PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (November 5, 2011) – Nearly 2,500 athletes ranging in age from 18 to 32 entered the Gulf of Mexico at the thirteenth edition of Ford Ironman Florida. Top professionals Ronnie Schildknecht (CHE) and Jessica Jacobs (USA) celebrated victories, each setting course records in Panama City Beach and crossing the finish line in 7:59:42 and 8:55:10, respectively.
After a swim that included chilly early morning temperatures, John Flanagan (USA) exited the water first followed by James Bonney (USA). Flanagan led up until the 35-mile marker, where a trio of competitors, including Schildknecht, made a charge and overtook the American. The bike saw the top male competitors jockeying for the lead through T2. Known for his running abilities, Schildknecht opened up his lead on the last leg of the course with an amazing 2:43:48 run split, becoming the first male to go under eight hours in a North American Ironman event.
Top five professional men’s results are below:
1. Ronnie Schildknecht CHE 7:59:42
2. Maxim Kriat UKR 8:10:43
3. Justin Daerr USA 8:18:02
4. Mads Vittrup DEN 8:21:31
5. Frank Vytrisal DEU 8:21:48
Bree Wee (USA) was the first professional female to run onto the beach, followed by Sofie Goos (BEL) and Heidi Jesberger (DEU). A windy bike course tested many of the female professionals, but Wee and Jacobs continued to press forward in pursuit of a victory. The defending champion made a charge for the lead around mile four of the run, where she shook Wee’s hand and never looked back. Jacobs sealed her victory with a 2:53:27 run split, on her way to a back-to-back championship and a new course record.
Top five professional women’s results are below:
1. Jessica Jacobs USA 8:55:10
2. Mackenzie Madison USA 9:10:21
3. Sofie Goos BEL 9:22:21
4. Kim Loeffler USA 9:29:07
5. Stephanie Jones USA 9:33:45
One of nearly 30 events in the global Ironman Series, Ford Ironman Florida lead athletes along a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile run that utilized a variety of Panama City Beach’s scenic areas. Featuring a two-loop swim in the Gulf of Mexico, the bike and run portion of the course are known for being flat and fast. Spectators filled the roads along the run, which parallels the shoreline, through local neighborhoods to the turnaround in St. Andrews State Park. The event offered a total professional prize purse of $25,000 and 65 coveted slots to the 2012 Ironman World Championship, taking place on Oct. 13 in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i.
Visit www.ironmanflorida.com for event information and official results. For photos or other media-related inquiries, contact Shelby Tuttle at 813.382.9119 (M) or Shelby.Tuttle@ironman.com.
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 Timex, PowerBar, K-Swiss and TYR, 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.