MADISON, WI (Sept. 11, 2011) – Nearly 2,500 athletes entered Lake Monona at the tenth edition of Ford Ironman Wisconsin. Top professionals Ezequiel Morales (ARG) and Jessica Jacobs (USA) celebrated victories, crossing the finish line in 8:45:18 and 9:41:03, respectively. The first age group athlete to cross the finish line was Thomas Brunold from nearby Fitchburg, Wisc.
Romain Guillaume (FRA) exited the water first, three minutes ahead of Freddy Lampret (ZAF) and local Madison professional Blake Becker. Guillaume held strong as the front cyclist throughout the entire bike course, leading by as much as seven minutes at one point, while the rest of the men battled for the other top positions. Morales passed Lampret and Becker early on in the bike and maintained his second position into T2. On the run, Guillaume slowly lost his lead over Morales and at mile seven the Argentinian made his move to pass. The remainder of the race was his and he crossed the finish line more than 12 minutes ahead of Stefan Schmid (DEU).
Top five professional men’s results are below:
1. Ezequiel Morales ARG 8:45:18
2. Stefan Schmid DEU 8:57:51
3. Mac Brown USA 9:08:14
4. Ernst Moser AUT 9:09:42
5. Andreas Wolpert DEU 9:13:57
Meredith Kessler (USA), who placed in the top three at Ironman Canada just two weeks ago, was the third person overall and top female out of the water with an incredible 53:07 split. She gained momentum on the bike course, adding to the distance between her and Americans Heather Gollnick, Whitney Garcia and Jacobs and entered into T2 with an impressive 11:31 lead. Kessler kept her speed through 17 miles of the run when the heat slowed her pace, opening the door for Jacobs to push ahead. Jacobs, a retired Army Captain whose husband is currently stationed in Iraq, took home an emotional victory on the tenth anniversary of 9/11 and the Ford Ironman Wisconsin race. Kessler and Garcia rounded out the podium for an American sweep.
Top five professional women’s results are below:
1. Jessica Jacobs USA 9:41:03
2. Meredith Kessler USA 9:50:45
3. Whitney Garcia USA 10:03:53
4. M. Soledad Omar ARG 10:06:57
5. Katya Meyers USA 10:10:28
More than 150 first responders took on the unique course, many racing in honor of the men and women who lost their lives during the tragic September 11 attacks on our country. In addition to special red BIBs and low BIB numbers (45-199), first responders had premier transition rack location, adjacent to the professionals.
Taking place in Madison, the 2011 Ford Ironman Wisconsin featured thousands of spectators lining the course. The race began with a two-loop swim in Lake Monona in downtown Madison. The bike then took competitors 16 miles out of town before beginning the two-loops in rural Dane County, which included a hilly and challenging course that passed by the festival in Verona. Spectator support on the run was unparalleled. Athletes completed two loops through downtown Madison, the University of Wisconsin campus, Camp Randal Stadium, State Street and the scenic path alongside Lake Mendota, ending with one of the most recognizable Ironman finishes in the world in front of the Wisconsin state capitol. Athletes competed for 65 age group qualifying slots to the 2012 Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i, and a professional prize purse of $25,000.
About World Triathlon Corporation
World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) is a Tampa-based company recognized for athletic excellence, distinguished events and quality products. WTC’s portfolio includes Ironman, Ironman 70.3, 5150 Triathlon Series, Iron Girl and IronKids, which have a combined total of more than 180 events worldwide each year. Supported by partners including Ford, Timex and PowerBar, Ironman is the No.1 user-based sports brand in the world and has been a respected name in triathlon since its inception in 1978.