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1998 winners repeat Ironman performance

By Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 15, 2000


KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii -- In a repeat of 1998, Natascha Badmann won her second Ironman world title Saturday, dominating on the bike and cruising through the run.

Peter Reid, who also won in 1998, was the men's winner.

Badmann took control by Mile 34 on the bike, finishing in 9:26:17.

"I felt so great, I only could smile," the 33-year-old from Switzerland said. "I just did my race, and to feel good, and enjoy nature, and to take the power."

Her bike split was a full 15 minutes ahead of Lori Bowden, who was the second fastest on the day. Bowden finished the competition in 9:29:05.

Fernanda Keller claimed her sixth third-place finish in 9:31:29. She has finished in the top 10 11 times.

Beth Zinkand finished fourth in 9:35:21, and Joanna Zeiger was fifth in 9:40:23.

Reid flew through the first half of the marathon in 80 minutes. He finished the competition in 8:21:01.

Last year's third-place finisher, Tim DeBoom, improved by one spot, making up some time on Reid over the closing miles and finishing in 8:23:10.

"I was trying," DeBoom said. "I had highs and lows through the day. There were times when I thought I might catch him."

But Reid managed to hold off DeBoom's late charge.

Reid crossed the line and immediately hunched over, hands on his knees.

"That was definitely one of the hardest Ironmans I have ever done," the 31-year-old Reid said.

"Ironman's are getting closer and closer every year, and those last four miles, I had to dig so deep. I haven't dug that deep ever. It's always been my dream to cross the finish line and almost pass out, and that almost happened today."

Normann Stadler was third in 8:26:45, Lothar Leder was fourth in 8:28:15 and Thomas Hellriegel was fourth in 8:33:35.

While the men were finishing, Badmann maintained a solid lead in the women's race.

Keller managed to get into second, but found that she might be relegated to third again after Bowden began to make up more of the deficit that she had at the end of the bike.

At 20 miles, the race was shaping up to be a repeat of 1998 -- Badmann cruising to the title, with Bowden and Keller fighting for second.

Last year, in winning the Ironman title, Bowden ran a 2:59 marathon, but even that wouldn't have been enough as she came off the bike over 17 minutes behind Badmann.

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