2010 Ford Ironman World Championship Photo Essay

Photos: Bakke-Svensson/Ironman

Pro athlete Sandra Wallenhorst from Germany before the start of the race.

Fernanda Keller is a 14-time top ten finisher in Kona, in itself a remarkable record. Opting not to race this year, the Brazilian volunteers on a paddle board. Similarly, the 1997 winner Heather Fuhr of Canada, was there on stage at the celebration banquet handing out awards to the winners. For champions or record holders, contributing is part and parcel of the Ironman spirit.

For the first time in race history, the pros start at 06:30, a full 30 minutes before the 1,500+ age group triathletes.

Still, the best view of the mass start thirty minutes later is from the other side. This image from my secret spot away from the rich & famous, provides a full view of the entire bay and the pier... and, dude, the sun is in your back.

Event director Diana Bertsch and Mark Allen on the pier shortly before the first swimmer exits the water.

Andreas Raelert from Germany exits
the water almost three minutes down.

The 2007 winner, Chris "Macca" McCormack from Australia, a few seconds behind Andreas out of the water, smoothly transitions to the bike several seconds ahead of him.

Australia's Mirinda Carfrae was over three
minutes down onto the bike.

Third place finisher Julie Dibens from Australia is out of the saddle on the lava and about to grab the lead.

Andreas Bocherer from Germany in the lead on the bike about halfway to Kawaihae. The winds were moderate.

Hillary Biscay of Tuscon, AZ in Hawaii riding the pipe.

Eventual 12th-place finisher Maik Twelsiek (wearing number 12) hits the Hawi turnaround in first place a few seconds before Chris Lieto.

Second place finisher Caroline Steffen from Switzerland zips by
two bystanders near the Mounds on the way back from Kawaihae.

The run would be a battle between Macca and Andreas. On the Queen K, Macca's narrow lead had slowly evaporated and the two would run side by side for perhaps a mile. Here — close to the spot where, in 1989, Mark Allen pulled away from Dave Scott — Chris opens up a small gap which Andreas will once again close. Not until the Palani Road downhill is Macca able to shake him off. That a lead runner caught from behind late in the run is able to regroup and win the race is an Ironman first. It is possibly the result of a small tactical error that Andreas will not make next year.

... This is where Andreas loses the race.

Chris wins his second Ironman with an 8:10:37
(51:36, 4:31:50, 2:43:31).

Men's number one and two at the finish with the gallery as a back drop.

Mirinda is the Ironman World Champion with an 8:58:36
(55:53, 5:04:59, 2:53:32).

Canadian age group athlete Jennifer Eberman looking good and feeling good on the road to the Natural Energy Lab.

Tim Winestorfer from Vancouver, WA grabs a drink as the sun is about to set.

Missy LeStrange from Visalia on the run back into town.

Cherie Gruenfeld on her way towards the run turnaround. This would be her tenth age group win in Kona and another age group record time.

Mike Leahy of ART (Active Release Techniques) with part of his team at the finish near midnight. Treatment by one of his body healers is almost as coveted as the finisher's shirt: for many, the latter is not possible without the former.

A panorama of the finish line a few minutes before midnight. Where else on this planet could you possibly want to be?