In a race full of surprises and dramatic shifts, Kylie Simpson snatched victory from Radka Kahlefeldt at Ironman Australia women's event.
Kahlefeldt took an early lead during the 3.8 km swim, clocking an impressive time of 52:47. Her closest competitors, Fiona Moriarty and Meredith Hill, trailed her by more than five minutes, while Chino Iwabuchi followed four minutes behind them. Simpson's performance in the swim placed her seventh, a full 13 minutes behind Kahlefeldt.
Despite her initial advantage, Kahlefeldt's lead was not to last. Simpson made a remarkable turnaround during the 180 km bike leg, catching up to Kahlefeldt within the final 30 km. By the time they transitioned to the run, Simpson had built a lead of 4:32. Her bike split was 4:51:31, and her average speed across various checkpoints ranged between 21.67 km/h at 148 km and 57.31 km/h at 158 km.
From that point, Simpson never looked back. Her lead grew to over 10 minutes after the halfway mark of the 42.2 km marathon, and she finished with a time of 9:16:45, eight minutes ahead of her nearest competitor. Simpson's marathon time was an impressive 3:14:10. During the run, her pace fluctuated between 7:30 min/km at the end and 3:48 min/km at the 2.5 km checkpoint.
Kahlefeldt, despite her early dominance, was unable to maintain her momentum and finished with a time of 9:27:42. Although she led for much of the bike segment, she was ultimately surpassed by Simpson in the final stretch of the bike leg. Despite a great effort on the run, Kahlefeldt finished second with a marathon time of 3:17:56.
Simpson's incredible comeback ultimately secured her victory. The dramatic shifts in lead and pace kept spectators on the edge of their seats, making this a race to remember. In summary, Kylie Simpson overcame a daunting 13-minute deficit in the swim to claim victory, with her impressive bike and running performances helping her build an insurmountable lead. Meanwhile, Radka Kahlefeldt, who led the race for a significant portion, ultimately finished second.
IRONMAN AUSTRALIA FINAL RESULTS
- Kylie Simpson – 9:16:45
- Radka Kahlefeldt – 9:25:04
- Fiona Moriarty – 9:33:15
- Meredith Hill – 9:39:57
- Chino Iwabuchi – 9:56:18
- Sarah Thomas – 10:02:42
- Shannon Sutton – 10:13:11