Less than a week after revealing that he’d be racing Ironman Wales, the USA’s Jesse Thomas produced a stonking win in Tenby yesterday on his long-course debut.
Jesse Thomas wins Ironman Wales 2015
Greeted on the finish line by his wife and family, Jesse was emotional but clearly thrilled by his shock result for his first Ironman. “The longest I have ever run was 17 miles. It sounds crazy but I entered Wales as I love it tough. After my disappointment at my result at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship, this has been the most magical day and a dream come true. I couldn’t have asked for a better start to racing Ironman.”
In the women’s race, Germany’s young performer Anja Beranek, who recently finished third in the 2015 Ironman 70.3 World Championship, dominated the field with a stunning performance from start to finish. Although a strong swim from Carol Bridge (GBR) saw the pair exit together, it only took a matter of minutes for closest rival Katja Konschak (GER) to move into second place once out on the bike course.
Anja Beranek wins Ironman Wales 2015
Beranek could not be touched on the bike as she steadily pulled away from her rivals and headed into T2 with a phenomenal bike split of 5:30:15 (7th overall), having extended the lead to a punchy 32:05mins.
With Beranek in a class of her own, the race was on for second and third place between Tineke Van Den Berg (NED), Eleanor Haresign (GBR), Tine Holst (DEN) and Konshcak, all jostling for podium as a close pack. However it was Tineke who managed to hold onto second place with Katja producing the fastest 3:13:50 marathon run to take bronze, finishing in 10:28:22 and 10:29:55 respectively.
Former Pro cyclist Emma Pooley showed that she can hold her own on the bike and the run and continues her transition to triathlon, finishing in a credible fifth place in 10:38:41.
Around 1,800 age-groupers set off shortly after the pros at 7am with rolling starts, ranging in age from 18 to 76. Britain’s Andy Greenleaf (M30-34) was first age-grouper across the line in 9:31:01, while Spain’s Esther Leal Pareja (W35-39) was first female age-grouper in 11:29:25.
Full results can be found here.
Entries open for next year’s Ironman Wales will open online at 3pm BST on Monday 14th September here.
(Images: Ross Grieve / Huw Fairclough / Dirty Green Trainers)
Were you racing in Tenby yesterday? Let us know in the comments below!