Ironman debutant Samantha Warriner wins 27th annual Ironman New Zealand
Posted Mar 05 2011 7:40am
By winning Ironman New Zealand Samantha Warriner has accomplished a feat that only two other women can claim, and that is winning an Ironman race as well as an ITU World Cup series title.
Warriner joins triathlon greats Michellie Jones and Karen Smyers as the only female triathlete to win championships in both the short and long distance races, but perhaps even more incredible is that 40-year-old Warriner won her first ever Ironman just four months after undergoing heart surgery to to correct a rapid heart beat.
"It's amazing, in November I thought there was something really wrong and that would be it for my triathlon career, because I just couldn't exercise for more than 20 minutes without my heart-rate going up to 230," the Kiwi triathlete said. "It was every time I trained, as well, not just once in a while."
Warriner beat Ironman World Champion Mirinda Carfrae by about three minutes in a time of 9:28:24 to cross the finishline first. While she came of of the water in second place, she easily took the lead on the bike and never looked back. Of course Warriner was certainly aided by the fact that Carfrae suffered two flat tires on the bike.
"Words can't express it -- when something like that happens, you're just happy to be on the start line. To win in New Zealand, is just a dream come true," she said after the race.
27th annual Ironman New Zealand Taupo, New Zealand
Top Women 1. Samantha Warriner (NZL) 9:28:24 2. Mirinda Carfrae (AUS) 9:31:33 3. Joanna Lawn (NZL) 9:31:53 4. Kate Bevilaqua (AUS) 9:40:01 5. Belinda Harper (NZL) 9:40:33