Australian Tim Van Berkel and Hungarian Anna Eberhardt won the Ironman 70.3 Vietnam in Danang, amongst tough competition and stifling conditions. Here’s how the races played out.
Men’s Race – Vietnam 70.3
The swim was fast, and a solid lead pack was established early, headed off by strong swimmer Sam Betton. Van Berkel was just behind the lead pack, chasing them fast out of the water.
As the bike leg progressed, the battle was on. “Luke Mckenzie was working out the front, but he wasn’t his usual self,” remembers Van Berkel. “As soon as I got out on the bike, I went to the front. I tried to get behind Michael Raelert and go with him, but he was riding really strong.”
With Raelert starting the break away, and Van Berkel just behind him; on the second lap Raelert got a flat tyre. “I felt so bad for him, he was riding so well. He had about a two minute lead. It was really unfortunate for him,” Van Berkel told Trizone.
With Van Berkel out in front and Mike Phillips just behind, the two worked hard to maintain the pace, and break away from the chasers. “It got pretty congested, there were motorbikes everywhere,” said Van Berkel. “Mike and I had a decent lead, and by T2 I had a 1:46 lead.”
Flying through T2, Van Berkel retrieved his gear bag only to find it was the wrong bag. “What little lead I had was gone by then. I had to run back in and swap bags,” Tim told Trizone.
Van Berkel maintained his lead on the run, but was able to do so without pushing too hard as it was incredibly hot. “I didn’t run too hard, I ran in control. I didn’t need to bury myself, but I really melted the last four kilometres. It was really hot,” said Van Berkel, who ran to victory with the only sub-four hour finish time.
Tim Van Berkel 3:56:19
Ivan Kalashnikov 4:00:32
Mike Philips 4:02:14
Alexander Polizzi 04:07:40
Brad Williams 4:10:31
Women’s Race – Vietnam 70.3
The women’s race was small, but fierce, and as the swim began, it was clear New Zealander Laura Wood would have a significant lead.
After the first transition though, infamously powerful rider Dimity Lee Duke was joined by Anna Eberhardt in the lead. The two women maintained a battle throughout the bike leg, but by the run it was Eberhardt’s race. In such hot conditions, Eberhardt fought hard to take out the victory.
Anna Eberhardt 4:34:56
Dimity Duke 4:37:04
Leanne Szeto 4:54:33
Trizone wishes all the athletes a huge congratulations, especially Eberhardt and Van Berkel for their wins.