Corinne Abraham put in the performance of the weekend to take the win at Ironman Melbourne by an astonishing 16min margin.
Abraham, who's previous results include 3rd on her debut at Ironman Regensburg in 2010 and 3rd at the Ironman European Champs in Frankfurt last year, came out 6mins behind the Amanda Stevens in the swim, but began to make her way through the field on the bike.
In fact, Abraham rode up to and past the leaders, taking a 4min lead into T2. She then ran 2:56:50 – one of only three women to break 3hrs – and wrapped up her best result to date, and one that will make her rivals sit up and take notice. Yvonne Van Vlerken came in second, 16mins back, and Caroline Steffen a further 5mins back in third.
In the men's race, Eneko Llanos took an equally impressive victory in a strong men's field that included 3-time Kona winner Craig Alexander and Belgian superstar Marino Vanhoenacker.
Vanhoenacker was first of the bike with a 5min lead after a typically bold performance, but Llanos and Alexander started gaining on him out on the run.
The two ran together for the first half of the marathon, but the Spaniard eventually started to pull ahead and reel in Vanhoenacker, which he did, and turned a 5min deficit into a two-and-a-half minute victory. Vanhoenacker managed to hold on for second and Alexander came in third.
1.9km swim | 180km bike | 42.2km run
1 Eneko Llanos, ESP 7:36:08
2 Marino Vanhoenacker, BEL 7:38:59
3 Craig Alexander, AUS 7:39:37
4 Jordan Rapp, USA 7:50:54
5 Chris Legh, AUS 7:52:29
1 Corinne Abraham, GBR 8:10:56
2 Yvonne Van Vlerken, NED 8:26:40
3 Caroline Steffen, SUI 8:31:22
4 Natascha Badmann, SUI 8:34:37
5 Gina Crawford, NZL 8:37:23