Although the mens field was some what diminished with so many Australian long course athletes racing for the cash in Abu Dhabi, Pete Jacobs still put in a world class performance to comfortably take out the mens title in 3:38:57 at Huskisson, NSW, ahead of Sydney OlympicÂ bronze medalist Jan Rehula, who has been basing himself down at Jyndabyne.
Huskisson put on a perfect day for racing, the water in the bay was as flat as a pancake, and only a light breeze developed on the undulating but fast bike course. Surprisingly Pete was not first out of the water with the honours falling to Rob Hurley, however he was not far behind and a group of five all hit the bike together including Jacobs, Rehula and Michael Fox.
For Jacobs this was one of the first hit outs on his new Boardman bike after assembling it just days before the race, and he would no doubt be pleased with his 2:02:05 split which was the second fastest of the day.
Jacobs, Rehula and Fox all hit the run together, but Jacobs immediately opened up a lead on the two challengers. From that point on Jacobs was always in control and looks in great shape for Singapore this weekend. The win was never in doubt, and on the finish line he looked very comfortable despite having run the 20k in just 70 minutes.Â He was immediately able to start his media duties, and required no recovery time. Impressively he then backed up with a solid four hours at the presentation afterwards chatting to many of the age groupers who also raced.
Jan Rehula looked delighted to have held on for second, but Fox was run down by the fast finishing Matthew Pellow. Both Fox and Pellow’s results were impressive considering they are short course specialists. It was great to see Tim Reed racing again and finish with fourth place overall after battling injury since late 2010. Tim’s fourth place could have quite easily been 3rd if he did not have a few rookie errors on the day. He had to dismount his bike out of T1 and then lost a bike shoe. On the run he lost the skin on his toes in the first 5kms and had a lot of problems with his shoes during the entire run. Leigh Chapman ran an impressive 1:15:09. Jarrod Owen was impressive as the first age grouper home in 8th place overall. Four times Australian ironman champion (retired) Bruce Thomas was impressive with a 4:01:53 even though he felt is run was not good.
There were a lot of athletes on the cycle course and some big packs formed making it difficult for the TOs to balance their job with trying to manage these packs which are notoriously hard to break up once formed.
The womens race featured a small but high quality field.Â Five of the six starters swam together and headed out on the bike together, once on the bike Wu and Raynolds were able to open up a gap on Oldfiled and Ward, and made the advantage count on the run. Like Jacobs, Wu imediately put in a surge when she hit the run, Raynolds fought hard to hang on but never looked to be as comfortable and Wu was soon able to open up a gap that she never looked in danger of loosing. Raynolds did very well to limit the deficit to a minute and a half on the run, and looked totally spent at the finish line. The last time Wu and Raynolds raced together was the Canberra half ironman in December 2010 and the run gap as arpound 6 minutes. Raynolds has now brought this back to just over a minute and half.
Madeleine Oldfield ran an impressive 1:23:21 to secure third place and hold off Nicole Ward. Madeliene recently won over the same distance at the 2XU Falls Creek long course where she finsihed 5 minutes ahead of Michelle Wu.
One of the surprises to the open women was that Matilda Raynolds has improved her swim recently out of sight and came out of the water in the lead pack. The hard work she has been putting in to her swim is really starting to pay off. A win in a major long distance race is not far off.
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|462||6||Sonya VAN BEEK||4:58:08||F-30-34||0:39:24||2:37:18||1:39:37|
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