On a busy weekend in North America, Australia’s Chris McDonald and Kate Bevilaqua took out the 2013 Ironman Louisville in Kentucky, USA.
McDonald took his fifth Ironman title with a fantastic swim-bike-run performance netting him the course record and topping defending champion Patrick Evoe. ‘Big Sexy’ McDonald began his day with a fourth-best (of the pro field) 48:56 swim, exiting the drink about 40-seconds back of American Andrew Hodges.
McDonald then took to his bike and put the foot down to clock a race best 4:29:14 bike split which gave him a ten-minute buffer over American Thomas Gerlach in T2. After showing much better form compared to his 2012 performance, McDonald kept his foot on the gas and strode out ahead to run race-best 2:57:56 marathon and cross the line in 8:21:34.
McDonald finished well ahead of second place Patrick Evoe, who clocked in a 8:34:16. Evoe passed Gerlach in T2 after riding a second-best bike split, to make up for a swim deficit, and pushed ahead with a 3:00:48 on a hot and humid day. Gerlach took the last place on the podium, holding on with a 3:07:12 run to finish in 8:41:11.
In the women’s race, West Australian Kate Bevliaqua took her first Ironman title since taking the win in Bussleton back in 2010. With a quick 49:03 swim which saw her enter T1 in 4th place not far behind the likes of two-time Ironman Louisville champion Nina Kraft and Svetlana Blazevic, Bevilaqua began her day well.
Kraft and Bevilaqua passed the early swim leaders on the bike, looking good. The pair put on a show, jostling for the lead throughout the bike course, despite some reported nutrition issues for the German. After 100km, Bevliaqua took the lead and began to forge a lead over Kraft.
Bevilaqua lead off the bike and strengthened her lead on the run. American Whitney Garcia had ridden into second and tried to catch up to the Australian early in the run, but wasn’t able. Bevilaqua remained in control and Â took the win in 9:29:05. A fast-moving Brooke Brown from Canada used a race-best 3:15:39 marathon to run her way into second place, finishing in 9:33:46, just 30-odd seconds ahead of Whitney Garcia, who held onto third in 9:34:21. Kraft gritted out a 3:25 marathon to finish fourth.