Vanhoenacker fourpeats at IM Austria

5 07 2009

5-time IM winner Marino Vanhoenacker is well on his way to breaking to magical 8-hour barrier at IM Klagenfurt. He’s a 3 time winner in Austria and needs a sub 2:48:36 marathon to go sub-8 hours. He ran a 2:45:12 marathon in 2008.


  • 1:40pm: Ironman’s live coverage has more network issues than Sarah Palin
  • 1:42pm: Marino is now past the 20.5km marker and still on sub-8h pace
  • 1:43pm: I didn’t think I’d ever say this, but I’d love to try my hand at running a marathon
  • 1:46pm: I’d never thought I’d write this, but I’d love to try my chances at running an Ironman
  • 1:47pm: Did I just write that?
  • 1:48pm: Kärnten IM Austria cut-off times

Swim cut off: 2h 20min (wetsuit allowed)
Bike cut off: 10h 30min after Start of the race
Run cut off: 17h after Start of the race

  • 1:50pm Marino’s lead is growing: The next three men through the 20.5k mark were South African James Cunnama with a 13:58 deficit, Stephen Bayliss who was 8 seconds behind him and Bernhard Hiebl, 36 seconds further back.
  • 1:52pm 3800m swim – 180km bike – 42km195 run. Can’t quite get my mind around it.
  • 1:55pm You swim in Wörther lake – not too shabby at all

  • 1:58pm The bike leg is a rolling two-loop course. I’m blogging myself into this.
  • 1:59pm Two 90km loops. Aid stations every 20kms. Still sounds insane though.
  • 2:00pm “The run distance is completely flat and leads from the transition area along the north shore of the Wörthersees to the turning point to Krumpendorf. After the turn the course leads to Klagenfurter city where you are running around Klagefurt’s landmark the “Lindwurm”.”
  • 2:01pm Marino is en fuego! He’s just gone through the 26.7k point at Krumpendorf in 6:55:55. In other words, he has 1:04 left to cover 15.5kms. His sub 8h window is closing rapidly. Close call.
  • 2:09pm Coach, if you’re reading this, feel free to laugh out loud.
  • 2:11pm Meanwhile at IM Frankfurt, Chris McCormack and Eneko Llanos are running side by side through the 31.5 km mark. This is shaping up to be quite a triathlon racing weekend.
  • 2:28pm At IM Frankfurt, Timo Bracht has taken over the lead. Chasing him are Eneko Llanos and Chris McCormack, who was battling cramps but seems to be running at full speed again
  • 2:32pm At IM Austria, live coverage is down again. Another network timeout.
  • 2:33pm And we’re back. Vanhoenacker 7:20:23,6 at km 32,6! How on earth does he do this? 9.6km in 39 minutes looks realistic. For him at least.
  • 2:40pm The men at IM Frankfurt through 39.2km. Leading the men is Timo Bracht (#3). Behind him are:
    * Eneko Llanos (#2) at 32 seconds
    * Chris Mccormack (#1) at 3:32
    * Andreas Raelert (#13) at 4:05
  • 2:45pm This is unbelievable: Timo Bracht may also break the 8h barrier. With 3 km to go, he has 13:05 to break 8 hours here.
  • 2:46pm For the record books: Luc Van Lierde holds the record for the fastest IM ever in 7:50:27.
  • ***Timo Bracht wins IM Germany in a new course record of 7:59:00***
  • Llanos is second in 8:00:05. McCormack comes in third.
  • 2:50pm All eyes on Vanhoenacker now. Can he break the 8h barrier at IM Austria?
  • 2:53pm “Less than 3k, less than 10 minutes”. Fly, Marino, fly!
  • 2:54pm Let’s see if the video feed works. And whaddayaknow. It does.
  • 2:55pm The crowd is dancing to YMCA.
  • 2:56pm Sub 8h or not, Marino is on his way to win this race for the fourth consecutive time
  • 2:57pm Marino has two minutes remaining!
  • 3:00pm Marino wins IM Austria for the fourth year in a row in 8:01:38. What a race!
  • 3:02pm Complete pandemonium!
  • 3:06pm He’s walking (!) up and down the finish area and giving an interview. What’s next, a school run?



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