The top 5 women through 10k:
7:10 Rachel Joyce
23:46 Rebekah Keat and Jo Lawn
26:35 Michelle Vesterby
29:00 Mirinda Carfrae and Carrie Lester
32:06 Belinda Granger and Maureen Hufe
At 14k Jo Lawn is in third place, 5 seconds behind her is Bek Keat in fourth.
Splits on the men through 24km:
Craig Alexander and Cam Brown
00:38 Frederick Van Lierde
01:00 Eneko Llanos
2:00 David Dellow
2:15 Paul Matthews
We have four men within 1:00 of each other halfway into an Ironman marathon. That's an unusually close group.
In the last 10k, Rinny's only been able to put 1:19 into Caroline's lead. It's probably not going to be enough for the Aussie race favorite.
Luke McKenzie's out of the race at 20km. We're all disappointed to hear it, as he was looking forward to displaying the hard work he's done over the past few months.
For Frederick Van Lierde to close the gap on two of the best runners in the sport, he'd need to find an extra 8-10 seconds per mile.
It looks like Craig Alexander is pulling away from Cam Brown.
The Aussie and the Kiwi are going to be fighting hard into the finish.
This is Crowie's first Ironman race in Australia since 2007 when he placed 3rd in his Ironman debut at the Ironman Australia Triathlon in Port Macquarie. Last year had planned to race Ironman Port Macquarie, but had to withdraw due to illness.
In the women's race at 20k:
8:00 Rachel Joyce
15:00 Jo Lawn
16:00 Bek Keat
20:00 Mirinda Carfrae
Based on the time Rinny's making up on the leaders, she could very well run her way into third place.
It's a great day for the Kiwis. Cam Brown and Jo Lawn are both having great days, at the head of their games.
Besides the obvious race leaders that we have in Brown, Alexander, Steffen and Joyce, there are some stellar races unfolding in the third, fourth, and fifth positions as well.
Update: Men's Top 10 through 30 km
00:02 Cam Brown
1:12 Eneko Llanos
1:14 Frederick Van Lierde
3:48 David Dellow
3:57 Paul Matthews
5:57 Luke Bell
8:52 Joe Gambles
12:33 Marko Albert
14:13 Josh Rix
Eneko Llanos is one of the sport's most versatile athletes. He competed at two Olympic Games before turning to Ironman.
Llanos was first in last year's Ironman Arizona and Ironman Texas and now he's in third behind two of our sport's most impressive veterans.
Race time is 7:52:18 and Crowie is headed for the finish line at the St. Kilda sea baths...
The fast conditions everyone's been dreaming about could very well become our reality here at the Asia-Pacific Championship here in Melbourne.
It's just like in Kona last year, when everyone knew it would be Crowie, and the only question was how fast he would go.
Alexander is about to start out his 2012 season with a win at home and 4000 Kona points.
Update on the women's race at 26k: Caroline continues to lead, with Rachel in second. Jo Lawn is in third running a 4.5 k pace. Rinny has narrowed the gap running a 4:10 k pace. At this pace she'll catch Jo by 30 k. Bek Keat is 2:10 back from Rinny in fifth.
Craig Alexander is our first Ironman Asia-Pacific Champion!
It's a 7:57:44 for Crowie today!
A sub-8:00 performance on the inaugural course.
It was a fast day here, with Cam Brown, our second male finisher, crossing the line in 8:00:12.
Our top male finishing times:
1. ALEXANDER, Craig 07:57:44
2. BROWN, Cameron 08:00:12
3. VAN LIERDE, Frederik 08:01:26
4. LLANOS, Eneko 08:02:23
5. DELLOW, David 08:04:19
6. MATTHEWS, Paul 08:05:58
7. BELL, Luke 08:10:38
8. GAMBLES, Joe 08:12:46
9. ALBERT, Marko 08:18:04
10. AERNOUTS, Bart 08:18:17
Caroline Steffen is running into the finish area to become our champion.
Craig Alexander will receive the Greg Welch Championship trophy for his efforts today.
A little bit of blue sky is appearing at the shore in St. Kilda, as Switzerland's Caroline Steffen runs for the world record!
Caroline is embracing her boyfriend, David Dellow at the finish.
They both had fantastic races.
"I love Australia and I'm so happy to be here. It feels like a home race for me." -Steffen.
Steffen's final time was 8:34:51. Not quite enough to break Chrissie Wellington's 2011 South Africa record of 08:33:56 set in South Africa last year.
Rachel Joyce is keeping her smooth running style as she smiles and high-fives her way through the crowd.
Mirinda Carfrae and Jo Lawn are out there battling the final k's of the run for third place.
Rachel Joyce's final time was 08:46:09. She ran a 3:05:02 marathon.
We're getting word that Mirinda is closing in on Jo Lawn...
Rinny's come from over 22 minutes down on the bike and is catching up to Lawn. Both have battled it out all day on this incredibly fast course that offered no breaks for the athletes.
Rinny will still go under 8:00 for the second time in her career today. She'll be our third-place winner.
And Mirinda Carfrae takes third!
Jo Lawn has crossed the finish line in fourth.
Caroline is kissing the Michellie Jones trophy, soaking up the moment on the podium with the Aussie champ.
Our top female times today:
1. STEFFEN, Caroline 08:34:51
2. JOYCE, Rachel 08:46:09
3. CARFRAE, Mirinda 09:04:00
4. LAWN, Joanna 09:06:53
5. CRAWFORD, Gina 09:11:16
6. KEAT, Rebekah 09:13:43
7. JACOBS, Jessica 09:13:57
8. VESTERBY, Michelle 09:19:05
9. GRANGER, Belinda 09:26:21
10. HUFE, Mareen 09:42:47
It was two old men fighting together,” Crowie said of his duel with Cam Brown.
The age-group competitors are rolling in steadily. Here are some facts from their race:
-Brenda Hamill: Oldest Australian Female
-Geoff Thorsen: Oldest Australian Male
-Jake Tobin: Youngest Male
-Jessica Baddeley: Youngest Female
-Peggy McDowell-Cramer: Oldest competitor in field
Close to 400 people will cross the finish line of an Ironman race for the first time, as did Aussie Greg Bennett, who finished in an impressive time of 9:04:01.
The energy is high at the finish line as the 13-17 hour age groupers meet their own goals. Everyone's is unique, and there are hundreds of people here to support them and cheer them on.
Our oldest male competitor is through the finish, Geoff Thorsen, from Allambie Heights, New South Wales. He's completed 48 Ironman races to date and finished today in 13:43:31.
By comparison, our youngest male today finished in 10:51:51... 20 year old Jake Tobin from Bonbeach, Victoria. The reason he does this? "To me, this is my drug - I feel if you challenge yourself to finish an Ironman, you can achieve anything."
And with just 1:20:00 left to go in our age-group race, it's time to close the live blog and head down to the finish line to help them celebrate. Until next year!