Monday, January 18, 2010
Cartmell and Rabie Victorious at Ironman 70.3 South Africa
Both athletes and spectators got their
fill of entertainment and adrenaline as the tension from the race
combined with the fanfare and carnival atmosphere created the setting
for what was one of the best IMBC 70.3 events yet.
The sound of the starting gun saw the PRO athletes take to the warm
waters of the Indian Ocean like a house on fire although the water did
little to douse the flames of determination burning within them. The
conditions were pleasant but the surf was far from ideal as the water
was slightly rough meaning that records would be difficult to break.
Despite the rough water, Anton Storm (RSA) surged to an early lead
which he never looked to relinquish. Anton exited the water first with
a time of 00:22:50 and he was followed into transition by his brother
Brad Storm (RSA) 00:23:04, Netherlands’ Sander Berk 00:23:06, Fraser
Cartmell (GBR) 00:23:15 and Kent Horner (RSA) 00:23:15.
The women’s field was more closely contested as defending champion,
Lucie Zelenkova, (CZE) took the early lead but was eventually out of
the water in second place behind Mari Rabie (RSA). Rabie went into
transition with a swim time of 00:25:03 followed by Zelenkova 00:25:07
and South Africa’s Dominique Donner 00:26:24.
The rough sea soon made way for the tarmac as the athletes entered the
cycle transition with Anton Storm and Mari Rabie in first place for
the men and women respectively. Anton was fiercely chased down by Berk
and Brad Storm early on in the cycle leg. The battle for two-wheeled
supremacy was a hotly contested affair amongst the female front
runners as Rabie and Zelenkova both vied for the early lead at the
At the 45km mark Anton Storm and Briton, Fraser Cartmell, were neck
and neck with Berk and Brad Storm making up ground closely behind them
for second place. Cartmell, who finished with a time of 02:23:48, took
the lead before being overhauled by Brad Storm 02:23:57 who finished
strongly in first place with Anton Storm 02:27:07, James Cunnama
02:26:39 (RSA) and Berk 02:31:26 making up third, fourth and fifth
The women’s race got interesting around the 60km mark where the lead
traded hands between Zelenkova, Sandra Wallenhorst (GER) and back to
Zelenkova. Wallenhorst eventually edged out Zelenkova to go ahead and
enter transition first after an exciting cycle leg recording a time of
02:36:53 breaking American, Desiree Flicker’s cycle record in the
process. South African duo, Riana De Lange 02:56:52 and Kathryn Cronje
02:59:14 made up second and third place respectively.
It was off the bike and into the running shoes as the athletes got the
final run leg off to an exciting start with Cartmell coming out of
transition first followed by Brad and Anton Storm hot on his heels.
After the first lap Brad Storm was in the lead with Cartmell and
Cunnama steadily progressing. Cartmell took the lead before the 14km
mark with both Cunnama and compatriot Kent Horner (RSA) making good
progress to be behind in second and third place respectively while
Brad Storm dropped to fourth. Towards the final stretch it was a race
between Cartmell and Cunnama with the South African looking good to
capture the lead for the first time as Cartmell seemed to be tiring.
However, the Briton held his nerve to hold on to the lead after going
in front after the 8km mark despite heavy pressure from the local
favourite, Cunnama who finished in second place. Cartmell finished in
a run time of 01:17:41 while Cunnama’s time was 01:14:29 which is a
new run record. Brad Storm finished in third with a time of 01:25:11
while Kent Horner 01:19:16 and Michael Davidson (RSA) 01:17:31 made up
fourth and fifth positions respectively.
In the women’s field the race was dominated by Mari Rabie, Sandra
Wallenhorst and Lucie Zelenkova. The lead changed hands throughout the
run leg with the dominant three each having the lead at various stages
along the route. Wallenhorst was in the lead after completing the
first lap with Zelenkova and Rabie behind her. Local girl Rabie took
the lead after the 18km mark when she overtook Germany’s Wallenhorst
with less than three kilometres to go. She eventually crossed the
finish line to roaring local support in a new record run record time
of 01:19:35 beating both Wallenhorst 01:25:39 and defending champion
and previous record holder, Zelenkova 01:28:51. Rabie also broke
Zelenkova’s overall course record with a time of 04:35:54.
The 2010 edition of the Spec-Savers Ironman 70.3 South Africa proved
to be an event that treated spectators to the very best in triathlon
action and provided an immense challenge to the world class field of
competitors who flocked to the shores of Buffalo City.
Overall time (Time behind leader)
1. Fraser Cartmell (GBR) 04:07:54
2. James Cunnama (RSA) 04:09:34 (00:01:39)
3. Brad Storm (RSA) 04:15:36 (00:07:41)
4. Kent Horner (RSA) 04:17:00 (00:09:06)
5. Michael Davidson (RSA) 04:21:12 (00:13:17)
1. Mari Rabie (RSA) 04:35:54
2. Sandra Wallenhorst (GER) 04:37:01 (00:01:06)
3. Lucie Zelenkova (CZE) 04:43:01 (00:07:07)
4. Vanessa Gianinni (BRA) 04:47:20 (00:11:25)
5. Diana Riesler (GER) 04:47:50 (00:11:55)