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Vanhoenacker, Wutti dominate IM Austria
Posted by: John Levison
Posted on: Monday 29th June 2015


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Vanhoenacker and Wutti win - while GB's Charles Pennington dominates Age Groups

There may not have been an Austrian winner of the men's race at Ironman Austria in Klagenfurt on Sunday, but Belgium's Marino Vanhoenacker is practically considered a local hero. Having won this race for six consecutive years from 2006-2011 inclusive, Marino ended his 'tenancy' at arguably the most stunning venue on the Ironman circuit, with a world record time in 2011.

©Getty Images

Four years on - and despite winning Ironman Brazil just four weeks ago in a scorching 7:53:44 - Marino was back, and it was a case of normal service resumed. A great swim saw him within seconds of the leaders out of the water, and once on to two wheels he showed no signs of any Brazilian hangover, and powered away to a storming 4:11:47 bike split, which starting the run actually left him over 3:30 up on his time at the same point four years ago. There was no sign of weakness on the marathon either (2:45:53), and this was certainly a victory to savour - "the atmosphere brings me home. I will enjoy the last 2ks - I don't care about the time" - and he did just that, high-fiving spectators, being cheered on by other athletes in the race, and generally soaking up every moment. It was a superb performance of dominance - and his finish time of 7:48:45 is the fourth fastest iron-distance time ever recorded.

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Michael Weiss (AUT) and 2014 winner Ivan Rana (ESP) battled for second place, but they were well behind the King of Klagenfurt, Vanhoenacker.

Marino also joins Chris McCormack as the only athlete to have recorded four career 'Sub-8's - while he also gained one unique statistic - this is the first time an athlete has finished under eight hours for the distance twice in one year.

There was also an absolutely superb result from British Age-Group athlete and Team Freespeed member Charles Pennington. Not only did he win his 35-39 category, he was also the first Age-Grouper overall and finished inside the top ten with a 'complete' performance of 52:36 swim, 4:52:51 bike and 2:52:34 run for a finishing time of 8:45:43.

CLICK HERE FOR THE UPDATED MEN'S SUB-8 IRON-DISTANCE HISTORY

While the USA's Christina Jackson gained a lead of over four minutes in the swim, the women's race would see Austrian duo Eva Wutti and Lisa Hütthaler soon towards the front of the race recording almost identical swim and bike splits to reach T2 in close order. Wutti would prove to be a different class once on the run, her 2:54:42 marathon giving her not only victory, but her fourth career sub-nine hour clocking. Hütthaler dropped back with a 3:11:43 run, but that was still enough for second, just ahead of the USA's Sarah Piampiano.

CLICK HERE FOR THE UPDATED WOMEN'S SUB-9 IRON-DISTANCE HISTORY

©Getty Images

Ironman Austria, Klagenfurt - Sunday 28th June 2015
3.8km / 180km / 42.2km

Pos Men Women
1st Marino Vanhoenacker (BEL) 7:48:45 Eva Wutti (AUT) 8:45:37
2nd Michael Weiss (AUT) 8:06:59 Lisa Hütthaler (AUT) 9:02:46
3rd Ivan Rana (ESP) 8:08:25 Sarah Piampiano (USA) 9:03:10
4th David Plese (SLO) 8:17:54 Martina Dogana (ITA) 9:18:50
5th Massimo Cigana (ITA) 8:25:20 Erika Csomor (HUN) 9:24:38
6th Miguel Angel Fidalgo (ESP) 8:26:41 Kamila Polak (AUT) 9:28:28
7th Matic Modic (SLO) 8:37:12 Annah Watkinson (RSA) 9:31:33 ***
8th Dejan Patrcevic (CRO) Christina Jackson (USA) 9:35:40
9th Charles Pennington (GBR) 8:45:43 ** Bianca Steurer (AUT) 9:39:55
10th Christian Birngruber (AUT) 8:49:06 Heidi Hyvärinen (FIN) 9:41:24 ****

** Ninth male finisher, 10th finisher overall, winner of M35-39 and first overall Age-Group finisher

*** Age-Group 30-34 winner / **** Age Group 25-29 winner


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