Annabel Luxford wins Ironman 70.3 Auckland Asia Pacific Championship 2013
Annabel Luxford has made it two wins from three starts at the 70.3 distance. Her first race was Mandurah 70.3 where she punctured out of the race. Next was Canberra 70.3 where Luxford lead from start to finish and did it in style.
Auckland looked like a race that could possibly go to five different women but in the end Luxford was just too strong as she first lead out of the swim, then put more time in to the field on the bike and continued to add time until there was almost six minutes between her and second place Caroline Steffen.
Run times looked slow today with a combination of many turns, wet surfaces and a course that may or may not have had an extra km in it made for slower going.
Liz Blatchford did not fire today and the expected onslaught from Mel Hauschildt did not eventuate as she lost time to the leaders on the bike then eventually had to pull out of the race with a leg issue. She stopped at the half way turn around on the run and it looked like she was cramping but continued. Speaking to Hauschildt after the race she said her right leg started going tingly. “Once that started to happen it then kept giving way and I had a shooting pain in my right glut and lower back. I got to the turn around To try to get some medical attention but had no luck.” Mel was in hospital this afternoon to get an x-ray after falling an hitting her head.
Meredith Kessler was one who has the pedigree to win a big race like this. Finishing third today she came out of the swim just behind Luxford but lost time on the bike and was pushed in to 3rd as Steffen moved through the field.
After coming out of the swim alongside Luxford and Kessler, Liz Blatchford struggled on the bike and run. She just didn’t have her best day with some cramping issues.
New Zealand’s Anna Ross had a stella run to grab 5th overall.
Kiwi Anna Cleaver had a good start to the race but eventually pulled out after damaging her foot yesterday in a mishap.
Michelle Wu struggled all day with the wind on the bike but hung on for a solid finish.
Rebecca Hoschke was stoked with her 7th place in a field with this many top pros. Working a full time job, coaching and racing at this level she has her hands full but has managed some great results over the last few months. Not as strong a swimmer as the leading women today the conditions on the bike plus the short drafting zone meant it was going to be a tough race for many.
In the 50-54 age group was Alison Appleton, mother of 7th placed pro male Sam. Alison raced to an overall age group win and Kona slot in 5:14. It is obvious where Sam gets his athletic ability from!