Ford Ironman Wisconsin | Liveblog live blogging


Ford Ironman Wisconsin

  • Welcome to the 10th Edition of Ford Ironman Wisconsin!

    With the race occurring on the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, it will be a day filled with emotion and remembrance.

  • New Champions Await at the Tenth Ford Ironman Wisconsin

    There are a few certainties for the tenth edition of Ford Ironman Wisconsin. There will be a commemorative ceremony for those that lost their lives during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and there will be the crowning of new champions on Sunday.

    With the tenth anniversary of 9/11 falling on race day, the race will have extra poignancy for the 2,800 athletes, but this is especially so for the Team 9-11 and Steve Gatto of Chicago.

    Team 9-11, the creation of Captain Carl Gloede of the Madison Police Department Honor Guard, is made up of 150 service members of the Police, Fire, Paramedics, and Military from across the country. To date they have raised over $20,000 for their designated charities. Gatto, a 9/11 survivor, was on the 44th floor of the South Tower when the airplane struck and passed many firemen on his way out of the building as they were making their way into it to help save lives. He is racing to pay tribute to those who lost their lives that day and so far he has raised $6000 for the Wounded Warriors Project.

    Last year’s champions, Australia’s Joe Gambles and New Zealand’s Gina Crawford, will not be in Madison to defend their titles. Gambles will compete at the Marine Corps Ironman World Championship 70.3 on Sunday, while Crawford is at home taking care of her son Benjamin Dennis Crawford, who was born by emergency cesarean on July 12.

    The relatively cool and calm weather conditions last year led to record breaking performances by both Gambles and Crawford, and if the weather forecast for race day holds up (similar to last year), we could see another fast day of racing on Sunday.

    Pro Men – A chase of Romain Guillaume?
    We should see the men’s race being dictated by France’s Romain Guillaume. Second last year, he set the bike course record (4:42:29), but lost the race to Gambles during the run. After putting in some time to improve his run, Guillaume posted a 2:54 marathon at Ironman UK six weeks ago. He enjoys racing from the front and plans to do so again on Sunday. Local professional Blake Becker of nearby Fitchburg, Wisconsin, was fifth last year and as a strong runner he will be in contention for the title along with Brazil’s Ezequiel Morales a man who is easily capable of running sub three hours.

    Pro Men at Ford Ironman Wisconsin

    1 Romain Guillaume FRA
    2 Blake Becker USA
    3 Freddy Lampret ZAF
    4 Jeff Paul USA
    5 Billy Edwards USA
    6 Mac Brown USA
    7 David Nasvik SWE
    8 Adam Jensen USA
    9 Chris Huff USA
    10 Ernst Moser AUT
    11 Devon Palmer USA
    12 Jared Milam USA
    13 Ezequiel Morales BRA
    14 Andreas Wolpert GER
    15 Toby Radcliffe GBR
    16 Jerome Bresson CAN
    17 Stefan Schmid GER
    18 Brendan Halpin USA
    19 Jesse Vondracek USA

    Pro Women – A Three Way Battle Projected
    The women’s race should be very exciting and is shaping up to be a battle between three Americans - Heather Gollnick (a five time Ironman champion including Ford Ironman Wisconsin in 2002 and 2003), Jessica Jacobs (the 2010 Ford Ironman Florida champion, and won the 25-29 age group here as an amateur in 2004), and Meredith Kessler (third at Ironman Canada two weeks ago, she won there in 2010 and at Ironman Coeur D'Alene in 2009).

    Pro Women at Ford Ironman Wisconsin
    25 Heather Gollnick USA
    26 Meredith Kessler USA
    27 Jessica Jacobs USA
    29 Whitney Garcia USA
    30 Teri Albertazzi USA
    31 Ann Ciaverella USA
    32 Erin Spitler USA
    33 Caroline Gregory USA
    34 Stephanie Jones USA
    35 Katya Meyers USA
    36 Maria Soledad Omar BRA
    37 Lauren Harrison USA

    The top age groupers are seeking to get one of 65 qualifying slots to the 2012 Ironman World Championship.

    Our coverage for Ford Ironman Wisconsin this weekend will include live athlete tracking and timing, text updates, and photos courtesy of Action Sports International. Make sure to join us for more age group and professional stories.
  • The Expo Area outside of the Monona Terrace.

  • Entering messages for partcipants at The Ford Motivation Station.

  • The Athlete Check-in.

  • Checking out the Official Ironman Merch. The most popular area on site.

  • Tom Ziebart hosts the Friday Press Conference.

  • The full panel at the Press Conference.

  • Steve Gatto was on the 61st floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Center when the first airplane struck the North Tower. He made his way down to the 44th floor of the South Tower when the second airplane crashed into that building.

    Inspired by the firemen he saw heading past him and into the Tower to help others that day, he will pay tribute to them by racing on Sunday. He is raising funds for the Wounded Warriors Project and so far has raised $6000.

  • Captain Carl Gloede of the Madison Police Department.

    He came up with the idea of Team 9-11. A team of 150 service Police, Fire, Military and First responders from across the country who will race in memory of those that lost their lives during the 9/11. To date the group has raised over $20,000 for their designated charities.

    Captain Gloede stated that many of Team 9-11’s athletes would not have participated if it were not for the race falling on the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

    They will have strong crowd support on Sunday and they will be easy to spot, as their bib numbers will have a red backing. We look forward to seeing them live up to Mike Reilly’s dream of a 98% completion rate.

  • Romain Guillaume.

    Guillaume was second last year after setting a new bike course record of 4:42:29. He told us that he is looking to do the same on Sunday and is hoping to start the marathon with a healthy lead.

