Alexander, Wellington repeat in Ironman
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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Alexander, Wellington repeat in Ironman

by Bjorn Haake at 9:02 AM EST   comments
Categories: General

Craig Alexander won the Ironman Hawaii for the second year running in the men's category, while Chrissie Wellington stormed to victory the third consecutive year in the women's race. 3.8km of ocean swimming, 180km of bike racing and a marathon run (42.195km) in the end - the athletes had their work cut out for them.

Wellington also bested the course record, set by eight-time winner Paula Newby-Fraser, by 1'26 to 8h54'02. Her dominating performance saw her win by almost 20 minutes over Mirinda Carfrae and Virginia Berasategui Luna.

Wellington was placed eighth after exiting the ocean, but used her dominating cycling style to quickly gain the lead, never relinquishing it. She finished the marathon in just over three hours.

"It was a fantastic day; I didn't expect to win by that much. I wanted to decide it on the bike and therefore pushed hard early on. This year it was hard, as there was no cloud cover - it was very hot," she said according to

Alexander with strong finish

Alexander became the fourth men to defend the title when he crossed the line in 8h20'21. He beat Chris Lieto (8h22'56) and first-timer Andreas Raelert (8h24'32).

Alexander was in the first chase group after the swim and in 10th spot after the bike section. Lieto was leading the marathon while Alexander moved up position by position and then battled Raelert head to head. Alexander pulled away eventually and then passed Lieto inside the last ten kilometers.

"It was so hot out there. Andreas [Raelert] and Chris [Lieto] always pushed me. It is incredible to defend the title in front of these incredible spectators and in this unique place," Alexander said.

Raehlert was very happy with third, admitting that fighting Alexander in the marathon may have been a mistake. "I think I was learning the hard way today. I don't have any memory from the final kilometers."

But overall Raehler knew the race "was at  least eight hours" and that mistakes in the beginning are too be avoided. He was ready to party, once they cheered on the last finishers. "That's just courtesy, to wait until everyone is in."


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