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Aussies Dominate St. Croix Ironman Triathlon

May 6, 2007 — The men from Down Under have managed to tame the Beast year after year, and 2007 was no exception: Craig Alexander of Australia won his third St. Croix Ironman Triathlon Sunday morning with a time of four hours, four minutes and 52 seconds.
Fellow Aussies took second and third place, and they were neck and neck with one minute separating them. Richie Cunningham was second with a time of 4:08:56, while third place went to Chris McCormik at 4:09:51.
Alexander won in 2003 and 2006 and placed second in 2004. He didn't compete in 2005 because his wife, Neri, was giving birth to their now 2-year-old daughter, Lucy, whom he carried over the finish line Sunday.
Last year he could have scored an all-time best, but carrying Lucy over the finish line slowed him down.
"I couldn't be happier," Alexander said. "There is a lot of pedigree in the racers. I didn't know how my legs were going to respond; I just try to hang on. With these conditions you can never relax. This is a tough race, being so hot and humid. It is great to come here where the crowds are so awesome."
"Ouch," Cunningham said while getting a post-race massage. "That's how I feel." But I'll probably be back next year."
Julie Dibens took first place in the women's race with a time of 4:29:11. Completing the race in 4:33:09 and taking second place was Catriona Morrison, while third place went to Samantha McGlone at 4:39:52.
"I knew there were faster runners than me, so I had to get a fast lead, which I did out of the water," said Dibens, 32. "The hills are hard here. It's more about pacing yourself; last year I walked the last four miles and this year I ran. I'm really, really happy."
The first place male and female winners will each take home a purse of $50,000.
The route is made up of a 1.2-mile swim that began at 6:30 this morning in Christiansted Harbor. Then the entrants moved on to the 56-mile bike ride, where they climbed the Beast — a 600-foot climb on a stretch of highway seven-tenths of a mile long, with a maximum grade of 18 percent. The race finishes with a 13-mile run with flat areas and hills.
The weather cooperated for the 750 entrants this year, with overcast skies instead of hot, burning sun and no rain, which can cause dangerous, slick roads.
Among the the large crowd of spectators in Christensted was Delegate Donna M. Christensen. "I'm looking forward to seeing the first Virgin Islander coming in," she said. "This is a great event for the Virgin Islands. I come to the race whenever I'm home, as I have been doing since the beginning."
For complete race results, go to www.ironmanlive.com.
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