Australia’s Luke McKenzie has finished top ten amongst a world class field at Ironman 70.3 Oceanside in a race won by Andy Potts who defended his title in the process. Potts did not have the win until the very end when in a sprint finish he took the title over Jesse Thomas. Both Potts and Thomas ran mid 1:10s to completely blitz the field in the run. The only other male finisher to come close on the run was 6th place Brent McMahon who actually had the fastest run of the day with a 10:28 beating Potts by 3 seconds.
Thomas was always chasing after loosing 1:26 in the swim to Potts. He pulled back Pott’s lead on the bike and then set about holding a run duel.
Andi Boecherer put in the ride of the day with a 1:11:11 to be two minutes faster than Ronnie Schildkne who finished 4th overall. Boecherer ran a solid 1:16 which was just enough to hold out a faster finishing Schildkne who ran a 1:12 :47.
There was some great racing within the race with plenty of action taking place for each of the places.
Australian Luke McKenzie raced well to finish in the top 10 in a smoking field. McKenzie finished in 3:55:39 and had a very solid all round race. It looks like Luke has a really solid base as he starts his 2013 USA campaign. “I was definitely happy to get a solid result on the board after some sub par results. I am now looking forward to building from here through to Kona.”
McKenzie lamented on twitter today running a 3:30 pace for a half marathon and losing 15 seconds per km was pretty tough.
McKenzie will now prepare for the USA Pro 70.3 Champs in six weeks at St George, Utah before heading to Brazil for the Ironman two weeks later on May 26. The former winner of Ironman Brazil will enjoy this event and hopefully setup his Kona campaign with a good result and take away some good data.
Two spots behind McKenize was Kiwi Graham O’Grady. O’Grady had a great New Zealand season taking out some a couple of big races in NZ including dropping Terenzo Bozzone on the run to win the Port of Tauranga Half.
Another Australian Paul Matthews was one place behind O’Grady. Matthews normally would have a faster run than today’s result but it was a very good race in this field. One takeaway from this weekend for Matthews was the St George Dragons beating neighbours Cronulla Sharks in front of a Sharks home crowd. 1st win of the season for the Saints!
Australian Olympian Brad Kahlefeldt finshed 18th overall. This is Sticksy’s fourth hitout at the longer distance this year. The first race in Geelong saw bike mechanicals sideline him. The second race at Huskisson long course saw a drafting penalty derail that race. However a solid 1:08 20km run was a good experience. At the recent San Juan 70.3 Sitcksy crashed. This weekend he finished and ran a very good 1:14 but is still trying to sort out his race nutrition. His bike time of 2:24 was well down on the field. Kahlefeldt struggled with nutrition again and blew up on the bike. “I am working with Greg Cox, AIS Dietitian, to try and sort out these problems. I got a good start and came out of the swim just off the first pack. I rode up to the first bike pack with Frederik van Lierde and Luke McKenzie. I took some gels and couldn’t keep them down and things went downhill from there.”
It was good to see Dan McPherson finish 4th in his age group, 70th overall and secure a spot at the 70.3 worlds.
The women’s race was a great dual between two Heathers. Heather Jackson came away with the spoils by 2:23 over second placed Heather Wurtle. Wurtle got the jump on Jackson after exiting the swim almost 40 seconds ahead of Jackson. Jackson in turn put in a 34 second faster bike split and then proceeded to run away with the win. A 1:17:32 half marathon saw Jackson show what work she has been doing off season. We have seen evidence of this via Team Wattie Ink’s Sean Watkins from his social media postings.
Third place went to Lesley Paterson who had the fastest female run of the day at 1:16:21. This run time was faster than many of the top male pros.
Australian and 2010 Ironman world Champion Mirinda Carfrae was 8th female overall. Carfrae copped a penalty today for not passing within 20 seconds. Carfrae tweeted ‘first red card on the bike in my career today. Was carded for not passing within 20s.. Wish the referee knew the rules. It’s 25s.’
Carfrae raced two weeks ago in the San Juan 70.3 where she crashed early on in the bike but continued on
In 2011 Carfrae had a killer year with podiums in 8 world class long course triathlons with the highlight being a 2nd at the World Ironman Championship.
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