Brisbane’s Dan Wilson and local athlete Katey Gibb have matched the brilliance of the Sunshine Coast’s weather, turning on stunning performances to record run away wins at Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast. Racing in near perfect conditions, both Wilson and Gibb made 70.3 racing look easy, setting up their wins with some strong work early on the 90km bike leg, establishing a break and then controlling the run home.
While Dan Wilson continued his run of fine form on the Sunshine Coast, he was quick to point out that it had been a tough day at the office among some of the world’s best.
“I had a pretty good transition and had a little gap to the main pack out of the water and just thought I would test myself out on the bike to extend the lead a bit. I had a crack, committed to it and that was it pretty much it, by 20km I had a minute lead and it was about burying the head and getting the job done. It was four hours of hard slog out there and I was feeling good and going for it early on but the last 10km of a 70.3 is always very hard. It is always in the back of your mind that there is a big pack behind you with some good runners and the legs were feeling pretty knackered so I was conscious of holding it together and not bonking.”
With another title under his belt Dan will be back on the Sunshine Coast to defend his Noosa Triathlon title in November.
“The Sunshine Coast is a great place to come and put yourself through enormous amounts of pain. The landscape is nice, the beach is beautiful and the hinterland loop on the bike was really great. I am going back to Brissie and will do a month of hard training before I head north to Noosa Triathlon for my next race. Then some more events to finish off the season. But the 70.3 hurts enough for me at the moment so I am not entertaining any thoughts of IRONMAN soon,” he said.
The second placed Tim van Berkel had mixed day but was pleased he found some elusive run form just in time for his assault on the Ironman World Championships next month.
“I have been training for Hawaii and I did this race as a hit out. My day started pretty slow and I had a bad swim, so I had work to do on the bike. I bridged up to the group by 20km but it hurt me. I really struggled for the rest of the bike but once I got onto the run I felt good and I haven’t felt that good on the run all year. I let loose and ran fast and had a good time and made the podium. So I am pretty happy with the day.”
Katey Gibb was surprised but delighted to record her second Ironman 70.3 win in phenomenal style.
“I knew I had put in the hard work but I wasn’t sure how I would perform. The swim went as I expected and I am always in the back of the first pack but them my game plan was to go as hard as I could to the turnaround on the bike and see who was there. Nobody was, so I just put my head down and kept riding. Then the run was all about holding the gap I had made on the bike.”
“With my coach Cam Watt it is all about training to race. I have been doing all my stuff on a wind trainer to build my strength and endurance. He is all practical stuff, you are not dealing with numbers, so you are going by how you feel. You train how you would race and it is working well. I am physically the fittest I have been and it all came together.
“I was nervous going in because I hadn’t raced for so long but I felt great. I love the course and the weather was perfect. Coming back into town the support was awesome. I am new to the Sunshine Coast but people knew my name. It was really nice. I do feel like a local now,” she said.
Katey Gibb’s coach Cam Watt was a happy man, with his charge executing her race plan to perfection.
“Katey was quite nervous coming into this race. Her training has been going really well and sometimes when it is you have greater expectations to execute it on race day mounts up and she was feeling that expectation leading in. But she delivered tenfold and took control of the race really early on the bike and didn’t look back. I think the race was essentially over by the half way mark on the bike,” Watt said.
- Dan Wilson 3:52:35
- Tim van Berkel 3:54:07
- Sam Betten 3:54:32
- Katey Gibb 4:29:02
- Hannah Wells (NZ) 4:32:42
- Michelle Gailey 4:33:55