Germany’s Timo Bracht who came fifth in Kona eight weeks ago has backed up to win the Sunsmart Ironman Western Australia in 08:12:39 ahead of Australia’s Clayton Fettell who led for the entire swim and bike leg before being passed by Bracht at the 32k mark of the run. Remarkably 41 year old course record holder Jason Shortis was able to run himself up into third.
While 26 year old Fettell will no doubt be dissapointed to have come so close to a major break through in his career, he can none the less be very proud of his efforts, and knows he has time on his side to learn the art of Ironman. The win caps off a great year for 36 year old Bracht how also won Ironman Lanzarote in 2011, and has proven he can win on the flatest and the most mountainous of Ironman courses.
Fettell put in a blisteringly fast 45.11 swim, 2 mins and 20 secs ahead of second placed Luke McKenzie. The main pack, which included Bracht came out in 49 minutes. Fettell looked to stamp his authority onto the race on the bike with a 4:25:25 split, the fastest spli of the day by nearly 3 minutes. The second fastest split of the day went to renowed cyclist Leon Griffin.
On to the run Fettell was being chased by fellow Australian Josh Rix who had ridden himself up into 3rd, but who was still 9 minutes behind Fettell, along with Bracht, Aaron Farlow, Matty White, Leon Griffin, and previous winner Mitch Andersen.
Fettell was able to hold off all but Bracht, who shook his hand when he passed him at the 32k mark, and offered some words of encouragement that Fettell said helped spur him on to the end. Bracht ran a 2:48:42 marathon to Fettell’s 3:04:40. Shortis was only just shy of Bracht with a marathon split of 2:49:58