By Karl Hayes
Photo Credit: Sophie Hayes
Joe Gambles showed what a class act he is when he rode away from the field to put himself in a position to win the 2011 Port Macquarie 70.3 triathlon. Gambles showed why he is one of the best triathletes at this distance in the world. Another world class triathlete, 10 time Ironman New Zealand winner Cameron Brown, showed his experience after calmly stopping to fix a puncture then proceeding to come back and claim third spot ahead of some very tough competition.
And we can’t go any further without acknowledging Tim Berkel’s classy second place with a smoking 1:15:22 run completely outclassing the rest of the field in this leg by 0:1:31. The guys that have been training with Berkel all said that he has been training up a storm at Lennox Heads under the watchful eye of Grant Giles of Aeromax Team.
Christian Kemp pushed hard on the bike even though he knew it would affect his usual superior run split.
Kemp, Joseph Lampe, Kiwi Bryan Rhodes and Jemani Francis came out of the swim in 23:10 well over a minute ahead of the second swim bunch. Lampe, at only 22, is the young guy in the field who has a massive future ahead of him. His swim and bike is incredibly strong with his run letting him down slightly on Sunday. Still 1:24 for the half marathon at 22 years old and with that large frame to haul around the course is a very special effort.
It is good to see Tim Reed mixing it up with the top guys again after getting through injury and also putting in a strong bike after getting his firstÂ professional bike fit. “I felt a huge improvement in my cycling thanks to several weeks of consistent riding and my first professional bike fit. During the race I probably burnt a little too much gas during the first 45kms as I thought the chase group should have been going quicker to minimise the gap to the front guys.”
Like most on the day Tim found the ride really hit home in the run. “Like many of the guys, the windy ride really took any spring out of my
legs I was playing defence the entire run and happy to hang tough for fifth. I got on the run was surprised at the pace Tim Berkel set out out with as normally he builds throughout the run. I tried to hang on to him but he has been training so well and his form showed with the scalps he claimed to get second.”
Josh Rix had a tough day at the office. Speaking to him after the race he said that he lacked energy and struggled to hold on in the swim and the bike. Josh is staying in Port like a few of the others before heading over to Busselton for this weekends 70.3.
Matty White had a tough day at the office which started during the lead up week with a cold taking hold and ended up full blown by the time he hopped off the plane at Port Mac. He didn’t feel great on the morning of the race but needed the race points so decided to tough it out. The swim went well and the bike was good until he dropped a chain and watched Gambles, Berkel, Reed, Rix and Griffin head off in to the distance. He caught the 2nd bunch back up by the 5okm mark. Hoping off the bike for the run he had knew after 3kms that he needed to back off now and save himself for Busselton next weekend and not do anymore damage.
Another outstanding performance came from first home age grouper and 12th overall was Matt Palmer. This was 33 year old Palmer’s first time at this distance. He is usually an Olympic distance triathlete and had never raced this long before. Palmer has been training up a storm this year and has been running and cycling with Pete Schokman along with the team at PIS by the looks of his race gear. This was a surprise to many of us who know Matt well.
Also, can someone get Matt a TT bike to stop him going on about how well he does on his old roadie with tri bars.
John Siedein 35-39 had an awesome race with a 1:29 run. He was followed in by Anthony Parker who swum a 25:48. 18 year old Shaun Vidler came in 17th overall and showed that with a little bit more age he will be one of the top 70.3 triathletes.
Further race reports to come.
And the final mention has to go to myself and my Trizone partner David. I get ribbed often about putting up photos and race reports quicker if I get a podium but this is the first time I have reported on a major long distance triathlon with myself in the top 100. Check out number 53! No jokes about my run time though. I did not seriously train for this event and it showed when I died on the run at about 9kms and then shuffled home. Even Andrew Vicary from PIS, who was doing the full ironman pulled away from me when I had only 3kms to go. He tried to encourage me but I had nothing. Thanks Andrew! Still it meant that the Trizone logo got more air time on the course.
Also special mention to the other half of Trizone, David Stewart who ran 13kms a week ago in preparation for this race. This was the longest he had run in over two years due to a long time foot injury. With three ironman triathlons under his belt he may be making a comeback.
Thanks to Shawn Smith from Blinq Photography for the slide show below. Awesome photos Shawn!
If you finished 11th plus overall note that Josh Rix result is missing from the official Ironman results. I have added it in to the top 100 men’s results below.