KAILUA-KONA » Australia’s Pete Jacobs won the Ironman World Championship on Saturday, 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. Jacobs earned $120,000 for his victory.
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.