Sunday, November 25, 2007

Colting extends leads on Day Two of Ultraman

Hawi, Hawaii - Sweden's Jonas Colting overcame his Day 1 cramping calves from hell to take a formidable lead after two days in the 23rd Ultraman, while Texas ultra star Shanna Armstrong fought off a determined bike by an Ultra rookie to claim a big lead in her quest to win an unprecedented fourth Ultraman crown.

Colting, a two-time ITU long course world championship medalist pro embracing this purists' race-for-free classic, fell 16 minutes off his own near-record pace while winning the 2004 Ultraman, but his blazing 171.4-mile second day bike increased his overall lead to an imposing 71 minutes at the end of the second day.

Colting rode a third-best ever Ultraman men's second day bike of 7:34:16 to a total elapsed time of 14:42:13 to give him a 71 minutes 35 second margin over second placed Tim Sheeper of Menlo Park, California going into Sunday's 52.4-mile double marathon finale.

"Things are much better today, said Colting. "But I don't even want to think about going for the record any more."

Colting's 3:12 first marathon in 2004 was followed by a 4:12 closing 26.2 miles and the untrained ultra novice missed Holger Speigel's 1998 Ultraman course record by 17 seconds. This year, Colting has to run 6:58:08 to break the 10-year-old Ultraman mark. He ran 7:14 in 2004, closing with a hobbling 4:02 marathon.

His only chance, it seems, will be to try to key off his third place competitor's usual sub-6:50 double marathon pace. Despite an uncharacteristic bonehead off-course excursion that cost him nearly 30 minutes, 2003 and 2005 Ultraman World Champion Alexandre Ribeiro of Brazil still posted an 8:21:58 ride which left him third overall - 1 hour 44 minutes and 58 seconds behind Colting.

"Sometimes I drink too much water and coke and I forget where I am," said Ribeiro. "I missed the turn in Waimea and rode 10 minutes down hill toward the ocean instead of turning toward the Kohalas."

Sheeper, the sleeper in the field, said he finished the day "deep bone tired" and was somewhat bemused and taken aback by being so competitive. "I came here to celebrate the end of my racing as a professional,"said the 44-year-old multisport coaching executive who once upon a time was a top-five contender in the old USTS Olympic distance series. "I didn't come here to race. I just wanted to do it, talk to my crew and have a good time. But then I got caught up in this race by leaderboards and time clocks. I got sucked in and I got mad at myseklf for getting sucked in."

Ultraman is a unique, three-day triathletic circumnavigation of the Big Island of Hawaii held annually on the weekend after Thanksgiving. Friday starts with a 10km swim from Kailua Pier to Keauhou Bay, then evolves into a tough 90-mile bike ride over 8,700-feet of climbing to Volcanoes National Monument. Saturday continues with a 171.4-mile bike ride over 8,600 feet of climbing from Volcanoes to Hawi. And Sunday this band of overdistance gypsies wraps things up with a 52.8-mile double marathon along the Queen K Highway from Hawi to Kona.

Day Two Results

Individual Men
1. Jonas Colting (Swe) Day 1 - 7:08:57 - Day 2 - 7:34:16 TOT 14:43:13
2. Tim Sheeper (USA) Day 1 -7:52:48 - Day 2 - 8:012:58 TOT 15:54:56
3. Alexandre Ribeiro (Bra) D 1 - 8:04:20- Day 2 - 8:21:51 TOT 16:26:11
4. Peter Mueller (Sui) Day 1 - 8:24:30- Day 2 - 8:19:24 TOT 16:43:54
5. Scott Gower (USA) Day 1 - 8:20:24 - Day 2 - 8:31:33 TOT 16:51:57
6. Josef Ajram (Esp) Day 1 - 8:37:37- Day 2- 8:14:29 TOT 16:52:06
7. Trevor King (USA) Day 1 - 8:31:19 - Day 2 - 8:40:13 TOT 17:11:32
8. Gary Wang (USA) Day 1 - 8:55:33 - Day 2 - 8:32:53 TOT 17:28:26
9. Miro Kregar (Slo) Day 1 - 9:12:30 - Day 2 - 9:04:58 TOT 18:17:28
10. Marty Raymond (Can) Day 1 - 8:55:08 - Day 2 - 9:41:xx TOT 18:36:57
11. Jeff Landauer (USA) Day 1 - 10:11:26 -Day 2- 8:30:37 TOT 18:42:03
12. Kari Martens (Swe) Day 1 - 10:20:42 - Day 2 - 8:46:12 TOT 19:06:54

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