Jack Moody and Anna Bergsten Maiden Wins at Ironman 70.3 New Zealand

New Zealand’s Jack Moody and Sweden’s Anna Bergsten have claimed convincing victories at the 2022 Ironman 70.3 New Zealand held in Taupō.

Jack Moody and Anna Bergsten Maiden Wins at Ironman 70.3 New Zealand
Sweden's Anna Bergsten celebrates her maiden Ironman 70.3 win at the 2022 Ironman 70.3 New Zealand. Photo: Sportograf

It was a special day for both Moody and Bergsten who took out their maiden Ironman 70.3 wins as professionals and wrote themselves into the history books.

  • New Zealand's Jack Moody and Sweden's Anna Bergsten won the 2022 Ironman 70.3 New Zealand event held in Taupō.
  • This was their first Ironman 70.3 wins as professionals.
  • Moody rode hard to recover a 50-second deficit and won with a time of 3:49:18.
  • Bergsten came in fourth after the bike leg but used her women's best half marathon time of 1:25:50 to take the lead and win with a time of 4:21:09

“I think I’ve done enough of these now, it’s so hard to win one, you can get on the podium but to actually get first just feels like that next step up and to win like I did today, even better. It kind of cements what I’m doing now and how hard I’ve been working this year and what I’ve thrown into the sport, and where I might go next year,” said Moody.

“It’s really special to get on the board here, it’s all the legends of New Zealand, so my name’s up there now.”

Moody went out hard on the bike to recover a 50-second deficit lost to the leaders after the swim but once he hit the front victory never looked in doubt, with the Aucklander running home to take the tape in 3:49:18.

“I can’t believe it, I probably had the best swim of my life, I thought the group had separated at halfway and I tried to swim across and I actually realised that I was the one swimming away from group two which was cool and then I managed to ride the house down which was cool, haven’t ridden like that ever, and then really paid for it on the run but held it together and got the win which just means so much,” he said.

Christchurch’s Mike Phillips finished in second, over seven minutes behind Moody, with Hamilton’s Simon Cochrane in third, rounding out an all-Kiwi men’s podium.

First out of the water in the Ironman 70.3 New Zealand race was Australia’s Charlie Quin, closely followed by New Zealand’s Sam Osborne and French Polynesia athlete Benjamin Zorgnotti. The trio were quickly through transition one, with Moody nearly a minute down but in hot pursuit.

Moody rode hard and fast on the bike to make up the gap and took the lead about 35km into the 90km ride. Behind him, Osborne fell foul to a drafting penalty while Phillips used his Tour of Southland stamina to power through the field to leave himself second by the Reporoa turnaround.

“I didn’t want it to be a running race between me and Charlie Quin, I was a bit worried about that, and then on the bike I also didn’t want any passengers so when I went past a few people I went about as hard as I possibly could for some good spurts. Then I think Charlie or Sam, one of them got on my wheel and I heard a penalty go behind me, the whistle blew, so someone must’ve got too close I don’t know who it was, if it was one or two of them, which is a shame, but it allowed me to get a big lead coming into T2 and settle in for a long run,” said Moody.

Heading into transition two, Moody held a four-minute lead over Phillips and went on to extend that out further throughout the run, though by his own admission he felt the pain toward the back end of the run after pushing the pace on the bike.

“It was cool, it was different, it was so cool to be back (in Taupō) but it was a bit of a different course, so it did have a bit of a unique feel to it with even the bike course ever so slightly different, swim course feeling very different the way it went and then the run course being back to two laps. It gets pretty lonely out there so you’re just waiting for that crowd support coming into town because that’s enormous.”

Jack Moody claimed his debut professional win at the 2022 Ironman 70.3 New Zealad. Photo: Sportograf

Anna Bergsten, hailing from Öglunda in Sweden, claimed her maiden Ironman 70.3 win as a professional, having only made the step up from age group racing this year.

