Kate Bevilaqua Ultraman World Championship
The Ultraman World Championship is the ultimate test for any endurance athlete, and 2016 was the 32nd anniversary of this unique event held over three days and limited to just 40 athletes - Australia’s Kate Bevilaqua was one them.
Kate not only won the women’s event but finished 6th overall but to before she reached the finish line this happened.
In total it is 515km of racing and pacing around the Big Island of Hawaii.
Stage I – 10km ocean swim from Kailua Bay to Keauhou Bay, followed by a 14 km cross-country bike ride from Keauhou Bay around the southern tip of the island. Kate finished 3rd overall – 1st female
Stage II – 276km bike ride, from Volcanoes National Park to Keaau, then through the City of Hilo, to Waimea, and over the Kohala Mountains to finish at Kamehameha Park in Kapa’au, just north of Hawi town. Vertical climbs total 8,600 feet. Kate finished 5th overall – 1st female
Stage III – 84km double-marathon run from Hawi to Kawaihae, then on to Kailua-Kona. Kate finished 6th overall – 1st female and recorded a sub-8 run time.
Time Limits: Each stage must be completed in 12 hours or less.
On the local scene ‘Kingy Tri’ attracted a big field to the multisport weekend, located in the northern tip of NSW and just short of the Queensland border – it’s a popular destination for tourism and triathlon.
For Gillian Backhouse it was a welcome return to racing and the top of the podium.
“Good to see I can still remember how to swim-bike-run and I can’t wait to race again in a couple of weeks,” said Backhouse.
Laura Dennis was next home followed by Courtney Gilfillan.
Daniel Coleman grabbed the win with training partner Jack Van Stekelenburg third and Lindsey Lawry in second.
The next edition doubles as the Triathlon Queensland State Series, Standard Distance State Championships, and a Triathlon Australia World Age Group Qualifier at the 26 March triathlon
1. Daniel Coleman 1:55:29
2. Lindsey Lawry 1:57:16
3. Jack Van Stekelenburg 1:59:06
1. Gillian Backhouse 2:01:38
2. Laura Dennis 2:09:11
3. Courtney Gilfillan 2:11:00
Ironman 70.3 Western Sydney
by Ian Hepenstall
Pre-race favorites Australian's Annabel Luxford and Dan Wilson lived up to their billing with victories at IRONMAN 70.3 Western Sydney. Both competing with rising young hopefuls—fellow Australians Natalie van Coevorden and Rio Olympian Ryan Fisher—but their experience and class showed through as they took control on the run. In the third edition of the race, it was staged at Sydney International Regatta Centre at Penrith, initially built to host rowing and canoe-kayak competition at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
The two leading figures in the men's race made their presence known from the get-go, with the Olympic-distance experience to the front as Wilson and newcomer Fisher pushed off the front of the swim pack. By 20 kms on the bike the pair had built their advantage to one minute over the chasers which included Todd Skipworth (AUS)—a former Olympic rower—and James Davy (AUS). Fisher managed to hold on to Wilson with the pair taking a 2:17 buffer on to the run.
However, Wilson, who recently won at Noosa in Queensland and Shepparton in Victoria, knew he needed to break his young rival early. By mid-run he had worked his way to a one minute advantage and from that point he eased into his work with the day's best run of 1:13:13 more than enough for his victory in 3:45:23.
Fisher impressed with second place 1:40 back with Davy prevailing in the battle for the final spot on the podium. It was a maiden IRONMAN 70.3 victory for Wilson who is now setting his sights on endurance distances and next year's in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
The women's race proved a carbon copy of the men Olympic-distance talent Natalie van Coevorden, who trains under Jamie Turner near Sydney, joining with defending champion Luxford to open a two minute lead out of the 1.9km swim.
Midway through the bike Luxford had worked her way off the front as the likes of six-time IRONMAN 70.3 winner Melanie McQuaid (CAN) and Aussies Andrea Forrest and Kira Seidel bit into the lead. Luxford proved to be in another class today, with her 2:14 bike sufficient to open a winning break and leaving her to cruise through a 1:26 half marathon for an emphatic victory in 4:08:39.
Van Coevorden could not hold off the late charge from Seidel who edged her for second on the back of a 1:24 run, the best of the day. Luxford chalked up her eighth IRONMAN 70.3 win and her second of the year, as she manages to successfully marry life in the corporate business world with world-class performances on the IRONMAN scene.