    He has improved his run, he ran 2:54 at Ironman UK six weeks ago, so he will be tough to beat.

  • Blake Becker.

    This will be his tenth Ford Ironman Wisconsin (5 as an age grouper and 5 as a pro). From nearby Fitchburg, Wisconsin, he finished fifth last year and he loves this run course.

    “It feels like running on a treadmill in your basement with thousands of your best friends cheering you on,” said Becker at the press conference.

  • The top three women's contenders.

  • Heather Gollnick.

    She has returned to Madison after winning the first two races here in 2002 and 2003.

    The mother of three (two 14 year olds and one 11 year old) is excited to see how she stacks up to her winning performances from 8 years ago, and hopefully add a third Ford Ironman Wisconsin win to her career.

  • Meredith Kessler.

    Third at Subaru Ironman Canada two weeks ago, she is also the 2010 Ironman Canada Champion along with Ironman Couer d'Alene in 2009.

    She has never put together back-to-back Ironman races this far apart (2 weeks).

    “I’ve been doing more intensity than volume during the last two weeks. Lots of little things to keep the body tuned,” said Kessler.

  • Jessica Jacobs. She is the 2010 Ford Ironman Florida champion, and won the 25-29 age group here as an amateur in 2004. She was in the US Army and was stationed in South Korea during the 9/11 attacks.

    "The base was in lockdown and in high alert. I felt so helpless. I wanted to be back in New York to help," recalled Jacobs, whose husband deployed to Iraq at the beginning of August.

    She moved to Green Bay during the July 4th weekend, so she will have some strong local support along with a lot of family and friends cheering her on.

  • Mike Reilly hosts the Welcome Dinner at Monona Terrace.

  • Paul Soglin, The Mayor of Madison, welcoming athletes to the City of Madison.

  • Deb Archer - The President/CEO of the Greater Madison Convention and Visitors Bureau.

  • Tom Ziebart sings the National Anthem.

  • Some members of Team 9-11.

  • Robert Verhelst of the Madison Fire Department.

    He worked on the Search, Rescue and Recovery team at the World Trade Center for eight days after 9/11.

    He will wear the full firefighter bunker gear, helmet and CBA gear for the marathon when he races on Sunday.

  • Cheque presentation to the Madison Area Sports Commission. One many organizations in the area to receive funding from the Ironman Foundation.

  • One of the many married "Iron Couples" racing on Sunday.

  • Winner of the signed poster auction. A $4000 contribution to the local police and firefighers.

  • Saturday Morning Swim at Lake Monona.

  • Saturday Bike and Gear Check In.

  • One final goodbye to the bike before seeing it again tomorrow morning.

  • Brigadier General Duane Lodrige will be racing with number 2719 tomorrow.

    Retired from the military in 2007, tomorrow will hold special significance for him because he was the Commander of the 113th Wing of F16 Viper pilots that were suddenly put into action to protect the airspace around Washington, DC, after the 9/11 attacks.

    He recalls that unprecedented time in American history where they were flying “weapons free.” Meaning that they were free to shoot down anything approaching downtown DC.

  • The weather tomorrow will mirror the conditions experienced today.

    A high of 83 degrees, and a low of 58 degrees. Humidity will sit just below 60% for most of the day and there is only a 10% chance of precipitation.

    There will be favorable bike conditions, as the west winds will only get up to a maximum of 10 mph.

    There will not be much cloud cover so athletes, volunteers, and spectators need to make sure they have lots of sun protection.
  • One more post before race day. Here are some Ford Ironman Wisconsin pre-race stats for you.

    Tomorrow we will see 1048 First Timers, and 2073 Men, and 719 Women racing.

    The men’s 40-44 category is the largest with 447 competitors.

    The largest women’s category is the 30-34 category at 146 competitors, just 3 more than the 35-39 category.

    The USA leads the way with 2687 racers. Followed by Canada (67), and Germany (12).

    807 athletes represent the State of Wisconsin. Illinois is next with 610 athletes, and then Minnesota with 244.

    The youngest athlete is Caitlin Braun of Kalamazoo, Michigan at 18 years of age and the oldest is Thomas Spasojevich of McHenry, Illinois at the age of 74.

    Race day Happy Birthday wishes go out to:
    Christine Robert, Jennifer Boyce Grosso, Tanya Molleker, Leeann Kline, Kristen Lay, Kristen Lay, Amy Gersey, Ryan Lagrange, Mark Philips, Mike Dahlhauser, Jon Pankow, Joe Hensel, Robert Smith, Stephen Troestler, Stuart Baskin, and Jim Derks.
  • Good morning from Madison, Wisconsin.

    The race starts in just less than one hour. We will bring you any of the latest news if something happens between now and then.

    Please keep in mind that there will not be live video coverage per say. A finish line video feed should be available once the athletes start coming through the finish line, and at TV show of the race will be produced and shown later on Universal Sports.
  • As the sun rises to the left of the swimmers in Lake Monona on a clear day in Madison, the athletes have begun their journey at the 10th Ford Ironman Wisconsin.
  • Romain Guillaume is first out of the water. He just flew in and out of transition.
  • Meredith Kessler just arrived into the Monona Terrace and picked up her T1 gear. She was third overall out of the water.
  • Kessler just left T1.
  • Blake Becker is the third man out. We will get word on the second place male, he body marking was not visible to us.
  • Ezequiel Morales just left T1. If he stays this close to Guillaume it will a close race on the run.
  • Jared Milam, Devon Palmer, Stefan Schmid, Ernst Moser, and Todd Olson are out of T1.
Who's Blogging
  • Travis Sitzlar
  • Kevin MackinnonKevin Mackinnon
  • Roger HospedalesRoger Hospedales