Veteran Ironman champions Cameron Brown and Jo Lawn led a Kiwi domination of the 70.3 Korea Half Ironman race today, with 4 of the 6 podium spots taken up by New Zealand triathletes as both won their respective races.
Conditions were perfect for a quick time but the course itself offered up plenty of challenges with an up and down bike course and a brutal run leg. Thankfully given those course conditions, the weather played its part early with good cloud cover keeping a lid on the heat and humidity for much of the day.
Brown emerged from the 1.8km swim behind fellow Kiwis Guy Crawford and Kieran Doe but caught them both at the 20km mark on the 90km bike before all three stayed in close contact for the remainder of the ride.
Once on to the 21km run however it was the experienced Brown who took control, despite more than a few hiccups on the course.
“I was first off the bike but only a few metres ahead of the other two Kiwi’s, the run course was brutal! We went straight down for about 1500m before before a long 2km climb to get back onto the main highway. The aid stations weren’t ready for the first few athletes as there was nothing set up on the first three I passed so I had to grab a 1.5 litre bottle of water and run with that for a few hundred meters to get some fluid into and on me as the sun was breaking through the clouds and the humidity was starting to rise.
“I made it to the national football stadium turnaround in first (the stadium was built for the Soccer World Cup and was pretty impressive), by that stage I had a 4 minute lead so I could relax a little but from there on it was all uphill to the finish line.”
Brown did more than hold on, finishing strongly to extend his winning margin to over 11 minutes with Crawford holding on to finish second 53 seconds ahead of Doe while in the women’s race, Lawn was an impressive winner.
39 year old Brown now heads to Germany to begin the final three weeks of preparation before racing the European Ironman Championships on July 24th. After the European champs Cameron is heading straight back to New Zealand and Philippines 70.3 in August. Hopefully by then he will have enough points for Hawaii. It will be great to see Brown go head to head with Pete Jacobs in the Philippines. This race is one of Jacobs favourites.
Korea 70.3 Half Ironman
Jeju Island, Korea
- Cameron BROWN NZL 4:03:58
- Guy CRAWFORD NZL 4:15:03
- Kieran DOE NZL 4:15:56
- Fredrik CRONEBORG SWE 4:17:00
- Jarrod OWEN AUS 4:26:27
Lawn was never threatened today which became more a question of the quality of her performance than any danger with the victory.
The six time Ironman New Zealand champion was fifth out of the water overall behind the three kiwi men and Sweden’s Fredrik Croneborg who won Ironman 70.3 China recently.
She maintained her position with a strong ride over the 90km course to finish only 16 minutes behind the leading men in seventh overall
Lawn won in 4:39:15 to be only 25 minutes behind Brown in an impressive performance.
She also heads to Germany tomorrow with Brown to prepare for the European race where they both hope to secure sufficient qualifying points to secure their places in October’s Ironman World Championship in Hawaii.
Meanwhile Auckland’s Bevan McKinnon finished third in the gruelling Ironman Korea with a time of 9:03.25 to cement an outstanding day for the New Zealand triathletes.
- Joanna Lawn (NZL) 4:38.54
- Yasuko Miyaki (JPN) 5:12.38
- Sarah Wheeler (AUS) 5:23.15