1 Dan WILSON 3:45:23
2 Ryan FISHER 3:47:04
3 James DAVY 3:51:34
4 Daniel STEIN 3:52:41
5 Todd SKIPWORTH 3:53:37
1 Annabel LUXFORD 4:08:39
2 Kirralee SEIDEL 4:14:37
3 Natalie VAN COEVORDEN 4:15:28
4 Andrea FORREST 4:18:22
5 Katy DUFFIELD 4:25:48
A world champion and a rising star proved to be too hot in the Thailand heat.
by Ian Hepenstall
In a battle of world champions, Australian Tim Reed clinched a pulsating victory by just 16 seconds over Germany's two-time world champion Michael Raelert to win a top-quality Ironman 70.3 Thailand in Phuket. Reed showed his fighting qualities to come from behind after he and Raelert dominated a strong field on the bike in a two-man battle, finishing a massive 16 minutes clear of third place finisher Tim van Berkel.
Meanwhile, exciting New Zealand prospect, Amelia Watkinson, currently training at the Thanyapura training centre in Phuket, owned the women's race, leading from the gun to the finish line in a commanding fashion.
Reed clinches the win
Reed sealed the best year of his triathlon career with a superb win in Thailand, his third IRONMAN 70.3 win of 2016 along with his world and Asia-Pacific titles, to go with a course record debut win in IRONMAN Australia. The Australian outfought his German rival with a trademark run completing the 21.1 km distance in 1:17:39 to secure the race win in 3:48:33—the 12th IRONMAN 70.3 win of his career to go with 20 podiums.
In a race played out in reasonable conditions in Phuket, it was Eric Watson of Bahrain (22:24) who emerged first from the 1.9 km swim—just five seconds clear of Raelert with Reed a further four seconds back in third. Reed and Raelert stamped their authority on the race during the 90 km bike leg as the pair took total control and by the time they hit T2 their lead was nearly nine-minute on their nearest pursuers.
On a compelling final leg, it was Raelert who had opened up a slight seven-second advantage by 4 km. However, Reed by halfway had assumed control to open a 30 second advantage and he would not be denied another significant IRONMAN 70.3 triumph with Raelert closing to just 16 seconds back.
In the battle for third, van Berkel proved too strong for his fellow Aussie Matt Burton on the run as the IRONMAN Asia-Pacific champion grabbed the final spot on the podium in 4:05:32—just over a minute clear of Burton.
"I came in a bit nervous because I had not done much running because I wanted to get my cycling back on track which worked well because I felt great on the bike," says Reed. "Michael really pushed hard and together we were able to open a margin on the field and make it a race between the two of us. I am stoked to get a win over Michael. I have so much respect for him as a competitor."
Watkinson never slows down
In the women's pro race, Thai-based New Zealander Amelia Watkinson romped to an emphatic victory in a total time of 4:21:01. Watkinson, who has been a formidable force in Asia this season, dominated from the outset holding a seven-second lead out of the swim and then destroying the field on the bike with a 2:20:43 leg to hold a lead in excess of eight minutes going into the run.
The 25-year-old New Zealander then ran out to routine win with Great Britain's Parys Edwards unleashing a stunning final leg of to grab second from Australia's Dimity Lee-Duke.
Watkinson first stepped up to the endurance distance to claim third in the IRONMAN 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship in early 2015. Now under the coaching influence of fellow Kiwi Bevan McKinnon, Watkinson has re-emerged this year, thriving on the training group in Phuket. This year she has won the New Zealand long distance title, the ITU long distance series event in China and IRONMAN 70.3 wins in Busan and Thailand.
"I was super-happy to cross the finish line first with a good pro field," says Watkinson. "I had a nice lead on the bike. I've enjoyed that as my race tactic this season to go hard on the bike and it worked well today."
1 Tim REED 3:48:33
2 Michael RAELERT 3:48:48
3 Tim van BERKEL 4:05:32
4 Matt BURTON 4:06:34
5 Eric WATSON 4:10:18
1 Amelia WATKINSON 4:21:01
2 Dimity-Lee DUKE 4:30:05
3 Parys EDWARDS 4:31:02
4 Imeke OELERICH 4:35:16
5 Annelise JEFFERIES 4:36:46