Pete Jacobs wins Ironman world championship

Professional triathlete Pete Jacobs of Australia celebrates after winning the Ironman World Championship triathlon in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, October 13, 2012. (REUTERS/Hugh Gentry)

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii — Australia’s Pete Jacobs won the Ironman world championship Saturday, beating Germany’s Andreas Raelert by more than 4 minutes.

The 31-year-old Jacobs, second last year, finished the 3.8-kilometer (2.4-mile) ocean swim in Kailua Bay, 178-kiometer (112-mile) bike ride through the scorching lava fields along the Kohala Coast and 42-kilometer (26 mile) run through Kailua Village and out onto Queen Kaahumanu Highway in 8 hours, 18 minutes, 37 seconds.

“I’m in love with this sport,” Jacobs said moments after winning. “I’m so lucky to have this opportunity and have a good day out there. It was an unbelievable day and there’s much love out there.”

Jacobs was second off bike, more than 8 minutes behind Belgium’s Marino Vanhoenacker, and passed Vanhoenacker with little more than 16 kilometers (10 miles) left in the marathon. The winner earned $120,000.

The 36-year-old Raelert has his third top-three finish in four years. He finished in 8:23:40.

Belgium’s Frederik Van Lierde was third in 8:24:09.

Vanhoenacker faded badly in the run after Jacobs passed him and wasn’t a factor at the finish.

In the women’s race, Britain’s Leanda Cave pulled away in the last 5 kilometers (3 miles) of the run to win her second world title of the year. The 34-year-old Cave won the Ironman 70.3 world championship last month and carried that momentum into Kona, finishing in 9:15:54.

“I’m kind of speechless,” she said. “I just hope they don’t come out with another distance. I’m getting too old for this.”

Switzerland’s Caroline Steffen was second in 9:16:58.

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