Australians , half Australians and Kiwis took 9 of the top 10 men’s and women’s places at the ‘heat’ shortened Ironman 70.3 Muncie. Or was it Muncie 5150? The organisers felt the the extreme heat predicted for the race was beyond the temperatures that athletes should reasonably be expected to race under and that many athletes would suffer too much. Temperatures officially reached 40c and it would have felt much hotter racing.
Greg Bennett showed that he is still an expert over the Olympic distance and with young Australian Joshua Amberger ahead of him out of the water he had his work cut out to catch him on the bike then finished it off with a 1:14 quicker run to seal the win. Amberger will have been happy to test himself against last years Hy-Vee winner as he chases his dreams of a win at Hy-Vee.
Another Australian Christian Kemp matched Bennett in the swim and bike but faltered in the run slightly as Bennett, Amberger and Hoffman all ran significantly faster. Daniel Bretscher also managed to put in a 35:23 run to get past Kemp and cross the line 48 seconds ahead.
Two other Australians Ollie Whistler and Tim Berkel had a race for 9th and 10th. Both swum and rode together before Whistler was able to put together a run 28 seconds faster than Berkel. The bike times for these two were a bit slower than we would normally expect from them. It will remain to be seen whether it was Whistler holding Berkel back or the other way around.
In the women’s race Australian Mirinda Carfare finished 3rd overall. In answer to her Mum’s concerns about her run time Carfrae said “I was just beaten by better girls today”.
Ahead of Carfrae was USA rocket Kelly Williamson who one with over 4mins between herself and second. She has been showing the triathlon circuit this year that she could be the one at the world 70.3 champs this year. She will still have to stay ahead of Australian Melissa Hauschildt though. Great Britain’s Jodie Swallow was second.
The change in race distance was backed by Carfrae saying that ‘it would have been carnage for the later waves’.
Kiwi Joanna Lawn followed Mirinda Carfrae in to the finishline for a 4th overall.
Also racing at Muncie was Rebekah Keat who seems swum and rode strongly but was slightly off in the run. Keat tragically strained her calf while leading 4kms in to the run at Ironman Cairns a month ago.