PORT MACQUARIE, NSW (Oct 18, 2015) – Australian Tim Reed produced the fastest run split to claim his first IRONMAN 70.3® Port Macquarie title while Czech star Radka Vodickova ran her way to successfully defend her women’s crown.
Reed ruined Josh Amberger’s dream of a three-peat in this compatriot on the run.
Vodickova was forced to work hard by Australian Andrea Forrest to claim her second consecutive title in Port Macquarie.
Defending champion Amberger went into the race with the same plan that had delivered two consecutive titles at Port Macquarie - swim hard, ride hard and hold on.
He exited the water with Jake Montgomery and Clayton Fettell, with a 50 second lead over a chase pack including pre-race favourite Reed.
Amberger then went to the biggest weapon in his kit back and pushed hard on the bike, hitting the run leg with a lead of over three minutes.
However, by the 3km mark Reed had already shaved more than a minute off the deficit, and by 8km he had become the race leader.
“I know Josh has had a few injuries this year and we’ve gone head-to-head a couple of times. I thought I’d run hard and he came back to me within 8km and I thought, you beauty,” Reed says.
Reed went on to claim his first IRONMAN 70.3 Port Macquarie title with comfort at a race that he cut his teeth on, three times as an age grouper, and twice as a professional.
“I’m pumped. To get a win at a race I grew up racing, in a place I’ve grown so fond of.”
Amberger faded late on the run to finish sixth, leaving two New Zealanders to battle it out for the minor places. Mike Phillips, a relative newcomer to endurance racing, outsprinted countryman Graham O’Grady for second.
Coming off the back of a third place finish at Sunshine Coast, Vodickova was forced to work for her second IRONMAN 70.3 Port Macquarie title.
After leading by a minute out of the 1.9km swim, she seemed to have the race well within her grasp when she extended her lead early in the bike.
However Forrest made a strong move to take the lead late in the 90km bike leg and started the run with a 17-second lead.
Vodickova had to work hard to catch the Australia, reaching the lead later in the run with her 1:25:29 run split eventually paving the way for her second IRONMAN 70.3 Port Macquarie victory by just over a minute.
“It feels awesome to win this race. It was so hard to defend this title. Andrea started the run so fast that I didn’t think I’d catch her,” says Vodickova. “I’m just glad I finished stronger. I’m so happy to defend and I will be back next year.”
Forrest held on for second with fast-finishing New Zealander Anna Russell rounding out the podium.
1 Tim Reed AUS 3:50:34
2 Mike Phillips NZL 3:55:01
3 Graham O'Grady NZL 3:55:03
4 Todd Skipworth AUS 3:55:33
5 Jake Montgomery AUS 3:56:36
1 Radka Vodickova CZE 4:26:39
2 Andrea Forrest AUS 4:27:55
3 Anna Russell NZL 4:35:41
4 Michelle Bremer NZL 4:38:05
5 Jessica Fleming AUS 4:38:26