Kate Bevilaqua gave everything she had to take out the Sunsmart Ironman Western Australia, staggering down the finish chute and collapsing under the tape. After a few moments she was helped to her feet and led off to the recovery tent “probably not the finish line celebrations she had rehearsed in her dreams! Her victory in 9 hours 19 minutes made it a home town double for WA, with the 32 year old who hailing from Perth.
Bevilaqua a renowned runner, beat pre race favourite Rebekah Keat by three minutes after a back-and-forth tussle on the run, and had established enough of a lead at the end for her shaky finish not to cost her.
“I didn’t think I was going to make it; I had no feeling from the waist down,” she said.
“The thought of the finish line (kept me going). My goal has always been to win an Ironman and I couldn’t get so close and let the opportunity pass me by. I had to keep going, no matter what the body was saying.”
Runner-up Keat admitted: “I’m pretty smashed. Kate dug really deep. I couldn’t catch Kate; she was too strong today.”
Bevilaqua had a slow swim, exiting the water in a little under 1 hour and 2 minutes, over eight minutes down on Keat and Amelia Pearson, however she then put in one of the fastest bike splits of the day to bridge the gap and set her up for the gutsy victory.
1 BEVILAQUA, Kate 01:01:43 04:53:53 03:20:42 09:19:44
2 KEAT, Rebekah 00:53:33 05:02:01 03:23:22 09:22:37
3 PEARSON, Amelia 00:53:34 05:15:20 03:24:01 09:36:52
4 MOLLOY, Kirsten 00:56:28 05:26:20 03:20:44 09:47:47
5 FLEMING, Jessica 01:01:10 05:07:52 03:35:40 09:49:41
6 BOYES, Michelle 01:03:38 05:01:39 03:41:42 09:51:05
7 DUFFIELD, Michelle 00:57:01 05:28:07 03:29:11 10:00:15
8 SHAW, Rhae 01:05:59 04:53:29 04:00:59 10:05:10
9 CARRITT, Joanna 01:04:42 05:28:49 03:34:10 10:11:13
10 DILLON, Jasmin 01:01:23 05:22:21 03:39:44 10:12:26