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Record breaker Carfrae takes Kona title
Posted by: John Levison
Posted on: Sunday 13th October 2013


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Five appearances in Kona, five podium finishes and now a second Ironman World Championship title for Australia's Mirinda Carfrae. Not only that, another run course record (2:50:35) and a Kona course record too of 8:52:14. A superb effort - and it had to be, in order to prevent Rachel Joyce from taking the title, as Rachel became only the fourth female below the nine hour mark in Kona history. More good news for Great Britain too as Liz Blatchford had an amazing debut to finish third.

Check out out "as it happened" report below for more insight on how the race played out.

Pos Women
1st Mirinda Carfrae (AUS) 8:52:14
2nd Rachel Joyce (GBR) 8:57:28
3rd Liz Blatchford (GBR) 9:03:35
4th Yvonne Van Vlerken (NED) 9:04:34
5th Caroline Steffen (SUI) 9:09:09
6th Caitin Snow (USA) 9:10:12
7th Meredith Kessler (USA) 9:10:19
8th Michelle Vesterby (DEN) 9:11:13
9th Gina Crawford (NZL) 9:14:47
10th Linsey Corbin (USA) 9:17:22

Ironman World Championships 2013, Pro Women - "As it happened"

Presented below - by hour - is how the race played out (in my eyes!), through the day along with comments - as I saw it at the time - as to where, when and who were the winners and losers during the race.

Time into race Comment
0:00:00 The cannon goes "boom"
1:00:00 Would there be a Jodie Swallow / Amanda Stevens / Meredith Kessler swim trio break? Not today - much like the men's race, there was a large lead pack exiting the swim in close order.
Losers? With the bulk of the favourites (Steffen, Joyce, Cave, Kessler), 2010 champion Mirinda Carfrae was 4:45 back on the leading group on arrival in T1, but she did have the injury impacted Mary Beth-Ellis for company.
Winners? Steffen and Joyce are strong swimmers - but starting the ride with no deficit, and in the company of Jodie Swallow, is a great start to their day and race prospects.
2:00:00 Little change at the front in the first hour or so on the bike. Vesterby, Kessler, Swallow, Cave and co. all visited the front at various points.
Winners? Little change, but I'd imagine Rachel Joyce and Liz Blatchford were more than happy at this stage.
Losers? Over 16 minutes back at 30 miles, the chances of Sonja Tajsich (GER) to match fourth place from 2012 look slim.
3:00:00 Status quo - Steffen looking ready to attack, but Cave, Joyce, Blatchford, Kessler, Crawford, Stevens, Vesterby all together.
Winners? Anyone confident in their run legs today. Also Mirinda Carfrae - not in the lead group, but not losing any time either. Impressed too with Leanda Cave - after a poor season, putting up a fine title defence three hours into the race.
4:00:00 Little change again - the front group of ladies closely matched on the bike. Things looking good for Rachel Joyce... Lead group is now eight (Joyce, Kessler, Swallow, Steffen, Vesterby, Blatchford, Cave, Stevens).
Winners? Yvonne Van Vlerken moving well, and is now in contact with Mary Beth Ellis and Mirinda Carfrae.
Losers? Gina Crawford has dropped from the lead group. Carfrae has lost around 90 seconds, but still very much in contention.
5:00:00 Late in the bike, Rachel Joyce started to push the pace and stretch out the lead group.
6:00:00 Rachel Joyce off the bike first, right next to Meredith Kessler... with Jodie Swallow within 30 seconds, and Michelle Vesterby right with her! Four athletes with a minute - impressive. Blatchford and Steffen arrive 90 seconds later, though Blatchford had to 'exit stage right' for a four minute stint in the penalty tent.
Winners? Joyce and Kessler looking great, while Swallow and Vesterby in great position starting the run. Carfrae loses a couple more minutes... but starts the run within eight minutes. That's not much for a Kona run course record holder.
Losers? Caroline Steffen would be an athlete expected to gain time late in the bike, not lose it, so this wouldn't be in her plan.
7:00:00 Rachel Joyce moved ahead of Kessler on the run looking nothing short of superb. Kessler wasn't fading much too much though, keeping within 90 seconds of the Britain. The 'problem' for Joyce? Miranda Carfrae was flying through the field and had closed the gap to four minutes in fourth place - Michelle Vesterby still running well too.
Winners? All of the top four were on top of their game.
Losers? Jodie Swallow was beginning to struggle on the run in her first Kona appearance - could she get through the bad patch?
8:00:00 Joyce continued to move well, but Mirinda Carfrae was running the marathon looking like it was a 10km race - quite possibly the best I have ever seen anyone run in an Ironman. At the speed, the winner of the race was a given... as long as it's not a "too much, too soon" scenario.
Winners? Carfrae looking supreme, Yvonne Van Vlerken too having moved through to third place with a very impressive debut from Liz Blatchford, holding strong in the top five and looking to move up.
Losers? Caroline Steffen has really not been able to make an impact on the run - and was reported as throwing up on the run course...
Finish We said she was looking good... and Mirinda Carfrae went on to take her second Ironman World Championship, closing out the day with a course record 2:50:35 marathon (provisionally faster than everyone except Ivan Rana and Bart Aernouts), on the way to a course record 8:52:14. Joyce also broke the nine hour mark to make her first Kona podium, while Liz Blatchford had a dream debut to make it two British athletes in the top three.

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