3.8 kilometers of swimming, 180 kilometers of biking and 42.2 kilometers of running and then a top three finishing within 21 seconds of each other: it doesn’t happen that often, but at Ironman Texas the race culminated in a true spectacle. In the end, the race was won by American Rudy von Berg. Among the women, Kat Matthews was right back at the top spot with a nice victory.
The men’s race guaranteed the most spectacle, as the differences there were actually unprecedentedly small. After a not too special swim and a quietly developing bike, Von Berg and Pole Robert Wilkowiecki returned to T2 together at the lead of the race. American Matthew Marquardt followed in third and was then 2:31 minutes behind the two leaders. These were also the three athletes who would make the marathon particularly exciting.
While Wilkowiecki and Von Berg stayed together the entire time and Marquardt was running a few minutes behind, after thirty kilometers he suddenly approached quickly. So fast, in fact, that he joined the leading duo a few kilometers later, so with two kilometers to go, things got really exciting. Yet in the end it was Von Berg who secured victory with a last-ditch effort in a winning time of 7:44:51. Twelve seconds later, Wilkowiecki was second and, 21 seconds behind, Marquardt was third.
In the women’s race, Kat Matthews was right back, although it didn’t immediately look like it. After biking, the race was led by Jocelyn McCauley, who was followed 41 seconds behind by Maja Stage Nielsen. Just under five minutes later, Lauren Brandon came back third in T2 and Matthews followed in fourth, trailing by more than nine minutes. During the run, however, she was “on fire” and saw her deficit quickly shrink. With 11 kilometers to go, only Nielsen was still two minutes ahead of her but even that changed in the final kilometers.
In the end, Matthews won her race in 8:32:52. Nielsen still lost considerable time and finished second in 8:34:51 and behind that it was McCauley who finished third, 12:53 minutes from the winner.