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Schildknecht (again) and Beranek at Ironman Switzerland
Posted by: John Levison
Posted on: Sunday 28th July 2013


Tags  Anja Beranek  |  Emma Pooley  |  Ironman Switzerland  |  Ivan Rana  |  Ronnie Schildknecht  |  Sam Baxter  |  Zurich


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In Friday's preview of Ironman Switzerland we wrote: "the men's race includes Ronnie Schildknecht which is normally all you need to know.... as he'll be attempting to win his seventh consecutive title in Zurich."

Not surprisingly, the man who has made the Zurich course his own won again. On the opposite end of the victory scale, Germany's Anja Beranek took her first Ironman title, while Great Britian's Olympic Silver medal winner and former World Time Trial Champion Emma Pooley finished in fifth place.

Men

The swim saw Estonian Marko Albert lead out of the water as he has done regularly at races around the world, and he had Jan Van Berkel (SUI) and former ITU World Champion and Ironman Cozumel winner Ivan Raña (ESP) in close company. Favourite Schildknecht was just over three minutes back and with his strengths still to come, that was a very solid start to his day.

While Schildknecht predictably moved his way towards the front of the race, fellow Swiss Jan Van Berkel wasn't going to give the lead away, and he put his swim advantage to good use. While Schildknecht passed Van Berkel, it took until the last quarter of the ride to achieve it - only for Schildknecht to then lose that lead once again due to some cramps in the late stages of the bike leaving his compatriot to reach T2 alone and with a 2 min 10 second lead, both athletes recording 4:32 bike splits. Would that cramp impact Schildknecht on the run though would be the big concern. Spain's Ivan Raña meanwhile arrived at T2 ten minutes back on Schildknecht with a 4:45 bike time.

Onto the run and Schildknecht was able to get into his stride in the tough conditions, passing Van Berkel around the 14km mark - where shortly after Van Berkel's race would end. A 3:01:59 marathon from Ronnie wasn't breaking any records, but on a very hot day it was more than enough for a victory margin of seven minutes over Ivan Raña, who just dipped under the three hour mark. Zurich, once again, belongs to Schildknecht.

Women

Having finished fouth on Thursday this week at the Alpe d'Huez Short Course event, Switzerland's Céline Shärer took a six minute lead onto the bike course in Zurich with a swift swim (52:38), leaving Germany's Anja Beranek six minutes in arrears. Ireland's Joyce Wolfe recorded 1:07:23 while Emma Pooley exited in 1:08:16 for the non-wetsuit swim.

Beranek overturned that deficit with a race-best 4:56:23 bike split, reaching T2 with a five minute margin over Shärer. Behind, Pooley was the only other female to break the five hour mark on the bike (4:59:53) to move herself through the field and right in contention with Regula Rohrbach (Ironman Wales 2012 winner) for third place starting the marathon.

Beranek maintained her lead on the run, a 3:22:55 marathon in hat conditions bringing her home to her first Ironman victory in a time of 9:21:31 and 15th place overall. Shärer took second while recent Ironman Austria winner Erica Csomor and Sofie Goos used 3:17 and 3:16 marathons respectively to overtake Pooley for third and fourth places.

The race is still in progress, but we do know that Great Britain's Sam Baxter was the winner of the M30-34 Age Group (9:18:52) which made him second Age Group athlete to finish and with the 13th fastest time overall.

Ironman Switzerland, Zurich - Sunday 28th July 2013
2.4 miles - 112 miles - 26.2 miles

Pos Men Women
1st Ronnie Schildknecht (SUI) 8:33:39 Anja Beranek (GER) 9:21:31
2nd Ivan Raña (ESP) 8:40:55 Céline Shärer (SUI) 9:28:28
3rd Per Bittner (GER) 8:46:23 Erika Csomor (HUN) 9:33:17
4th Maxim Kriat (RUS) 8:47:54 Sofie Goos (BEL) 9:39:14
5th Marko Albert (EST) 8:50:15 Emma Pooley (GBR) 9:44:57

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