Just under fifteen minutes; that’s how big a lead Lisa Norden had when she started the marathon of Ironman Cozumel. But, there is a reason a Long Distance is called ‘Long Distance’; the distances are huge and so a lot can happen during the closing marathon. Norden collapsed completely and was overtaken in the closing stages by Spain’s Gurutze Frades. The somewhat surprising winner thus achieved a great victory and experienced a day to remember.
After the swim – Margie Santimaria set the fastest time with 46:27 minutes – Frades was not immediately in a very good position; she came out of the water in eighth place, but was then more than five minutes behind already. On the bike, Frades soon began to ride to the front.
Yet by then Norden was already far ahead of her, as the Swedish favorite came out of the water in second, immediately behind Santimaria, and on the bike soon began to ride the fastest of everyone. Already after 40 kilometers, her lead was more than four minutes and during the 180 kilometers that lead would only increase and increase, eventually reaching almost 15 minutes. During the bike, Frades advanced to fifth position and together with Ewa Komander she started the marathon, more than 22 minutes behind.
So that 22-minute gap also meant that Frades, who eventually caught up not only with Norden, but also with Anne Reischmann, Svenja Thoes and thus Ewa Komander, was running more than half a minute per kilometer faster than Norden. Just a little before the 35 kilometer point, she passed Norden and from then on her lead only increased. Not very surprising either: Frades ran a marathon in 2:54 hours
Frades pulled off the victory in a time of 8:40:47. Norden was able to hold on to her second position, which she claimed after 8:46:36. Kylie Simpson, who won many positions during the marathon, ended up third in a time of 8:47:36.