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Timo Bracht takes Ironman Arizona
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Sunday 21st November 2010


Tags  Ironman Arizona  |  Jordan Rapp  |  Rasmus Henning  |  Tempe  |  Timo Bracht  |  Tom Lowe


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Carrot or stick? Whether it was the carrot of qualifying for the 2011 Ironman World Championships in Kona early - or the 'stick' of having to race to get those qualifying points under the new Kona Pro Rankings, a far higher quality of field than would normally be seen at this time of year managed to produce a memorable race.

Athletes such as Rasmus Henning, Timo Bracht and Chris Lieto would normally be spending November recovering from a hard season, but Kona races which didn't go to plan - at least for Henning and Lieto - meant that the were all looking to gain points, as early as possible, to secure their 2011 Kona starts. Add in previous winners Jordan Rapp (USA) and Jozsef Major (HUN), plus the Ironman debut of Matty Reed, and an exciting race was likely. Oh, and did we mention Brit Tom 'the lung' Lowe?!

The Swim

American John Dahlz led a group of six athletes from the swim who exited closely with a three minute lead over the next PRO athletes to reach dry land. Key names in this lead pack were Rasmus Henning and Matty Reed. Jordan Rapp was four minutes back on this group and Chris Lieto, surprisingly, a further 1:30 in arrears, perhaps regretting his choice of a sleeveless wetsuit. Tom Lowe, in his first Ironman swam 56:37 to be close to nine minutes behind the leaders at this stage, and give no indication at this stage of the race he was about to unleash...

The Bike

The early stage of the bike saw Henning, Reed and Kevin Everett (USA) set the pace up front, but the chase was on from behind from Timo Bracht, defending champion Jordan Rapp and Chris Lieto. While that powerful trio making they way to the head of the field wasn't a surprise, Britain's Tom Lowe, riding solo from his slower swim, was matching their pace and cutting his way through the field.

Reed and Everett dropped off the pace in the late stages, and Henning lost time too - though in his case due to a serving a drafting penalty.

Bracht, Rapp and Lieto hit T2 in close order, with Henning now 4:15 down. The big mover of the day though was Tom Lowe! Despite that slow swim time, he'd made his way all the way up to fifth at T2, just a minute in arrears of Challenge Roth winner Henning. Tom was always known for his running with his duathlon background, but how would he stack up over a full marathon?

The Run

Timo Bracht managed a swift T2 and was out onto the marathon first - and held that until the finish line, though that doesn't really tell the full story of the race.

Bracht pulled away, but only slowly, from a strong Rapp, who was showing a quite remarkable recovery from a horrific hit-and-run accident in March this year, while Lieto was falling off the pace. However Henning and Lowe were on the move. Tome Lowe at one stage passed the great Dane, making his way up to second overall in the late stages of the run and getting within a minute of the twice European Ironman Champion Bracht. Was this to be a fairytale debut for the gentle giant? Bracht however is well known for the strength of his late stage Ironman running, and he was able to put time back into both Lowe and Henning on his way to a course record 8:07:16.

Henning was able to re-pass Tom for second, but the final three all ran 2:48 marathons, with Tom - provisionally - fastest of the day at 2:48:11. Tom will therefore join the elite list of British Ironman podium finishers - and just what can he achieve in the future?! Oh, and he didn't get 'chicked' by the lady of the house either...

Pos Men
1st Timo Bracht (GER) 8:07:16
2nd Rasmus Henning (DEN) 8:10:58
3rd Tom Lowe (GBR) 8:11:44 **
4th Jordan Rapp (USA) 8:16:45
5th Jozsef Major (HUN) 8:26:15

** BRITISH IRONMAN RECORD


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