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Tissink, Marsh Beat Out Defending Champs At Ironman Wisconsin

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South African Raynard Tissink and American Amy Marsh took Madison, Wis. by storm and earned victories in convincing fashion at the Ironman Wisconsin triathlon.

The men’s and women’s races at Ironman Wisconsin couldn’t have played out much differently on Sunday in Madison. The men’s race saw several athletes hold the lead over the 140.6 miles and ended with five men crossing the finish line within 15 minutes of the race winner, Tissink. On the women’s side, Marsh dominated from the second half of the bike, finishing 17 minutes over the second place finisher.

It was a crowded pro start in Lake Monona, as 38 professionals started the race, including 28 men and 10 women. Fighting his way first out of the pack was Germany’s Christoph Forleger at 49:09. Fellow German Christian Ritter, Americans Brandon Marsh and Will Smith, and Tissink all followed within 30 seconds of Forleger. Smith quickly found his way to the front of the pack on the bike, with Tissink sitting comfortably in second for the early miles. As the 112 miles came to an end, Australian Chris McDonald and German Konstantin Bachor joined Smith at the front of the group. Tissink headed into T2 in fourth and hot on the heels of the lead men. Smith looked to maintain his lead on the run, until he suffered a sprained ankle in the first mile, forcing him to slow up and surrender his positioning. Bachor took control of the lead with a chase pack sitting close behind. Eventually McDonald would hold the lead and looked to be on his way to defending his title. After the 10-mile marker, Tissink made his move and established himself as the leader for the first time. Tissink’s patience as the chaser throughout the day paid off as he ran a steady marathon of 3:00:50 to take the win and an overall time of 8:45:19. Ritter held off a fast-running Raimo Raudsepp of Estonia to earn second at 8:50:34. Raudsepp ran his way from sixth off of the bike to third at the finish with an overall time of 8:51:30.

Defending champ American Hillary Biscay led the women out of the swim with a time of 54:17. Although Marsh found herself nearly two minutes back of Biscay heading onto the bike, she patiently made up ground on her fellow American and passed Biscay at the 50-mile mark of the bike course. While it took Marsh nearly half of the bike to find her way to the lead, she took no time in establishing a large gap and headed off of the bike with nearly 13 minutes over Australian Ali Fitch. Marsh’s lead only grew as she posted a marathon time of 3:27:15 to earn the victory at 9:43:59. The true race of the day was for second place as the Netherlands’ Irene Kinnegim ran down Biscay in the final miles to earn second at 10:01:34. Biscay struggled to duplicate her run performance from 2008 and settled for third at 10:05:37.

Ford Ironman Wisconsin
Madison, Wis. – September 13, 2009
2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run

Men
1. Raynard Tissink (RSA) 8:45:19
2. Christian Ritter (GER) 8:50:34
3. Raimo Raudsepp (EST) 8:51:30
4. Konstantin Bachor (GER) 8:53:31
5. Chris McDonald (AUS) 8:56:47

Women
1. Amy Marsh (USA) 9:43:59
2. Irene Kinnegim (NED) 10:01:34
3. Hillary Biscay (USA) 10:02:58
4. Ariane Monticeli (BRA) 10:05:37
5. Ali Fitch (AUS) 10:09:29