The gun goes off!! The swim at Ironman Germany is in a canal where athletes swim up one side and back down the other - if you get lost on this swim course, don't go to Hawaii! The swim was led by the man who's probably spent more time at the front of the Hawaiian Ironman, Wolfgang Dittrich (sp?).
The FUHRer Delivers! Heather Fuhr RIDES to Her First Ironman Germany Win!Roch "Roach" Frey reporting from Roth:
Ironman Germany - July 9, 2000
1. Heather Fuhr (CANADA) 9:32.08 (56:07, 5:23.43, 3:07.31)
2. Lisa Bentley (CANADA) 9:37.57 (55:57, 5:32.10, 3:06.07)
3. Ute Muckel (Germany) 9:38.18 (47:45, 5:31.16, 3:15.49)
4. Nina Kraft (Germany) 9:40.01 (49:10, 5:31.35, 3:15:51)
5. Jan Wanklyn (Australia) 9:45.27 (53:40, 5:27.35, 3:19.24)
1. Lothar Leder (Germany) 8:19.38 (47:43, 4:29.51, 2:59.26)
2. Thomas Hellriegel (Germany)8:21.30 (49:13, 4:31.10, 2:57.27)
3. Andreas Niedrig (Germany) 8:27.41 (47:25, 4:38.44, 2:58.21)
4. Uwe Widmann (Germany) 8:31.25 (50:12, 4:40.57, 2:59.03)
5. Alexander Mugge (Germany) 8:35.24 (49:08, 4:37.09, 3:06.27)
Ironman Germany is well known for a couple of things - the fast times and the incredible atmosphere and spectators. Well, this year only one was true as the race recorded some of the slowest times on record. Contributing to the slow times was the cold, windy, rainy weather. The weather claimed a number of casualties including German - Rainer Muller-Horner, Swiss - Christoph Mauch and Brazils Fernanda Keller only to name a few. Another top competitor out of the race was Jurgen Zack - he had problems with his seat that would make it impossible to finish the race.
The race started with the swim in the Canal - one of the easiest swims to navigate as you just head straight up one side and then down the other. Leading out of the water was Wolfgang Dietrich with Andreas Niedrig (47:25) Only a few seconds back was Lothar Ledar and womens leader Ute Muckel (47:45).
Lothar Ledar took control on the bike with the fastest bike split of 4:29.51 (a far cry from the 4:15 splits recorded in previous years) Thomas Hellriegel was second off the bike with a 4:31.10 split.
In the women's race, Nina Kraft took the early lead on the bike but faded slightly at the end. Susanne Nielsen came off the bike first followed by Ute Muckel, Heather Fuhr and Nina Kraft. Heather posted the fastest bike split in the top five with a 5:23.43 moving her into contention.
Lothar Leder remained in the lead despite attacks by Hellriegel on the run which moved him to within a minute. Andreas Niedreg had a strong run to finish in third.
In the women's race - Susanne Nielsen was in the lead until the 12km mark where she was passed by Heather (Susanne eventually faded to 6th place) Heather maintained the lead and finished with a strong 3:07.31 run to win by 5:49. Lisa Bentley moved her way through the field with the fastest run split of the day (3:06.07) to finish second fending off late charges by Germany's Ute Muckel.
Of all accounts, this was one of the toughest days they have seen in Germany and this is certainly reflected in the slower times.