August 26th, 2007
Chris McDonald and Heather Gollnick won today’s inaugural Ford Ironman Louisville. McDonald won his first Ironman title in a come-from-behind effort in a time of 8:38:39, while Gollnick claimed her fifth Ironman title (and second of this year) with five consecutive cartwheels and an overall time of 9:23:22.
TJ Tollakson led for more than seven hours of the race today, coming out of the water ahead of even two-time Olympic swimmer Chris Hauth. The Ironrookie held his lead through the bike and 16 miles of the run before McDonald finally managed to get passed. Tollakson would eventually be passed by another Australian, Craig McKenzie. Austria’s Gernot Seidl ran his way to fourth, followed by Patrick Evoe who rounded out the top five. Nina Kraft led the women’s race out of the water, with Carole Sharpless on her heels heading out onto the bike. Kraft would eventually fade during the ride thanks to back problems. She actually spent 10 minutes on the side of the road trying to figure out if she should continue the race!
That was after Heather Gollnick had gone by. The former age group world champion and now five-time Ironman champ powered her way to a comfortable 17-minute lead starting the marathon. Kraft made it through the run, but was never in a position to challenge Gollnick, who has now made a habit out of winning inaugural Ironman races here in North America. She won both the first Ford Ironman Wisconsin and Ford Ironman Coeur d’Alene races and now adds the first running of Ford Ironman Louisville to her resume. A former gymnast, Gollnick has made a habit of doing a cartwheel down the finishing chute of each of her races. Gollnick set a personal best time in winning today’s race by almost 30 minutes. Kraft would hang on for second, Mariska Kramer-Postma ran her way to third, age grouper Catherine Phillips finished fourth and Sharpless rounded out the top five.
Of special interest to the media here in Louisville was Andy Baldwin’s 10:02 finish. The star of the hit show The Bachelor, came across the line escorted by his bride-to-be, Tessa Horst.
To see the complete day’s coverage, click on the coverage tab on the Ford Ironman Louisville race page.
Top 5 Women:
1) HEATHER GOLLNICK (#33) 9:23:222)
2) NINA KRAFT (#34) at 9:51:533)
3) MARISKA KRAMER-POSTMA (#37) at 10:24:144)
4) CATHERINE PHILLIPS (#1529) at 10:27:455)
5) CAROLE SHARPLESS (#36) at 10:30:43
Top 5 Men:
1) CHRIS MCDONALD (#3) won in 8;38:39, followed by:
2) CRAIG MCKENZIE (#2) at 8:44:143)
3) TJ TOLLAKSON (#26) at 8:46:534)
4) GERNOT SEIDL (#42) at 8:52:365)
5) PATRICK EVOE (#27) at 8:59:14
Article by: Ironman.com