By Roger Hospedales / Ironman.com
September 9, 2012 (Madison, WI) – Approximately 2,500 athletes entered Lake Monona and Colombia’s Andres Castillo Latorre was the first to make it on shore in 49:01. Following him were Austria’s Dominik Berger (50:55) and American Ben Hoffman (52:13).
Castillo Latorre continued to lead until the 42-mile mark, at which point Hoffman took control of the race. Hoffman applied the pressure on the rest of the field and, by the end of the 112-mile bike ride, he clocked 4:37:58 to break the old course record (4:42:29) set by Romain Guillaume in 2010. Hoffman’s stellar ride gave him a 10:07 lead over fellow Americans Justin Daerr and Thomas Gerlach at T2. Castillo Latorre fell to fourth and was 13:01 behind.
On the 26.2 mile run, Hoffman had his eye on the course record and did not let up. Those behind chased hard, but never got closer than nine minutes to him. Despite some suffering in the closing miles, Hoffman had the second best marathon of 2:56:34 to claim his third Ironman title in 8:32:51, breaking Joe Gambles (AUS) old course record of 8:38:32 set in 2010.
“I ran 22 miles really well,” said Hoffman who experienced hamstring cramps late in the race. “I wanted that course record and I gave it everything I had. This is not the end of the season, but I need to see how I recover from this race. This was the most enjoyable Ironman I’ve ever done.”
Argentina’s Eduardo Sturla tried to make something happen during the bike, but when that didn’t pan out he decided to dial it back and be patient. It turned out to be a great strategic move. Sturla waited until the run to turn up the effort once again and he ran the top marathon of 2:55:28 to move from sixth off the bike to second overall in 8:46:29. Germany’s Michael Goehner moved up a few spots during the run to finish third (8:54:53).
Top 5 Professional Men
1. Ben Hoffman USA 8:32:51
2. Eduardo Sturla ARG 8:46:29
3. Michael Goehner GER 8:54:53
4. Justin Daerr USA 8:55:46
5. Blake Becker USA 8:56:35
Top 5 Professional Women
1. Elizabeth Lyles USA 9:34:35
2. Beth Walsh USA 9:38:42
3. Charisa Wernick USA 9:43:54
4. Kathleen Calkins USA 9:48:13
5. Hillary Biscay USA 9:57:53