surged to the front. Eventually Yoder used his cycling skills to create a gap on the Camp Pendleton hills. As the leaders approached the final 10 miles Raelert surprised everyone and broke off the front. Raelert headed onto the run with a gap of more than two minutes over Yoder.  Austria’s Michael Weiss and Reed followed into T2 third and fourth. Raelert ran a half marathon of 1:17:15 to take the win at 3:58:27. Reed ran his way to second for a time of 4:01:17, with Rasmus Henning close behind at 4:02:07.

The Women

Great Britain’s Leanda Cave found herself in a familiar position as the first woman out of the water. She headed into T1 seconds ahead of Australia’s Pip Taylor and the United States’ Kelly Williamson. 2009 Ironman 70.3 California champion Mirinda Carfrae of Australia headed out onto the bike less than two minutes behind Cave. Once on the bike, Cave and Taylor worked together in an effort to maintain a lead over the chasing cyclists. While Carfrae usually waits for the run to make her move, she found her way to the front group in the middle of the bike. Cave headed into T2 with Carfrae only seconds behind. McGlone was hot on Carfrae’s heels and it was clear the race would come down to a foot race.

While many of the women went back and forth, trading places throughout the third leg, Carfrae pulled away with every step and crossed the line in 4:20:29.  She broke her own run course record by nearly three minutes (1:17:34) and ran only 19 seconds slower than Raelert did today.  Leslie Patterson also broke the old run course record with a 1:18:28 split and 4:24:31 finishing time. Sam McGlone was third in 4:26:43.

Ironman 70.3 California
March 27, 2010 – Oceanside, Calif.
1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run

1. Michael Raelert (GER) 3:58:27
2. Matt Reed (USA) 4:01:17
3. Rasmus Henning (DEN) 4:02:07
4. Richie Cunningham (AUS) 4:03:02
5. Tim O’Donnell (USA) 4:03:21


1. Mirinda Carfrae (AUS) 4:20:29
2. Lesley Paterson (GBR) 4:24:31
3. Samantha McGlone (CAN) 4:26:43
4. Leanda Cave (GBR) 4:29:56
5. Kate Major (AUS) 4:30:15