Melissa Rollison has won yet another 70.3 triathlon making it her third in the USA in as many races. Rollison has taken the triathlon world by storm since winning the Gold Coast half ironman in October 2010. Before this race Melissa was a virtual unknown to the triathlon world, having only raced a couple of triathlons in the Queensland Gatorade series, but not to the world of athletics. In 2006 Melissa won the Commonwealth Games Silver Medal in the 3000m Steeplechase and has been the Australian national steeplechase champion.
The men’s race was won by Tom Lowe and threw up some very, very fast run times. Australian Chris McDonald raced incredibly well for a very good fourth in a runners race. Four minutes separated the top 12 men and if you go down the list you will see that 20th placed Ryan Rau ran 1:18. You don’t see these sort of times this deep in to the results very often. If you had come down in the last rain shower you might be forgiven for thinking that not having a swim gave everyone a bit more in the tank for the run. A cynic might wonder if setting all the pros off at thirty second intervals was such a smart thing. It has been interesting hearing some of the guys that raced talk about this today and also looking through many tweets and reading between the lines. It seems that it might have been a bit drafty out on the course and not the natural movement of air type of draft. There were some unhappy pro males.
Having a quick look through some of the run times and picking some recent races as a comparison there are some surprisingly quick times. Using a couple of people as a barometer Melissa Rollison ran 1:16 at Vineman three weeks ago and posted the same time at this weekend’s Steelhead. Noted runner Chris Kemp ran 1:12 at Vineman and 1:12 again this weekend. Vineman race report. Chris Legh has won the unofficial tow truck award after his effort on the bike.
In Australia last year the Canberra half ironman had the swim cancelled and the organisers replaced it with a 4km run. This set the scene and gave the race a normal feel.
There was a good Australian presence at Steelhead with Courtney Ogden having a solid hit out and this was one race that could have been Chris Kemp’s with his run. For Kemp the race was lost in the bike (refer to above) as he posted the fastest run of the day almost a minute faster than the next guy.
Tim Reed ran his usual solid half marathon but his bike was slilghtly off compared to the other guys. Josh Rix got the short straw going off last as number 1 inn the TT bike format. This would obviously take its toll on his legs as in that spot there is only one thing you can do and that is chase. His 1:21 run is slower than what he is running right now. Christie Sym’s run was faster than her winning run in Racine a few weeks ago which is good to see. She is getting it to where it needs to be to consistently podium.
Aussie results (top women’s then men’s results below)