Australia’s hottest IRONMAN property, Cameron Wurf and now three time IRONMAN Australia champion Laura Siddall put on a show to be remembered for the world wide IRONMAN Now/Facebook Watch audience and the thousands of spectators, supporters and athletes assembled for the iconic event on the New South Wales mid north coast.
Wurf’s childhood dreams of becoming an elite sportsman started in Port Macquarie and with every pedal stroke of the 180km ride and every step on the 42km run, he relived his childhood and drove himself on to victory, becoming the first “Port Mac resident” to win IRONMAN Australia.
“Today I went past where I started Little Athletics, I went past the pool I learned to swim in, I went past Lighthouse Beach where I did Nippers, I went past my school and Flynns Beach where we lived and the preschool just down the road from the McDonalds at Settlement City where I would get my Happy Meals when I got the encouragement awards at soccer. I remembered all that, on every single lap, and oh man it felt so good. Almost 30 years later I am back here and doing this.”
“I was never a standout athlete when I was young but I loved sport, so if you could have told that kid back then that this was going to happen he wouldn’t have believed it. I am just so grateful that my mum brought me here to grow up and have so many opportunities. No matter how bad I was, she told me I was a little champion. It is good that after all this time I have been able to prove her right,” the delighted Wurf recalled.
To add icing to Wurf’s IRONMAN Australia cake, with a stunning race time of 8:06:17 he also broke the bike record, set a new course and also eclipsed the event record set by IRONMAN legend Pauli Kiuru in 1992.
“The course record, wow. That is the first I have got and that is what I am here to get. The bike records don’t mean as much really but the course record is what I want and obviously the big one I want is in Kona and that is what I am working for every single day. We have five more months now to work on things.”
“The first half of the marathon was almost one of the quickest half marathons I have done and even through 30km I was still going pretty well. I fell apart a bit at the end, but when I fell apart I was still moving pretty well which is a good sign of the work I have done. It has been a big commitment by my team of coaches, trainers and training partners supporting me but when you get out there you remember it is all on you. You don’t want to let anyone down, I really feel that and I love that pressure and it feels great when you deliver. I am really rapt and can’t wait to go back to Europe and celebrate with everyone and focus on Kona,” he said.
Both Wurf and woman’s winner Laura Siddall have been embraced by the town of Port Macquarie, who urged them on at every turn.
“It was so exciting, the crowd out there was a constant wave of Cam, Cam, Cam, go Cam, go Wurfy and I knew there were heaps of kids I went to school with and people who knew me from back in those days or knew my mum and the family. Hopefully I have given the town something to be proud of, as they should be, because it is an amazing place for a kid to grow up. You get every opportunity you can dream of here and I hope there are some kids out there watching thinking one day maybe they could win this race.”
“It is fantastic to be the first ever Port Macquarie resident to win IRONMAN Australia. It is one thing to say it but another thing to do it. I couldn’t be more happy and I am going to go and celebrate it with the town. Go and say hello and thank as many people as I possibly can, because without their support today there is no way I would have been here. What a day. It couldn’t have happened in a better way,” Cam said.
Siddall’s stunning three peat puts her in very illustrious company in the 34 year history of IRONMAN Australia.
“That is up there with the first win here. I am absolutely blown away and couldn’t believe it. It means so much. I didn’t have the start of the year that I wanted so to come back and have that performance, I am totally stoked.”
“It has been a few up and down months since IRONMAN New Zealand and a lot of self reflection. I knew training was going well and that was the only thing that kept me going. It was a matter of keeping the belief and pulling things out on the day and delivering a race I could be proud of. To win three times is ridiculous and an amazing feeling. You see the name on the honour roll and the legends who have won this race twice and three times before and to know that my name is going to be with them pretty special,” Laura said.
Second placed Tim Reed turned in an amazing performance and was unfortunate to find Wurf in exceptional shape. The former champion proved he still super competitive finishing in 8:09:50, almost seven minutes quicker than his 2016 win and under the old course record.
“I put a lot into this race and made no secret that it was my A race for the first half of the year. I am really stoked that everything fell into place apart from winning the race. It is something I can really build on. Some of my better races haven’t been winning performances and objectively today was one of my better races for sure. For me it was about proving to myself that I could put down a world class performance and today is up there and far better than anything I have done. It was super pleasing.”
“I think I stuck to my plan really well which is not normally my strength. When Cam went past a part of me said I should go with him for 5-10km, which Mark Bowstead did and it didn’t pay off. I stuck to my guns and raced within myself. I thought Cam would have ten minutes off the bike and I thought eventually I would start whittling away but it just didn’t whittle away quite as quick as I would have liked. I could say I ran out of road, but I couldn’t have run much further,” Reid said.