New Zealand’s Samantha Warriner finished her first ever / WTC Ironman, incredibly, a mere three months after heart surgery, with a comprehensive win at Taupo in 9:28:24, 3 minutes 9 seconds ahead of Ironman Hawaii champion , Australia’s Mirinda Carfrae.
7-times Ironman New
Zealand champion Joanna Lawn was just 20 seconds behind coming home third behind Carfrae. The win adds to Sam’s impressive race CV that includes 7 ITU World Cup victories, a bronze medal at the 2008 ITU short course World Championship and three Ironman 70.3 victories last year. Hawaii
Warriner no doubt benefited from Carfrae’s tough luck during the bike that left her 22 minutes down at T2, but fought hard as always in what were unpleasantly cold and wet conditions. First out of the lake , Warriner emerged as the fastest woman , 50:30 tme, with a 2:13 ahead of Carfrae follwed by Jo Lawn, Kirsten Molloy, and Belinda Harper. Warriner then put the hammer down on the bike , with another best time 5:10:39 bike 9:04 up on Kate Bevilaqua, who’d pulled it back from a disappointing swim to record the second-best bike section time of 5:11:55, 10:05 over Belinda Harper and 10:51 over Britta Martin. Warriner , as a result of a series of flats suffered by her two most likely rivals went into the run 15 minutes up on Lawn, and some 22 minutes ahead of Carfrae.
Catriona Morrison had demonstrated that a time deficit can be overcome as she had making up an incredible 45-minutes for bike repairs with her win Lanzarote last year, but despite Carfrae’s 2:53 Ironman
Speaking , pre-race, in website diary, Sam, always candid, had spoken about her reasoning for switching her focus from ITU event to WTC Ironman , citing not only the heart problem , but also injuries t broken ribs in 2009 and a recent broken wrist which she’d taken as omens. These problems prevented her from participating in the emerging ITU Dextrose series.
After preparation training for Taupo including five sessions on site she only got the all clear with her heart problem from her doctor after her last training session in Aukland. She said “"It's amazing, in November last year I thought there was something really wrong and that would be it for my triathlon career, because I just couldn't exercise for more than 20 minutes without my heart-rate going up to 230. "It was every time I trained, as well, not just once in a while." So , back on So on December 1, she underwent surgery, telling surgeons her next target was just three months away at the Taupo ironman. She actually put off going back for her final checkup until not long before the Taupo race , but she said , “with the blessing of her surgeons and with some quality training since her operation, she had no fears in pushing herself to the limit in the race.” After the race win she beamed “"Words can't express it -- when something like that happens, you're just happy to be on the start line. To win in
1.Samantha Warriner (NZL) 9:28:24
2.Mirinda Carfrae (AUS) 9:31:33
3.Joanna Lawn (NZL) 9:31:53
4.Kate Bevilaqua (AUS) 9:40:01
5.Belinda Harper (AUS) 9:40:33.
6.Kirsten Molloy (AUS) 9:49:02
7.Michelle Mitchell (AUS) 9:50:04
8.Janine Willis (AUS) 9:55:17 (* W35-39)
9.Candice Hammond (NZL) 9:56:41 (* W25-29)
For great insights into Sam’s pro-athlete life style and her always candid take on things check out her website and diary for regular updates. SAM WARRINER.CO.NZ
photos Janos Schmidt