New Zealand’s Dan Plews and Gold Coast athlete Madi Roberts have set a hot pace in near perfect race conditions to take line honours at Ironman 70.3 Cairns.
Plews was in town to assist Tim van Berkel in his title defence, but as an athlete in his own right he came to race Ironman 70.3 Cairns to punch his ticket to the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Chattanooga, Tennessee in September. He was in sensational form despite a limited build up, he reveled in the mild race conditions.
“I only did two weeks of training for this race but I had quite a big build up for Ironman New Zealand earlier in the year where I was first age grouper and tenth over all. So that work held me in good stead here in Cairns.”
“The conditions out there were spectacular and this is a beautiful course. I have never been towards Port Douglas before, it is amazing. The bike course was really rolling and I didn’t know it was going to be like that and didn’t prepare for it but the run was pretty good. Nice and flat and quick. The scenery was amazing out there, I had a bit of a look when I could and I tried to take it in as best as I could when I had the opportunity. It is not always possible when you are going flat out. I am super happy with the race and my result,” he laughed.
Plews had planned to race the Ironman World Championships in Kona but with a baby due on around race day he happily changed his plans.
“I was going to do Kona but my wife is pregnant and she is due on 21 October so I had to prioritize that obviously because I didn’t want to miss the birth. So I thought I would switch it up and do Ironman 70.3 Worlds in Chattanooga instead. I have been told it is a pretty hard course so that will suit me.”
Gold Coast’s Madi Roberts was delighted with her result and full of praise for the Cairns course.
“I haven’t raced a 70.3 since November, so I was actually a bit nervous about this race because my preparation was mostly for sprint and Olympic distance racing where it is flat out and gung ho all the way. My concern was about how I was going to pace it but I found it pretty good and I am very happy. I was in my zone the whole way and just did my own thing.”
“I have done most of the 70.3 races in Australia and I was looking for something new. I want to come to Cairns because it is a lovely place and the course is awesome and I really enjoyed it. I didn’t care about the wind I was just hoping it wouldn’t rain and I got my wish thankfully. I was really happy with the conditions and I didn’t even mind that little head wind on the run it was really nice.”
“My ribs got a bit stiff on the first lap of the run and having trouble breathing but I got it together for the second lap. That made the run a touch slower than I wanted but other than that the day pretty much went to plan,” she said.