TEMPE, Arizona (November 16, 2014) – Brent McMahon (CAN) displayed poise and determination in his IRONMAN triathlon debut while Meredith Kessler (USA) was unmatched as both earned victories at the 2014 IRONMAN Arizona presented by Waste Management. McMahon broke the course record with a finish time of 7:55:34 and Kessler crossed the finish line in 8:50:00 to earn her first IRONMAN Arizona win.
Beginning his IRONMAN triathlon debut, Brent McMahon came out of the swim with David Khan (USA) about 50 seconds ahead of a group that included Clemente Alonso Mckernan (ESP) and Tim O’Donnell (USA). Just behind them, Maik Twelsiek (DEU), Jordan Rapp (USA) and Viktor Zyemtsev (UKR), finished the swim in just over 51 minutes.
Once on the bike Rapp and Twelsiek steadily gained time on the men ahead, but it was during the second loop of the bike that Rapp really put the hammer down to take the lead. By the end of the bike, Twelsiek had moved into second, while McMahon closed the bike strongly to come off in third, with Alonso McKernan just six seconds behind.
Out on the run course, Twelsiek quickly gained time on Rapp, getting to within five seconds, but the American refused to relinquish the lead. A 1:20 half marathon by McMahon however would put him in front of both, and the Canadian never looked back.
With his 7:55:48 finish time, and 2:43 marathon time, McMahon became just the 26th man to break the eight hour barrier and the first to do so in his debut IRONMAN race. Alonso Mckernan came close to breaking the eight-hour barrier for a second-place finish, while Rapp had to settle for third despite his 8:03:14 bike split which set a new course record. Twelsiek held on for fourth, just ahead of a hard charging O’Donnell, who rounded out the top five.
Top five professional men’s results:
- Brent McMahon CAN 7:55:48
- Clemente Alonso Mckernan ESP 8:00:42
- Jordan Rapp USA 8:03:14
- Maik Twelsiek DEU 8:07:59
- Tim O’Donnell USA 8:11:00
Meredith Kessler brought a new level of intensity into today’s race right from the start. By the end of the 2.4-mile swim in Tempe Town Lake, Kessler was out of the water first followed by Amanda Stevens (USA), Heather Jackson (USA) and Lisa Huetthaler (AUT).
Through the three-loop bike course Kessler took control, pulling away from all of the women in the field. Jackson made up the most time to come off the bike second with Huetthaler, Stevens and Katy Blakemore (USA) behind.
Through the early miles of the marathon Jackson looked like she might continue her charge to the front, but that quickly stalled as Kessler continued to move strongly toward the finish. By the halfway point of the marathon, Huetthaler made her move on Jackson for second.
From there on there was never any doubt that Kessler would finally get the win that had eluded her for so many years in Arizona. Her 3:07 marathon split was more than enough to ensure a solid win, getting her across the line just eight minutes ahead of Huetthaler. Jackson held off Blakemore for third, while Stevens rounded out the top five.
Top five professional women’s results:
- Meredith Kessler USA 8:50:41
- Lisa Huetthaler AUT 8:58:46
- Heather Jackson USA 9:08:57
- Katy Blakemore USA 9:11:32
- Amanda Stevens USA 9:15:32
One of more than 35 events in the global IRONMAN Series, IRONMAN Arizona presented by Waste Management led athletes along a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile run on a course that utilized the beautiful city of Tempe. Athletes began their day with a single-loop swim in Tempe Town Lake. Once out of the water, participants embarked upon a flat, triple-loop bike course through the Sonoran Desert. The double-loop run course wound around Tempe Town Lake and through Papago Park. Offering a professional prize purse of $75,000, the race also awarded a total of 50 age group qualifying slots for the 2015 IRONMAN World Championship, taking place on Oct. 10 in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i.
The iconic IRONMAN® Series of events is the largest participation sports platform in the world. Since the inception of the IRONMAN® brand in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines at the world’s most challenging endurance races. Recognized for excellence through distinguished events, world-class athletes and quality products, IRONMAN has grown from a single race to a global sensation with more than 190 events across five unique brands: IRONMAN®, IRONMAN 70.3®, 5150™ Triathlon Series, Iron Girl® and IRONKIDS®. For more information, visit www.ironman.com.
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Photo credit: IRONMAN/Nils Nilsen
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