Professional Men

  1. Jack Moody (NZL) – 3:49:18
  2. Mike Phillips (NZL) – 3:57:08
  3. Simon Cochrane (NZL) – 3:57:58
  4. Benjamin Zorgnotti (PYF) – 4:00:24
  5. Sam Osborne (NZL) – 4:03:02
  6. Scott Harpham (NZL) – 4:09:25
  7. Yoann Colin (AUS) – 4:13:37
  8. Lucas Duross (NZL) – 4:15:12
  9. Matt Kerr (NZL) – 4:20:48

Women's Race

The women’s race looked to be shaping up as a head-to-head foot race between New Zealander’s Hannah Berry (née Wells) and Rebecca Clarke, but Bergsten had a different script in mind.

The Swede was fourth off the bike, 1:40 down on the Kiwi duo, but her women’s best half marathon of 1:25:50 saw her sweep past Berry at the halfway mark on the run and she continued to extend her lead to take out the win in 4:21:09. Tauranga’s Berry was second with Auckland’s Clarke rounding out the women’s podium in third.

“It feels amazing, really good, I’m so happy to be here. I was going here in 2020 actually for the age group World Champs so I’ve been longing to come back ever since and finally I’ve been able to make it over, as pro, not an age grouper, it feels amazing,” said Bergsten.

Bergsten is the 2021 Age Group World and European Ironman 70.3 Champion but only turned pro at the start of 2022. After enduring a tough year she has now announced herself on the world stage.

“Very special because I’ve had a catastrophic year, I had COVID then iron deficiency and then I crashed at the European champs, so it’s been a really tough season, so it felt really good to end on a high and go into off season able to do some good work for the year ahead,” she said.

Bergsten was sixth out of the water, over three minutes down on the leader Clarke who had a typically strong swim, but pulled herself up a couple of places by the end of the 90km bike to head into transition two in fourth.

“My plan was to try and go quite hard on the swim, I don’t have any swimming background so I knew I’d probably be three or four minutes behind the top girls, I was three and a half minutes behind I think so that was according to plan, and then on the bike I just planned to go a bit harder in the beginning to see if I could catch some girls, caught a couple and then just tried in every out and back to keep an eye on if I was gaining any ground on the leaders which I was, so that gave me a bit of a boost,” said Bergsten.

At the start of the run Clarke and Berry held a solid lead over the Swede, and it looked like the race for the Ironman 70.3 New Zealand title might come down to a battle between the two Kiwis, but Bergsten used her impressive run speed to reel in the leaders and then take the lead before the halfway point.

“On the run the plan was just to go out quite hard and I found a pretty good rhythm early on and then I just stuck to that and caught the girls around eight, nine kilometres and then I just stuck to my rhythm, eased off a bit when my friends said, ‘play it smart here’, so yeah it was quite an enjoyable race actually, I didn’t mind too much the rain.

“I just found a rhythm that felt nice, it was a bit faster than I planned but then again it felt comfortable, so I just let it sit there. I felt already in the morning when I was warming up that I had good run legs, so I just went with it and just kind of enjoyed it quite a lot,” said Bergsten.

The 31-year-old will finish the season with her Ironman 70.3 New Zealand win and plans to spend some time with friends in Aotearoa making the most of the warm weather she hopes will come.

“I’ve always wanted to come to New Zealand, my whole family has been here when they were younger and I’m the only one who hasn’t been here, so I really wanted to go a couple of years ago but that didn’t happen,” she said. “Then with the start of this season being pretty bad, I didn’t want to end it when it started turning and going well around September I think, it just felt like such a shame to leave it there but then obviously the season in Europe is over in October, but then there were some lucky circumstances where some of my best friends could come with me and stay for a couple of months, so I did Melbourne a month ago, I just had great support with me for this whole trip and obviously on course today, so thanks to them.

“We just made it a vacation now with off season coming up, a nice summer over here – hopefully that will come – so yeah, just lucky circumstances with being able to race and then being able to have a bit of vacation together,” Bergsten.

Professional Women

  1. Anna Bergsten (SWE) – 4:21:09
  2. Hannah Berry (NZL) – 4:23:27
  3. Rebecca Clarke (NZL) – 4:24:37
  4. Chloe Hartnett (AUS) – 4:26:02
  5. Rebecca Kingsford (NZL) – 4:39:54
  6. Laura Armstrong (NZL) – 4:44:24