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Sturla, Griesbauer Dominate Ironman Brazil

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Written by: Liz Hichens

Argentina’s Eduardo Sturla defended his title, while American Dede Griesbauer earned her second Ironman title at Sunday’s Ironman Brazil.

In many Ironman events, the winners take the title by coming from behind and posting the fastest run split. This was not the case at this year’s Ironman Brazil. Both Argentina’s Eduardo Sturla and the United States’ Dede Griesbauer punished their competition on the bike and never had to look back once on the run. Both also performed well in all three disciplines to post blazing overall times in wet and windy conditions, with Sturla finishing in 8:13:39 and Griesbauer finishing in 9:10:15.

Brazil’s Frederico Monteiro led the men into T1 with a fast swim time of 47:08. Fellow Brazilians Reinaldo Colucci and Fabio Carvalho followed him about 30 seconds later. A big pack, which included Sturla, headed out of the swim nearly two minutes back of the leaders. Sturla quickly used his cycling power to find his way to the front of the field. Colucci recognized the need to try to keep the Argentinean from getting away. Sturla and Colucci rode within seconds of each other and quickly opened up a gap on the rest of the field. At almost exactly the 100-mile mark of the bike, Sturla broke away from Colucci and the young star had no response. Over the last 12 miles of the bike, Sturla managed to build nearly a five-minute lead. Once on the run, Sturla never looked back as his lead only grew. The defending champ reclaimed his title by crossing the finish line at 8:13:39. Colucci managed to keep the faster runners behind him and finished second at 8:28:08. The Czech Republic’s Petr Vabrousek rounded out the podium at 8:37:18.

Another Brazilian, Carla Moreno, led the women out of the water with a time of 51:26. Griesbauer was close on her heels with a time of 51:32. Once on the bike, Griesbauer quickly passed Moreno and didn’t have to contend with anyone the rest of the day, winning with a time of 9:10:15. Denmark’s Charlotte Kolters put herself in a similar position, finding second place early on the bike and holding it all the way to finish line with a time of 9:18:31. American Heather Gollnick, an Ironman veteran, also held her position off of the bike, finishing in third with a time of 9:31:42. Canadian Sara Gross earned her fourth place finish in a much different fashion, running a 3:16:59 to go from 10th off of the bike to fourth at 9:44:46.

Ironman Brazil
Florianopolis Island, Brazil
May 31, 2009
2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run

Men (Swim, Bike, Run, Total)
1. Eduardo Sturla (ARG) 00:49:50    04:23:35    02:58:02    08:13:39
2. Reinaldo Colucci (BRA) 00:47:47     04:31:14    03:07:14    08:28:08
3. Petr Vabrousek (CZE)    00:53:48    04:41:32    02:59:39    08:37:18
4. Ezequiel Morales (    ARG)    00:53:33    04:49:30    02:53:55    08:39:01
5. Raul Furtado (BRA) 00:51:32    04:43:29    03:16:01    08:53:20

Women (Swim, Bike, Run, Total)
1. Dede Griesbauer (USA)    00:51:32    04:59:23    03:17:04    09:10:15
2. Charlotte Kolters (DEN)    00:53:53    05:02:08    03:19:41    09:18:31
3. Heather Gollnick (USA)    00:56:38    05:08:09    03:24:07    09:31:42
4. Sara Gross (CAN)    00:56:56    05:28:11    03:16:59    09:44:46
5. Ana Borba (BRA) 00:55:30    05:15:23    03:38:54    09:52:29

For complete results click here.

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