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Corinne Abraham wins Ironman Euro Champs
Posted by: John Levison
Posted on: Sunday 6th July 2014

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Corinne Abraham is back. A fractured sacrum resulted in the best part of a year of rehab and recovery for the Uplace-BMC team member who today took her second Regional Championship Ironman title, adding the Ironman European Championships, Frankfurt, to her breakthrough win in 2013 at the Asia Pacific Champs, Melbourne.

With a very deep field (as we previewed last week), the race started predictably with the awesome swimming of Jodie Swallow and Mary Beth Ellis seeing them complete the 2.4 miles in a swift 47:22 and 47:27 respectively. The first sign of a good day for Abraham came with her swim split. While a 54:23 (and a seven minute deficit), may not of itself seem especially worthy of note, when measured against arguably the best swimmer in the sport that represents a huge step forward for the bike and run strong Abraham. Her work with Darren Smith and this DSquad shining through.

The bike leg would show how deep the competition in Frankfurt was. While Swallow and Beth Eliss were out front, Abraham would gain over four minutes over the 180km to move up to third at T2, but Gina Crawford (NZL), Eva Wutti (AUT), Sonja Tajsich (GER), Amy Marsh (USA), Camilla Pedersen (DEN) and the evergreen Natascha Badmann (SUI) would all reach T2 with little between them. The marathon would determine the 2014 champion.

Pedersen and Abraham looked the strongest of the chasers in the early stages, making time - but only slowly - on the long-time leader Swallow, but still with a large group of top athletes spread by less than a handfull of minutes. Abraham was able to pull away from Pedersen just before halfway, and eventually was able to catch fellow Britain Swallow at 22km. In the preview I said of Abraham "A strong athlete, the second half of the run tends to be a particular strength of hers", and now she would have to prove it, with plenty of talent not far behind her.

Corinne continued to run to form, running strong, while behind her Elizabeth Lyles (USA) and Gina Crawford (NZL) were closing in on Swallow for a podium finish, with home athlete Kristin Möller making up for her slow swim with the fastest feet on the run course today.

Abraham eventually closed out the win with a 3:04:38 marathon - and an 8:52:40 finish, to join the Sub-9 Club. Elizabeth Lyles passed Crawford in the late stages for second place, as that pairing added to their own Sub-9 histories with 8:56:36 and 8:58:06 respectively. Möller ran the fastest of the day (3:00:38) to take fourth, while Swallow battled through the late stages of the race for seventh, just behind six-time Ironman World Champion Natascha Badmann who had the fastest cycle of the day (4:44:25).

IRONMAN European Championships, Frankfurt - Sunday 6th July 2014
2.4 miles / 112 miles / 26.2 miles

Pos Women
1st Corinne Abraham (GBR) 8:52:40
2nd Elizabeth Lyles (USA) 8:56:36
3rd Gina Crawford (NZL) 8:58:06
4th Kristin Möller (GER) 9:02:17
5th Amy Marsh (USA) 9:06:33
6th Natascha Badmann (SUI) 9:08:13
7th Jodie Swallow (GBR) 9:08:44
8th Mary Beth Ellis (USA) 9:10:08
9th Katja Konschak (GER) 9:20:48
10th Natascha Schmitt (GER) 9:21:56

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