Iowa man, New Zealand woman take top honors in IRONMAN

Bretscher wins first IRONMAN title ever in Madison

A New Zealand woman and Iowa man took top honors in the 13th annual IRONMAN Wisconsin race held in Madison and surrounding communities on Sunday.

Daniel Bretscher of Mt. Vernon, Iowa took the lead with nine miles to go in the marathon and never looked back.

Bretscher won his first IRONMAN title in a course record time of 8:31:20. He said the victory helps justify the big step he took toward his goal eight years ago.

“Eight years ago I graduated from college and made a decision that some people questioned, which was to put off real work to pursue triathlon as a career,” said Bretscher. “It’s been eight years of investment and it brought me to this day. This win is just complete validation of that decision I made eight years ago.”

Meanwhile, Britta Martin of New Zealand took the lead in mile 19 of the bike section of the race and never looked back. The former professional cyclist built a lead of 5:21 over her nearest competitor, Tamara Kozulina of Ukraine, and held the lead throughout the marathon.

“I had a pretty tough buildup and I just had absolutely no idea what kind of shape I was in. Three weeks ago I was even thinking of dropping out and not even starting because I didn’t feel that good,” said the 2012 IRONMAN Western Australia Champion. “I’ve been working heaps on my swim. I could just push it on the bike and was really surprised when I caught the lead and then I just tried to go for it and stay in the lead.”