Panama City Beach, Fla – South African James Cunnama and American Jessica Jacobs celebrated their first Ironman victories at today’s 12th annual Ford Ironman Florida. Cunnama, who recently won at Ironman 70.3 Austin, crossed the finish line with a four-minute lead over second-place finisher, Pedro Gomes (PRT). His winning time was 8:15:59. Jacobs, who’s been on the podium here and at Ford Ironman Wisconsin, crossed the finish line nearly seven minutes ahead of second-place finisher, Erika Csomor (HUN). Jacobs’ official time was 9:07:49.
Dirk Bockel (LUX) was first out of the water ahead of Bryan Rhodes (NZL), Romain Guillaume (FRA) and Jeremy Jurkiewicz (FRA). Guillaume led for most of the bike although there was a solid chase pack that consisted of Bockel, Gomes, Chris McDonald (AUS), Markus Fachbach (DEU) and Cunnama. The run started with Fachbach and Gomes in the front, but Cunnama surged at the halfway point and never looked back. His 2:43:09 marathon was among the fastest in Ford Ironman Florida history.
Top five professional men’s results are below:
1. James Cunnama, ZAF, 8:15:59
2. Pedro Gomes, PRT, 8:19:26
3. Dirk Bockel, LUX, 8:21:23
4. Markus Fachbach, DEU, 8:25:25
5. Jeremy Jurkiewicz, FRA, 8:26:49
Jeanne Collonge (FRA) exited the water first, followed by Meike Krebs (DEU), Kim Loeffler (USA) and Karina Ottosen (DNK). Jacobs, who was ninth out of the water, moved into second by mile 50 of the bike, and at mile 75, she took the lead. As she continued on to ultimately claim the title, she set the fastest bike (4:52:36) and run (3:04:52) splits of the day.
Top five professional women’s results are below:
1. Jessica Jacobs, USA, 9:07:49
2. Erika Csomor, HUN, 9:14:40
3. Kim Loeffler, USA, 9:21:26
4. Karina Ottosen, DNK, 9:24:34
5. Tamara Kozulina, UKR, 9:28:43
Today’s event saw more than 2,400 starters ranging in age from 18 to 81 years old, including 400-plus Florida residents. The race offered a total professional prize purse of $50,000 and 65 coveted slots to the 2011 Ford Ironman World Championship, taking place on Oct. 8 in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
One of more than 25 events in the Ironman global series, Ford Ironman Florida leads athletes along a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile run on a course that utilizes a variety of Panama City Beach’s scenic areas. The two-loop swim takes place in the Gulf of Mexico, and the bike and run course are flat and fast. The official cut-off is midnight.
The top local finisher on the men's side was Kent Nonaka. On the women's side it was Cari Trappe who was the first panama city native to cross the line.