Sam Appleton and Michelle Wu win Batemans Bay Ultimate Triathlon
The inaugural Batemans Bay Ultimate triathlon has cemented this new triathlon brand in the Australian market. This is the 3rd Ultimate triathlon event and it looks like Batemans Bay could evolve in to another ‘Huskisson’ triathlon weekend. Batemans Bay is perfectly suited to a big triathlon weekend. This weekend was host to an ocean swim, 5km fun run, enticer triathlon and a sprint triathlon to support the major race of the weekend.
The sprint triathlon was won by Per Wengel who is the current Swedish national ITU triathlon champion and fellow Swedish triathlete Linnea Holmertz who won the women’s race. Once again we had Mick Maroney right up there with a 3rd overall placing just behind Nuru Somi from the ACT. Somi had a faster swim time than Per, rode almost the same time but it was Per’s 15:49 5km run that was the difference.
The bike courses at Batemans Bay are not fast and the times are always slower than a Kurnell type course.
Linnea Holmertz was the overall female winner in the sprint triathlon. Kylie Grady and Lauren Fitzgerald were 2nd and 3rd respectively. Both Holmertz and Wengel used this race as a hit out before they race in the Sydney ITU elite race in two weeks.
The main race of the weekend was the Ultimate Triathlon. Elite Energy have launched this new distance format in Australia to give triathletes a longer and more challenging race without the recovery needed from running a 42.2km run. The 2km/120km/20km format sees triathletes extending themselves more than they would over a half iron distance race. Also these Ultimate triathlons have been placed to give triathletes a hit out before a major iron distance triathlon.
Sam Appleton and Michelle Wu won the inaugural titles and will now go in to the record books with the race records against their names. Sam Appleton has come back to triathlon with a vengeance and has added this title to his impressive result at Huskisson in February at the Jervis Bay Triathlon Festival. At Husky Appleton placed 3rd overall and was only 3mins behind Pete Jacobs with Mitch Robins in second.
Appleton lead from the outset after exiting the water alone over a minute ahead of Ollie Whistler and Lindsey Wall. It didn’t take the chase pair long to catch Appleton but once they were there Appleton was never going to let them get away. The trio rode together for almost the entire 120km bike leg with Wall falling off the pace near the end. Out on to the run and Whistler got out on to the run course ahead of Appleton with wall heading out on to the run about four minutes down.Â Appleton hunted Whistler down and caught and passed him well before the halfway mark. Once past Appleton went on to wrap the race up with a small amount of breathing space.
In the women’s race Nicole Ward lead out of the water as expected. Wu chased hard to get Ward as early on in the bike as she could. She wanted to get a buffer over Ward and Hoschke for the run as both women can run. Rebecca Hoschke caught Ward at around 30kms in to the bike leg and had the second fastest run legs on the day to take second place overall in the women’s race.
Ward is in the middle of a big block of IM training and was definitely not fresh for Batemans Bay. Last year Ward placed
Rebecca Hoschke has notched up some good results over the last year. She won the inaugural Carins half in June last year, won the recent Husky long course and was third in the Geelong 2:80:20 in February. Hoschke went to New Zealand in January to race the Tauranga half and had to pull out of the race during the bike after suffering from sever virus in the days leading up to the race. She started but the reality is you can’t race those distances with three days of no food and dehydration. I knew how she felt as we both pulled out of Tauranga at the same point with the same issues. (unrelated).
We spoke to Rebecca after the race and got her thoughts on the weekend and the format. “This was a tough and very honest race. I am in awe of Michelle Wu. She is such a gusty athlete and incredibly talented. I am not sure what happened to Kat Baker. She flew past on the bike but I didn’t see her after that. Elite Energy puts on such great events and triathlon weekends. I love racing at Emo’s events and that is one of the reasons why I came down to Batemans Bay. I wanted to support him and Elite Energy because they put so much in to the sport.”