Stunning weather greeted the huge crowd that turned out to watch Ironman Australia last weekend in Port Macquarie. Trizone looks back at last weekend’s exciting race.
Fettell leads from the start to T2
As the men made it out of the water, infamously strong Aussie swimmer Clayton Fettell led the pack and maintained his lead into the bike leg. Once the race launched into full swing though, the chasers began working hard.
Michael Fox, 2016 winner Tim Reed, and a thick chase pack of David Dellow, Chris McDonald and Paul Ambrose worked hard behind Fettell. Fettell maintained his fierce pace throughout the bike leg even despite a mechanical. This impressive effort saw the Aussie athlete set a new bike leg record of 4:30:39.
Reed and Dellow battle for the win
By T2 though, everything changed. Tim Reed and David Dellow had narrowed their distance to Fettell thanks to their impressive pace. By 10km, the two chasers caught Fettell and overcame him.
From there, Reed and Dellow strode forward, with Reed moving away and creating a lead of one minute. Soon after though, by 30km, Dellow regained his strength and caught back up to Reed. Reed was fading, and in desperate need of the nutrition station. A fading Reed gave Dellow the push he needed, and he strode off to take out the victory.
“I ran really well for the first 15km but I had a bad patch between 15-20km and Tim (Reed) got about 90 seconds on me. I tried not to think too much. I just ran a bit slower to try and recover over the next 6km, caught my breath a bit and had some coke and water and some ice down the front of my suit. I just regathered, kept grinding away and I clawed my way into the lead.”
Despite his incredible bike leg, Fettell was able to maintain his momentum and run his way to third place.
David Dellow 8:15:35
Tim Reed 8:22:42
Clayton Fettell 8:30:02
Women’s Race – Ironman Australia
The women’s race was just as thrilling, with Karen Thibodeau of Canada leading early out of the water. She pushed past the first transition, then worked hard to maintain her lead into the bike leg.
Bike leg sees Siddall motor away
With the bike leg underway though, the race changed, and Laura Siddall of Great Britain and defending champion Michelle Gailey chased Thibodeau hard. By the 33km mark, Siddall motored past Thibodeau and never looked back.
An 18 minute lead at T2 for Siddall
With each passing kilometre, Siddall worked harder toward a hugely impressive bike time of 5:03:14, which gave her a huge lead of 18:19 into the run.
“Running the marathon you never know what the body will do. I could see that I was keeping the same time as Michelle but that last lap was really hard. You can’t take anything for granted so you just keep putting one foot in front of each other and hope the finish line comes pretty soon,” Siddall later told Ironman.
With a breathtaking lead, Siddall powered down the finish chute to take out a huge victory.
“I felt good on the bike and I knew I wanted to put some time into the girls so that when I got off I could just run my own race. I knew I was on the bike record pace at the start but I dropped off at the end. I was thereabouts and it would have been nice to get the record but I am still super happy. I would have liked to have felt stronger on the last lap of the run so there is still some work to do there. There is always something to take away from a race.”
Both athletes were so thrilled with the crowd support, as the race is known as one of the most popular Ironman events for that reason.
“This is a great race and the community really comes out for it with so much support on the bike and run. You never get too lonely out there and it is an amazing atmosphere and the town really supports it,” said Siddall.
Laura Siddall 9:16:38
Michelle Gailey 9:44:15
Jessica Mitchell 9:53:48
Congratulations to all the Ironman Australia competitors!