Cave wins Ironman World Championships

Brit Leanda Cave and Australia's Pete Jacobs are the new Ironman World Champions after taking victory at Kona...

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The 2012 Ironman World Championships had two first-time champions as GB's Leanda Cave and Australia's Pete Jacobs took the wins at Kona. 

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Cave, who's previous best finish was third last year, moved up through the field on the bike and was second into T2, behind Caroline Steffen. The Swiss led for much of the run, but in the final 5km Cave finally overtook her and continued on to take the win in 9:15:54. Steffen held onto second to finish in 9:16:58.

2010 champ Mirinda Carfrae came in third, after running herself into contention, and at mile 16 she and Cave were running side by side. But Cave moved up a gear and Carfrae couldn't respond, but she continued on to hold off Sonja Tajsich and finish third. 

In the men's race, 2011 runner-up Pete Jacobs went one better and took the win, as reigning champion Craig Alexander had a tough day and finished down in 12th. 

Jacobs, who's 2:41 marathon last year had propelled him up through the field, has been working on his bike this season, and it showed as he came into T2 in a much better position. 

Marino Vanhoenacker had been first into T2 after pushing hard on the bike, and managing to drop Sebastien Kienle after the German had punctured. The Belgian led for almost 16 miles on the run, but his early exertions proved too much and he slowed to a walk, before coming to a standstill and pulling out. 

This left Jacobs in the lead, and the Aussie couldn't be caught, even with a final mile that contained as much high-fiving as running. He finished in 8:18:37, 5mins ahead of Andreas Raelert, who had put in a brilliant run of his own to move up and take second (8:23:40), his joint best finish along with 2010. Belgium's Frederick Van Lierde came in third in 8:24:09. 

RESULTS.

MEN

1 Pete Jacobs, AUS 8:18:37

2 Andreas Raelert, GER 8:23:40

3 Frederick Van Lierde, BEL 8:24:09

4 Sebastien Kienle, GER 8:27:08

5 Faris Al-Sultan, ARE 8:27:08

WOMEN

1 Leanda Cave, GBR 9:15:54

2 Caroline Steffen, SUI 9:16:58

3 Mirinda Carfrae, AUS 9:21:41

4 Sonja Tasich, GER 9:22:45

5 Mary Beth Ellis, USA 9:22:45

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Image: Larry Rosa/Endura Pix