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Pete Jacobs wins Ironman world championship

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Pete Jacobs, of Australia, celebrates his win in the Ironman World Championship triathlon Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012, in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. (AP Photo/Chris Stewart)
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Amateur Ironman athletes wait for the start of the early morning 2.4 mile swim in Kailua Bay during the Ironman World Championship Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012 in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. (AP Photo/Chris Stewart)
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Ironman defending champion Craig Alexander, left, of Australia and country mate Pete Jacobs run with their bicycles on the Kailua Pier to begin a 112 mile bike ride during the Ironman World Championship Saturday Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012 in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. (AP Photo/Chris Stewart)
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Ironman athletes mill about before the start of the early morning 2.4 mile swim in Kailua Bay during the Ironman World Championship Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012 in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. (AP Photo/Chris Stewart)
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Ironman athlete Leanda Cave of Britain begins the 26.2 mille marathon of the Ironman World Championship Saturday Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012 in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. (AP Photo/Chris Stewart)

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii >> Australia’s Pete Jacobs won the Ironman world championship today, beating Germany’s Andreas Raelert by more than 4 minutes.

The 31-year-old Jacobs, second last year, finished the 2.4-mile ocean swim in Kailua Bay, 112-mile bike ride through the scorching lava fields along the Kohala Coast and 26.2-mile run through Kailua Village and out onto Queen Kaahumanu Highway in 8 hours, 18 minutes, 37 seconds.

“I’m in love with this sport,” Jacobs said moments after winning. “I’m so lucky to have this opportunity and have a good day out there. It was an unbelievable day and there’s much love out there.”

Jacobs was second off bike, more than 8 minutes behind Belgium’s Marino Vanhoenacker, and passed Vanhoenacker with little more than 10 miles left in the marathon. The winner earned $120,000.

The 36-year-old Raelert has his third top-three finish in four years. He finished in 8:23:40.

Belgium’s Frederik Van Lierde was third in 8:24:09.

Vanhoenacker faded badly in the run after Jacobs passed him and wasn’t a factor at the finish.

In the women’s race, Britain’s Leanda Cave pulled away in the last 3 miles of the run to win her second world title of the year. The 34-year-old Cave won the Ironman 70.3 world championship last month and carried that momentum into Kona, finishing in 9:15:54.

“I’m kind of speechless,” she said. “I just hope they don’t come out with another distance. I’m getting too old for this.”

Switzerland’s Caroline Steffen was second in 9:16:58.

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