Pete Jacobs can declare himself as one of the best athletes on earth by winning the 2012 Ironman World Championship.
This annual championship is one of the most grueling events in sports. Competitors must swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles and then cap it all off with a marathon run of 26.2 miles. Just reading this makes most exhausted, but these men and women who finish are truly remarkable.
Jacobs finished with a time of eight hours, 18 minutes and 33 seconds. Interestingly, this is actually nine minutes slower than his second-place mark from a year ago, but he most likely is not disappointed in his performance.
While none of his split times were overly impressive compared to the field, he remained consistent throughout and capped off his performance with a very good 2:48:05 marathon.
The win continues a nice streak for Australia. Including Jacobs, the last six winners have been from that country. Chris McCormack and Craig Alexander have split the last five. There has not been an American winner in this Hawaii event since Tim DeBoom in 2002.
Joining Jacobs on the podium is Andreas Raelert of Germany, who finished in 8:23:40, and Frederik Van Lierde of Belgium, who finished just 22 seconds later. It was the fourth time that Raelert finished in the top three at the championship, although he has never won.
Arizona native Leanda Cave was the first woman to cross the line with a time of 9:09:02, closely followed by Caroline Steffen of Switzerland.
This is one of those events where simply finishing is impressive. The athletes get about 17 hours to complete the 140.6-mile course, and anyone successful should have bragging rights for the rest of their lives.
Hopefully, all of these competitors will have a few weeks off to relax and rest their bodies after going through this type of torture.
Here are the full results of the championship (via Kona.Ironman.com):
|3||Van Lierde, Frederik||BEL||08:24:09|