Photo Credit: Alyx Hayes & John Marsh
Australia’s Clayton Fettell and Carrie Lester were crowned Ironman 70.3 Port Macquarie champions here in Port Macquarie today. In ideal racing conditions, eight-hundred professional and age group athletes toed the start line in Hastings River and set out on a challenging course that produced fantastic racing.
Fettell’s emphatic wire-to-wire win was the maiden Ironman 70.3 title for the talented athlete from the NSW North Coast. Fettell established more than a five-minute lead coming into to T2 after posting an impressive bike split of 2:11:12 over what is regarding as an extremely challenging bike course. In a quality field featuring Luke Bell and Luke McKenzie, Fettell held off challenges from Tim Reed and Chris Kemp towards the latter stages of the run to record the finest win of his career in a time of 3:53:29.
Speaking to Fettell after the race he was overwhelmed by his first 70.3 win. After giving up Uni and work and spending seven years to get to this win it was almost and immense relief to get the monkey off his back. Joey Lampe, who trains with Fettell and said later that in training he just can’t keep up with Fettell when he starts to apply the top end power on the bike.And that showed yesterday when Fettell decided to start to put the pressure on in the bike leg.
Known for being a couple of the faster runners around Kemp and Reed started the run together and stayed that way for the first few kms. Reed then put in a surge when it started to get hilly. “We ran together at the start and I felt fine but when it started to get hilly Reed kicked up a gear and I couldn’t stay with him. I enjoyed the race and was more than happy with my performance today and my 3rd place”.
Tim Reed had a great race but knew he had his work cut out once Fettell turned the pace on while out on the bike. He started around five minutes behind Fettell and slowing ate in to his lead but in the end ran out of road and finished exactly two minutes behind for a great second place. Clayton Fettell has to be commended for taking the race to the field and playing to his strengths. He backed himself to put enough time in to the field on the swim and the bike to give himself the gap that he needed to have on the run knowing that there were some fast guys in the field. After coming so close to a win this year at Wildflower 70.3 he knew he had the recipe to win the race this weekend. Last week at Noosa Clayton had a great 4th place and this gave him added confidence going in to Port 70.3.
Local favourites Tim Berkel and Mitch Robins were not a factor today with Berkel withdrawing prior to the race start due to illness and Robins experiencing an early puncture on the bike, which discounted him from the win early in the day. Port Macquarie’s Adam Holborrow flew the flag for local pro athletes with a top ten finish.
Joshua Amberger had a great 70.3 debut. He showed that with a bit of time and experience he will be a force to be reckoned with. As one of the top swimmers in triathlon he now just has to build his bike and run speed a bit to get on to some podiums. Luke Bell said after the race that his legs were tired on the bike and he just couldn’t get them going. Bell, Luke McKenzie and Paul Ambrose have all had a long hard season of racing and felt it on Sunday. The final race of the year for most of the pros, Port with it wind on the bike and hills on the run, was a tough day at the office and the legs that were already tired found the race fairly exhausting. These guys and many of the other guys and girls in the field have hammered themselves this year and they are all up for a well deserved break. Luke Bell’s first race back next year will be Ironman Melbourne and he is looking forward to relaxing for a while.
After having some much needed time off Peter Schokman got back in to racing long course which he is more suited to. He showed that his swim and run is right up there but he lacked bike speed. He has some left knee issues which is not helping the bike and run. Once these are sorted he will work out what is going wrong with the bike. It will be good to see him focusing on long course.
In the women’s race, Carrie Lester was on familiar ground and took full advantage of her experience in Port Macquarie. Lester, the champion at Urban Hotel Group Ironman Australia in 2010 in Port Macquarie outlasted the New Zealand pairing of Samantha Warriner and Joanna Lawn to record her first Ironman 70.3 title in Port Macquarie. Lester’s calculated race plan saw her come off the bike within range of Warriner and Sydney’s Lisa Marangon who set the pace on the swim and bike. Lester would reach the front of the field on the second lap of the undulating run course and record a 1.29:27 run split and take the win in 4:28:25.
Sam Warriner was very happy with her second placing after having only got back in to training a week ago since racing Hawaii four weeks ago. But with a base like these top girls have they aren’t going to loose much in that period. Joanna Lawn loves racing at Port now and in her second race here this year she was happy to get back on the podium. Lisa Marangon was the early leader off the bike but succumed to a bit of dehydration and stomach cramps about 4kms in to the run. With Shepparton 70.3 this weekend she decided that pushing herself any further at Port was going to be detrimental to her race next weekend.
Joanna Lawn, Sam Warriner & Carrie Lester
Nicole Ward struggle on the bike this weekend. Ward came out of the water with the leaders but found the first few hill heading out of Port Macquarie really tough and she lost the lead girls on the bike. Ward then continued on at a comfortable pace and finished with a run well within herself. Once again Ward is racing at Shepparton this weekend and now has a week to rest and prepare.
Another Kiwi in the field, Elaine Brent, continues to grow race by race as she learns more and more about open racing. Brent’s swim needs a lot of work but her bike is has improved and her run is also getting stronger over the longer distances. Sarah Crowley also had a good solid race.
Age group divisions were hotly contested with each age group winner being crowned Ironman 70.3 Australian Age Group Champion. Newcastle’s Finbar Crennan was the first age group athlete across the line in an overall time of 4:13:17. Incredibly, Crennan competed in the male 40-44 age group and finished in ninth place overall. Crennan, along with each age group winner will have the opportunity to enter the sold-out Urban Hotel Group Ironman Australia event to be held in Port Macquarie on May 6, 2012.
Finally the teams event was won outright by Coastal First Aid with an amazing 22:51 swim by Warren Keegan, 2:31:51 bike by Karl Hayes and a 1:26:14 run by John Marsh.
|137||2||Lisa FLETCHER HEPBURN||5:02:57||F-3539||0:35:17||2:39:04||1:44:55|
Full results click here. The link from the race website is to May’s results.
|1||COASTAL FIRST AID||4:22:57||T-Male||0:22:51||2:31:54||1:26:14|
|2||MID COAST WINDOWS||4:38:51||T-Male||0:27:49||2:35:55||1:32:44|
|3||WII NOT FIT||4:43:46||T-Unisex||0:30:08||2:24:06||1:47:15|
|5||NO OIL PAINTINGS||4:55:11||T-Male||0:29:39||2:44:46||1:38:24|
|9||UNSW RURAL CLINICAL SCHOOL||5:09:47||T-Male||0:24:39||3:01:53||1:40:31|
|10||GO HARD OR GO HOME||5:16:23||T-Male||0:36:47||3:02:35||1:34:44|
|13||MEDICINE IN MOTION||5:36:34||T-Unisex||0:28:00||3:27:05||1:38:21|
|16||CLOSING THE GAP||5:49:29||T-Male||0:34:45||3:02:18||2:09:08|
|17||THE OLD FARTS||5:56:56||T-Male||0:36:31||3:18:43||1:58:36|
|18||MOVERS AND SHAKERS||6:07:17||T-Female||0:26:01||3:29:25||2:09:21|
|19||GIVE US A PUSH|
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