Sam Appleton has had his breakthrough Ironman 70.3 win after taking out the 2013 Canberra 70.3 with a class leading performance. Appleton was only bettered on the run by 4th placed John Polson who ran 8sec faster with a 1:14:28.
Appleton was a promising young ITU triathlete before taking some time out from the sport, going to university and making a comeback to triathlon but this time focusing on the longer format. He has threatened a few times with some great racing over the last two years and finally had the win he was after.
Surprising a few but not his new coach, Matthew Pellow ran in to second place to take one of his best results to date. New coach Alex Price pulled back Pellow’s work load and provided a better mix plus a good taper for the race. This allowed Pellow to perform on race day and the rest, as they say, is history.
James Hodge rounded out the podium with a 3rd and yet another great result for this talented young triathlete.
Hodge, Appleton and Michael Fox set the pace early on with all three posting the same swim and bike times. Once on the run Appleton was too fast on the day for the guys.
Second placed Pellow exited with the second swim group after initially loosing touch with them after about 200m and swimming most of the swim on his own. This was a good swim for him. Pellow rode with with 6th place Monty Frankish and Matt Bailey. He hit the run with the second group of three in 4th place overall after getting the jump on his riding mates out of T2. Ahead were Hodge, Fox and Appleton. Pellow played a waiting game and eased his way in to the run taking Fox at the 11km mark then Hodge soon after. The last 6 months have seen Pellow tired and fatigued for a lot of the time. In the last few weeks changes to the training, race preparation and race plan saw him a lot more confident about what he could achieve. Pellow was focused on Forster so had a big block of nine weeks training leading in to that race and took about 30% of volume out of his training over the last few weeks.
Pellow has changed coaches recently and now trains under Alex Price in Wollongong. Having a coach that is in the same area has had a big positive impact on him over the last few weeks. With stable mates David Mainwaring and James Davy to train with now we will see him on more podiums in the future.
Rebekah Keat was in a race of her own today and was never challenged by the field. Keat is one of the more talented long fcourse female triathletes in the world and was certainly the favourite for the race. With a win and course records at Shepparton and Austin 70.3s this year and a 2nd at Ironman Mt Tremblant Keat finishes her year off in style.
Victoria’s Madeleine Oldfield was second overall. Madeleine has been making a comeback of sorts to the sport after backing off last season to recharge and enjoy life a bit more. It is great to see her back racing again. We bumped in to her at Yeppoon this year and it is good to see her progressing well.
Fastest female overall at the Cairns 70.3 this year as an age grouper was Kym Jaenke (read Steve Crossman’s interview with Kym) who raced as a pro today in Canberra and took out third overall in the female race.
Full race details and results click here
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