Saturday, October 11, 2008 (Kailua-Kona, Hawaii) -- Today, Australia's Craig Alexander and Great Britain's Chrissie Wellington celebrated first-place titles at the 30th anniversary of the Ford Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Alexander, with an Ironman 70.3 World Championship title in addition to a second-place finish last year in Kona, crossed the line with a time of 8:17:45. Defending her current World Championship title, Wellington finished more than 10 minutes ahead of her fellow competitors at 9:06:23.
Alexander dominated an impressive men's field consisting of Ironman World Champions such as Chris McCormack, Normann Stadler and Faris Al-Sultan, and other top contenders including Chris Lieto, Eneko Llanos, Torbjorn Sindballe, Cameron Brown and Rutger Beke. Alexander, among the top 10 throughout the bike portion, further showcased his running prowess by taking the lead at the turnaround.
Australian Craig Alexander wins his first Ford Ironman World Championship.AP Photo/Chris Stewart
Pro Men's Top 10 Results
1. Craig Alexander, AUS -- 8:17:45
2. Eneko Burguera Llanos, ESP -- 8:20:50
3. Rutger Beke, BEL -- 8:21:23
4. Ronnie Schildknecht, SUI -- 8:21:46
5. Cameron Brown, NZL -- 8:26:17
6. Patrick Vernay, NCL -- 8:30:23
7. Andy Potts, USA -- 8:33:50
8. Mathias Hecht, SUI -- 8:34:02
9. Michael Lovato, USA -- 8:34:47
10. Eduardo Sturla, ARG -- 8:36:53
Despite mechanical trouble, Wellington took the women's lead approximately 30 miles into the bike and eclipsed the current women's run course record with a blistering marathon time of 2:57:44. Today's third-place female, Sandra Wollenhorst, also broke the women's run course record with a time of 2:58:35.
Pro Women's Top 10 Results
1. Chrissie Wellington, GBR -- 9:06:23
2. Yvonne Van Vlerken, NLD -- 9:21:20
3. Sandra Wallenhorst, DEU -- 9:22:52
4. Erika Csomor, HUN -- 9:24:49
5. Linsey Corbin, USA -- 9:28:51
6. Virginia Berasategui, ESP -- 9:29:15
7. Bella Comerford, GBR -- 9:34:08
8. Gina Ferguson, NZL -- 9:36:53
9. Gina Kehr, USA -- 9:37:06
10. Dede Griesbauer, USA -- 9:39:53
Chrissie Wellington of the United Kingdom claims her second title in a row.AP Photo/Chris Stewart
This year's Timex Ironman Watch Bonuses, totaling $20,000, were awarded to:
Bike -- Torbjorn Sindballe and Chrissie Wellington
Run -- Normann Stadler and Chrissie Wellington
In addition to a highly competitive professional field, a variety of inspirational age group athletes competed including Major League Baseball veteran Jeff Conine (Jeff Conine Steps Up to the Ironman Plate) with a time of 14:43:45, and Sean Swarner, a two-time cancer survivor with one lung, who crossed the line at 11:44:15. In addition, Keith Davids, Commanding Officer of Navy SEAL Team One, completed the event in 11:24:00.
The event saw 1,731 athletes officially start the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile run on the Big Island of Hawaii. NBC will air the 2008 Ford Ironman World Championship on December 13, from 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. EST. Please check your local listings for specific details.
For complete results from the 2008 Ford Ironman World Championship, visit www.ironman.com.
Jeff Conine, a 17-season major league baseball player, will take to the water and roads of Kona this weekend during the 2008 Ford Ironman World Championships. The two-time all star and two-time World Series champion is racing on a sponsor's exemption.
At 42-years-old and just over 200 pounds, Conine isn't exactly the svelte ex-pro taking on another sport like former pro cyclists Steve Larsen and Laurent Jalabert, who have both found success in Iron-distance racing. But then again, pro cycling and pro baseball are two different beasts.
"There are some similarities between baseball and triathlons: So much of it is mental. Triathlons are a grind, just like playing 162 games in a season is a grind. I prided myself on having a great work ethic, which is something my father taught me."
Think you have what it takes to tackle the famous Kailua-Kona course on the Big Island?
The 2009 lottery is officially open. Over 7,000 people will aim for one of the 150 slots given to U.S. citizens, 50 slots to international entrants and 5 slots reserved for physically challenged athletes.
"I've had problems with the Achilles on and off for the past 18 months," McGlone said today. "But I was able to manage it and race on it, and it seemed to be getting better in the spring, but it came back when I upped my mileage this summer and just became insurmountable. I couldn't do any running at all. I tried all kinds of rehab and it hasn't healed enough to do a marathon on it, so I'm going to have to miss Kona this year."
Asked when and how she made the final decision to pull out of the world championship, McGlone, a 2004 Olympian, replied, "I don't know if I ever really made the decision. It decided for me. It was pretty clear. When the race is three weeks out and you can't run for 20 minutes, it's pretty obvious what you have to do."
McGlone time of 9:14:04 last year in Kona was 5 minutes and 20 seconds behind women's winner Chrissie Wellington.
Sam McGlone exits T2 at the 2007 Ford Ironman World Championship. Photo: Jesse Hammond/Active.com