Queensland based Liz Blatchford was in a class of her own as she successfully defended her title with a wire-to-wire win and finish inside the top 10 professionals overall.
The women’s race was always going to be a Blatchford’s to lose. The defending champion started her day by throwing down the gauntlet to her competition, recording the fifth fastest swim among all professionals, male and female.
Out onto the bike she extended her lead to more than six minutes before a four minute drafting penalty brought second placed Kiwi Melanie Burke into contention.
However last year’s IRONMAN world championship medallist gradually rebuilt her buffer to win in 9:16.58. Burke, who was third at IRONMAN Australia last month, went one better to finish second six minutes back with Sweden’s Asa Lundstrom third a further three minutes behind.
“It was a solo day for me today until about the 150 km mark of the bike when I ended up in a big pack of age group men, got a penalty and served it in T2,” Blatchford said.
“I love Cairns, it’s a special place and now it’s even more special.”
“I was cold out there today. I’ve worked out that I run a marathon best when I get out there and run it on my own. I am so happy to have returned and won again.”
Blatchford, the official 2014 Pro Ambassador for Cairns Airport IRONMAN Cairns, announced this week that she will now race for Australia.