Melissa Rollison wins Ironman 70.3 Muncie

Australia's women pro's led the way at Ironman 70.3 Muncie on Saturday with ex Commonwealth Games Steeplechase silver medalist Melissa Rollison taking out the race with a 1:19:19 half marathon. Melissa did not make life easy for herself, exiting the water nearly 3 minutes down on the lea

Australia’s women pro’s led the way at Ironman 70.3 Muncie on Saturday with ex Commonwealth Games Steeplechase silver medalist Melissa Rollison taking out the race with a 1:19:19 half marathon. Melissa did not make life easy for herself, exiting the water nearly 3 minutes down on the lead bunch, but she was able to catch all bar Leanda Cave by the end of the bike, and then stormed away from the Brit on the run. Australian’s Christie Sym and Madeleine Oldfield also had good races, finishing in the top ten.

Rollison has sorted out her directional issues in the swim now but still has some speed to pick up. “I always veer right and find myself heading way off course. Positioning myself to the right to start may seem strange if that is the way I tend to head but I breath only to the left when racing. So this way I figure I will see myself heading off track if I do this. It worked. My swim coach, Zane King back in Brisbane also spent a lot of time with me before I headed to the states, teaching me to swim straighter. It did help that the swim bouys were huge, bright and many of them. I think one of the best marked swim courses I’ve done. I had a slow start, or my competitors had a fast start, I couldn’t keep up. This may have been due to not warming up. I didn’t get a swim before the start as I was frantically running around looking for a timing chip strap. Once everyone settled into their pace I found myself passing athletes, something I’ve never done before in the swim leg so this was encouraging. I ran out of the water in 8th place.”

Rollison managed to catch all but Leanda Cave on the bike with a gap of around 5 minutes as she headed out on to the run course in second place. This was only the second time Melissa had raced on her new Avanti Chrono TT. Up until Port Macquarie in May Rollison had only ever had her old road bike. At Port she put in the fastest bike split before having to pull out due to a rolled ankle.

Rollison caught Cave at the 8km mark after heading out faster than her planned pace. “I’m was running way ahead of the pace Jared (partner) told me I should sit on. I was clocking every mile on my watch and knew I was running too fast. I’ve only been back running for 5-6 weeks since taking time off after rolling my ankle. But I was feeling good and it feels very comfortable. I figured I would catch Cave by 10mile then ease up a bit. This is what I told myself to do but I couldn’t help myself, I kept the same pace and caught her at mile 8. I ran past still feeling great. Only now did I slow down a bit. I put the brakes on a little but still kept the pace strong. I wasn’t sure who else was coming from behind. I knew Williamson was a strong runner and somewhere close behind me.” Rollison was also racing in her new shoes (Nike Lunar Racers) for the first time and didn’t know how she would find them.

At the end Melissa finished a comfortable 3:31 ahead of Williamson to clock a 4:08.

The Australian men found it harder going with Luke McKenzie fighting hard to hold onto a top 10 finish, eventually coming home in 8th spot in 3:57:47. racing a the pointy end was very competitive with a little over 4 minutes separating 2nd from 8th. Josh Rix had a disappointing day, coming home in 4:10:09 which gave him 17th.

1Rollison, Melissa28/F PRO0:30:102:16:471:19:194:08:48
2Williamson, Kelly34/F PRO0:27:232:22:061:20:214:12:19
3Cave, Leanda33/F PRO0:27:192:14:341:28:114:12:35
4Shapiro, Margaret99/F PRO0:28:322:18:431:28:454:18:20
5Griesbauer, Dede41/F PRO0:27:242:18:461:31:524:20:55
6Meyers, Jessica33/F PRO0:30:142:21:311:28:254:22:35
7Hoogland, Tenille33/F PRO0:27:232:19:541:34:254:24:30
8Sym, Christie28/F PRO0:30:222:21:241:31:334:25:54
9Oldfield, Madeleine24/F PRO0:29:532:25:001:35:374:32:51
10Haemmerle, Holly36/F 35-390:32:452:29:031:36:014:41:51
11McQuaid, Melanie38/F PRO0:30:132:27:091:44:064:43:57
12Debonis, Jeanne46/F 45-490:32:592:33:471:33:594:44:01
13Ritchie, Tami28/F PRO0:28:412:39:471:33:064:45:06
14Leiser, Jenny32/F 30-340:29:162:30:001:43:364:46:06
15Florea, Shannon34/F 30-340:35:082:29:111:38:354:46:46
16Houghton, Tanya43/F 40-440:39:342:30:181:33:464:47:24
17Atnip, Beth32/F 30-340:32:172:31:471:39:524:48:05
18Gluck, Amy40/F 40-440:38:032:30:471:35:364:48:10
19Clifford, Ashley25/F 25-290:29:102:45:311:29:234:48:25
20Nicolet, Mindy33/F 30-340:32:102:31:221:45:544:52:38
1Hoffman, Ben99/M PRO0:26:082:01:111:18:313:48:14
2Caiazzo, Mike35/M PRO0:28:262:05:561:16:073:53:12
3Allen, Rich37/M PRO0:26:112:05:341:20:133:54:18
4Umphenour, Joe42/M PRO0:25:492:08:511:18:133:55:12
5Bretscher, Daniel28/M PRO0:27:172:08:221:17:363:55:36
6Abel, Torsten37/M PRO0:26:132:08:111:19:283:56:40
7McDaniel, Joe29/M PRO0:27:132:08:191:19:063:57:08
8McKenzie, Luke99/M PRO0:26:152:08:221:20:493:57:47
9Poulsen, Brent29/M PRO0:27:152:11:021:18:293:59:17
10Krylov, Stanislav26/M PRO0:25:482:05:591:25:333:59:55
11White, Tony26/M PRO0:27:182:08:141:22:304:00:31
12Waninger, Nick27/M PRO0:27:152:11:011:20:494:01:13
13Minnema, Jimi32/M PRO0:32:112:09:331:18:394:03:02
14Zucco, Adam36/M 35-390:28:402:05:211:25:434:03:39
15Daerr, Justin30/M PRO0:27:302:10:121:25:134:05:26
16Shearon, Jonathan31/M 30-340:30:132:07:411:24:314:05:48
17Rhodes, Bryan38/M PRO0:26:142:08:131:29:204:06:06
18Ruble, Zach29/M PRO0:27:162:08:271:28:534:07:11
19Iott, Scott35/M 35-390:32:572:08:351:23:154:07:37
20Eicher, Paul20/M 18-240:29:242:12:061:23:024:07:55
21Rix, Josh33/M PRO0:26:202:08:121:33:184:10:09