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Ironman NZ: Albert and Kessler on top
Posted by: John Levison
Posted on: Saturday 1st March 2014


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Ten times a winner at Ironman New Zealand, Cameron Brown was able to get the better of countrymen Terenzo Bozzone and defending champion Bevan Docherty - but a fine effort from Estonia's Marko Albert prevented Brown from making it an 11th victory at his home Ironman. The USA's Meredith Kessler continued her own run of victory in Taupo, making it a third to add to 2012 and 2013 - the ladies top three being a repeat of 12 months earlier.

A distant second to Bevan Docherty last season, Estonia's Albert made a bold move midway through the bike and was able to put time into his chasers which included a trio of Brits (Graves, Halksworth and Wiltshire), plus Bozzone, Brown, Docherty, Romain Guilaume (FRA) and Tim Van Berkel (AUS). By T2 Marko had built a lead approaching six minutes - significant, but would that be enough with some serious talent chasing from behind?

Brown, Bozzone and Docherty were quickly running stride-for-stride and looking strong, which appeared ominous - except that the time splits were showing little ground being made up. This was no kamikaze mission from the Estonian, he was here to win and take a step up from 2013. Surprisingly, it was the defending champion who would lose ground from the Kiwi trio first, and around half way through the marathon Docherty was out of the race. Brown and Bozzone pushed on, and it was the legend of this race Brown, who would prove the strongest and the gap to the leader closed. It wasn't quick enough however, Albert was running strong and Brown was running out of road. While Brown closed with a 2:47:45 marathon - the best of the day - Marko Albert finished with a very solid 2:50:05 for a more than four minute margin of victory.

Conceeding eight minutes in the swim, Great Britain's Tom Lowe was cutting through the field on the run - a 2:50:20 taking him through to fifth place, with Dan Halksworth sixth, Philip Graves eighth and after a strong swim and bike, Harry Wiltshire finished 17th MPRO (9:46:34) with a 4:12:12 marathon.

For the ladies, Kessler and Crawford were a class apart at the front of the race. With a 46:47 swim, Kessler was mixing it with the leading male Pro's in the swim while also gaining a four and half minute start on Crawford on dry land. She added another minute and a half during the 112 mile bike, and with the leading pair both running identical 3:08:06 marathons Kessler crossed the line seven minutes clear and another win in Taupo.

Ironman New Zealand - Saturday 1st March 2014
2.4 miles, 112 miles, 26.2 miles

Pos Men Women
1st Marko Albert (EST) 8:17:33 Meredith Kessler (USA) 9:08:46
2nd Cameron Brown (NZL) 8:21:55 Gina Crawford (NZL) 9:15:53
3rd Terenzo Bozzone (NZL) 8:28:56 Candice Hammond (NZL) 9:30:04
4th Tim Van Berkel (AUS) 8:29:53 Bree Wee (USA) 9:39:15
5th Tom Lowe (GBR) 8:31:56 Michelle Bremer (NZL) 9:45:34
6th Daniel Halksworth (GBR) 8:41:49 Kate Bevilaqua (AUS) 9:47:18
7th Guy Crawford (NZL) 8:44:03 Larisa Marsh (NZL) 9:49:49
8th Philip Graves (GBR) 8:52:34 Melanie Burke (NZL) 9:51:41

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