Paul Ambrose led from start to finish to take out the 2012 Ironman Australia in Port Macquarie. The 2012 Ironman Louisville champion held off a fast finishing Tim Berkel who was leaving nothing on the run course in a last ditch effort to catch Ambrose. We saw Ambrose employ these tactics in Abu Dhabi this year to only falter in the run. This wasn’t the case this time. Ambrose can now call himself a multiple Ironman winner.
Tim Berkel only decided to do the race after watching Ironman Melbourne six weeks ago, having previously said he would not race any iron distance races this season. He had the run of the day with a 2:47:20 marathon and Jason Shortis was not far behind with a 2:51. Earlier in the day former Ironman great Bruce Thomas said Shortis would run a 2:50 and push for the podium.
Ambrose said he needed a 15min gap off the bike to keep Berkel at bay and this was almost what he had at the start of the run. Berkel knew if he could hold Ambrose to a ten minute gap that he would be able to run him down. Today it was Ambrose’s day.
After the race Ambrose was open about the way he had approached races before. ‘I have approached races before without paying due respect to what I was about to do. I approached this race very differently and put in the work needed to win Ironman Australia. My training partner Chris ‘Macca’ McCormack has been a huge influence on me and the valuable knowledge I have gained from Macca put me in a position to win this Ironman”.
On the bike Ambrose wasted no time and used his buffer from the swim to keep putting time in to the chasers and make them work hard to try and stay in touch. Berkel and Griffin paced of each other on the bike until Griffin was handed a drafting penalty. Griffin was filthy about is as they were going through some road works and up a hill. This part of road was particularly rough and hard to ride on. Griffin stewed on this and the fact thatÂ the TO did not start the stop watch straight away in the box which added another minute on to his penalty. Griffin was philosophical about it after the race and knows this had nothing to do with his 4th place. After Ironman WA in December and now Ironman Australia today he is adamant that he is not an iron distance triathlete. “The run hurts too much”. Griffin is entered to race Cairns Ironman but he may decided to defend his Cairns Half title after today. A few days later Griffin has confirmed that he will race Ironman Cairns.
“The 160km mark on the bike really hit me again and I faded at this point. It just seems I am a half iron distance guy”.
Out on the run and Griffin started well but at around 20kms he said he started to hit the wall and his legs just gave up. Meanwhile behind, a powering Jason Shortis was getting in to a really good rhythm and putting in one of his trademark marathons. Shortis had a lot of work to do to get within striking distance of Griffin before he could start to work on taking the 3rd place.
At the end an emotional Jason Shortis paid tribute at a couple of friends who have recently been lost in accidents.