Pontano and Shea-Kenney Triumph at Ford Ironman USA Lake Placid

Photo Credit: ASI
Lake Placid, NY—It was a day when athletes were forced to battle both their competitors and the weather at the 10th annual Ford Ironman USA Lake Placid.  A field of 2,200 triathletes faced cool, wet conditions as they embarked on the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile run Ironman event.

It was 10 years coming, but for the first time the women's title was won by an American athlete.  Caitlin Shea-Kenney ran a blistering marathon, setting a new course record at 2:59:55 to gain her first Ironman title.  The Brockton, Massachusetts resident had an eventful week as the she was just married on the shore of Mirror Lake.  Her husband, Tim Snow, finished 10th in the men's race.

Shea-Kenney was followed by Kim Loeffler, who led much of the run, and Hillary Biscay, who hung on to third place despite having raced an Ironman distance one week ago.

Francisco Pontano of Spain led Texan James Bonney out of the swim by a small margin. Pontano relinquished the lead to Bjorn Andersson at the end of the bike course, but came back on the marathon run to take the win.  It was a first Ironman title for Pontano, who had previously posted a personal best of 8:27:24 to finish ninth at the 2005 Ford Ironman World Championship.

Pontano was followed by Ironman veteran Petr Vabrousek of the Czech Republic and Switzerland's Mathias Hecht in a race that saw a number of the top contenders unable to complete the event.

Athletes competed for a $50,000 Pro Prize and 80 qualifying spots for the 2008 Ford Ironman World Championship. For more information log onto www.ironmanusa.com.

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