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Van Lierde, Beth Ellis break Ironman France records
Posted by: John Levison
Posted on: Sunday 23rd June 2013


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Record breaking times, dominating Belgians and a superb performance from a very talented British Age Group athlete are some of the stories from today's Ironman France in Nice - tragically offset by the news of the death of an athlete on the bike section of the event, of which more news will likely follow later today / Monday.

In Friday's preview, I did say "the men's field looks set to be a battle between two Belgians, Frederik Van Lierde and Bart Aernouts", and that proved to be correct - with Aernouts smashing the course record by more than nine minutes and finishing the day with one of the fastest marathons in iron-distance history (2:37:01)... and yet still finished three and a half minutes behind the now three-time consecutive champion of Nice, Frederik Van Lierde. The pair were in another post code versus their oppostion, with only Clementa Alonso-McKernan (ESP) preventing it from being a Belgian podium sweep, with Bruno Clerbout in fourth.

Along with the ever present Marino Vanhoenacker, Van Lierde and Aernouts will provide stern competition in Kona this October.

The women's race in a sense went to plan too, with Mary Beth-Ellis (USA) once again maintaining her record of winning every Ironman she has raced outside of Kona. She now adds France to Austria, Regensburg and Canada in 2011, followed by Texas, New York and Cozumel in 2012, for her seventh Ironman victory.

Given the small Pro female field lined up, we also said that British Age Grouper Catherine Faux could well have a chance not just of a top ten finish, but an overall podium finish too. The Pro's did, we understand, have a five minute 'start' on the remainder of the field, but Faux did finish with the fourth fastest time of the day overall - her 3:04:47 marathon comparing to the 3:04:06 of Beth Ellis, while her bike split was just five second slower also. That is an exceptionally impressive performance from the Team Freespeed member - but such is her quality, one we almost predicted would happen.

Ironman France, Sunday 23rd June 2013
2.4m / 112m / 26.2m

Pos Men Women
1st Frederik Van Lierde (BEL) 8:08:59 Mary Beth Ellis (USA) 9:12:54
2nd Bart Aernouts (BEL) 8:12:28 Jeanna Collonge (FRA) 9:20:51
3rd Clementa Alonso-McKernan (ESP) 8:35:52 Delphine Pelletier (FRA) 9:22:37
4th Bruno Clerbout (BEL) 8:43:17 Catherine Faux (GBR) 9:22:51 **
5th Nicola Beyeler (SUI) 8:50:53 ** Lisa Ribes (USA) 9:36:43

(** Age Group athletes, Beyeler M35-39, Faux F25-29)


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