Belgium’s Marino Vanhoenacker and Australia’s Belinda Granger turned in fast times on the bike and survived the heat on the run to take the first Ironman victories of 2010.
The day started with defending champion Luke McKenzie of Australia leading the men out of the water with a time of 49:28. Following him were Japan’s Hiroyuki Nishiuchi, France’s Romain Guillaume and Vanhoenacker. McKenzie went to work on the bike keeping a fast pace through the first 45 km. It did not turn out to be McKenzie’s day as he fell back through the pack and eventually dropped out of the race due to stomach issues. Through his Twitter McKenzie said “Sorry guys I’m out! Pretty gutted! Upset stomach on the bike. Nothing staying down!”
With McKenzie out of the race, Vanhoenacker faced little competition and posted a blazing bike time of 4:21:01. Heading onto the run with a massive lead over Guillame and Nishiuchi, Vanhoenacker’s biggest battle would be avoiding the stomach problems that plagued him in the heat of Kona. He managed to keep a steady pace throughout the entire 26.2 miles posting a 3:06:44 marathon and crossing the finish line in first at 8:22:31. Nearly a half hour later, Nisiuchi came to the finish with a time of 8:50:52 for second. While Guillaume looked to be the only athlete within striking distance of Vanhoenacker heading onto the run, he struggled in the heat and had to settle for third at 8:54:38.
American Hillary Biscay and Granger were the first women out of the water at just after 55 minutes into the race. Granger quickly went to work and ended up riding most of the bike leg by on her own up front. Once on the run, it was a matter of not blowing up in the hot and humid conditions. Granger managed a marathon time of 3:31:09, giving her an overall time of 9:23:33 and the overall win. The win is Granger’s third in a row at Ironman Malaysia. While Italy’s Edith Niederfriniger was the only runner to take time out Granger’s lead, it would not be nearly enough as Neiderfriniger came into the finish in second at 9:35:02. Despite mechanical problems on the bike, Biscay earned a podium position thanks to a time of 10:10:59.
Langkawi, Malaysia – Feb. 27, 2010
2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run
1. Marino Vanhoenacker (BEL) 8:22:31
2. Hiroyuki Nishiuchi (JPN) 8:50:52
3. Romaine Guillaume (FRA) 8:54:38
4. Justin Granger (AUS) 9:01:08
5. Andres Venhorst (NED) 9:12:03
1. Belinda Granger (AUS) 9:23:33
2. Edith Niederfriniger (ITA) 9:35:02
3. Hillary Biscay (USA) 10:10:59
4. Ariane Monteceli (BRA ) 10:15:17
5. Jocelyn Wong (USA) 10:20:32