Former Ironman world record-holder breaks record at Mercuryman tri

Professional triathlete Marino Vanhoenacker set a new Mercuryman record.

Marino Vanhoenacker of Belgium, who broke the world record for the full Ironman triathlon in 2011 in Austria, set another record pace at the Generali Mercuryman half-Ironman triathlon on Grand Cayman on Jan. 22.

His time of 4:01:48 crushed the previous course record of 4:11.

The fifth anniversary event drew 80 triathletes to the Wyndham Reef Resort in East End. Twelve of the athletes were from overseas, including four professionals.

“It was great to have my first win of 2017 at the Mercuryman triathlon with a new course record,” Vanhoenacker said. “Cayman was everything I expected and more.”

From left, Kim Schwabenbauer, Generali representative Thalia Wood, Alyssa Godesky and Caroline Gregory

Alyssa Godesky, Kim Schwabenbauer and Caroline Gregory, all from the U.S., were the other participating professional athletes. Godesky won the professional female category, and Schwabenbauer was second.

“If you’re looking for a January escape, put the Mercuryman triathlon on your list,” Godesky said. “I had so much fun racing with the other triathletes, and the Caymanians are second to none. It was a great way to kick off the year!”

Nikki Christian and Scott Ruby of Nikki’s Voice also participated and crossed the finish line to complete their first half-iron distance triathlon together. The group originally started with the goal of making Christian Cayman’s first assisted marathoner. Since then, Ruby, who pushes Christian in her racing wheelchair, and Christian have participated in many races together.

“We are thankful for the opportunity to continue spreading our message of inclusion,” Ruby said in a press release. “Nikki and I hope when we are seen racing it makes one realize that limitations are self-imposed.”

Top three male and female age groupers for the half-iron distance were Luke Ehgoetz, Jeff Jakubiak and Jamie Hughes for the men, and Nadine Gray, Rebecca Wall and Sarah Superfine for the women.

Winning teams were Not Today Bobo for the male team and 2 Queens and a Princess for the female team.

Full results for all events can be found on www.mercurymantri.com.

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