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photo: Nils Nilsen/IRONMAN

USA Triathlon Weekend Notebook: Nov. 18

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Ironman Arizona
More than 2,700 athletes (elites and age-groupers) competed in the 10th annual Ironman Arizona, the final U.S. Ironman of the 2013 season, in Tempe, Ariz.

Elite long-distance specialist Jordan Rapp (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) was the only U.S. elite male on the podium. He posted the fastest bike split of the day in 4:14:44, which was also a new record for the 112-mile bike course. He was in the lead heading out into the run by more than 2 minutes, but Spaniard Victor Del Corral’s quick feet overtook Rapp throughout the marathon. Del Corral took first in a time of 8:02:00, and Rapp finished second with a time of 8:06:13. Jens Petersen-Bach of Denmark was third in 8:07:53.

A favorite in the women’s race, Meredith Kessler (San Francisco, Calif.) had a successful day after leading for much of the race. Kessler was first out of the water and held off the rest of the field throughout the bike leg, despite a bike-course record from Denmark’s Michelle Vesterby. She held her lead all the way until the final miles of the run, when Julia Gajer of Germany passed her at mile 23 with the fastest marathon of the day to finish first in a time of 8:52:49. Kessler held on for second in a time of 8:55:47, and Vesterby took third in 8:57:24.

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