PORT MACQUARIE, Australia (October 16, 2014)- Dual Olympian Brad Kahlefeldt and partner Czech Radka Vodickova are looking to make the top spot on the podium at Sunday’s IRONMAN® 70.3® Port Macquarie a date.
The pair will be hoping for a repeat performance of IRONMAN 70.3 Putrajaya earlier this year when they both took out the win.
“We have had already some races together, where we both took the win at Batemans Bay and IRONMAN 70.3 Putrajaya. When it happens it is really great feeling,” she said.
They won’t have it all their own way with a stellar field of athletes assembled all looking to break up the love fest.
Among the field will returning champions, Josh Amberger and Lisa Marangon.
“I'm expecting to perform the way I did last year. It's going to be hard to repeat that performance because it was a perfect race, but when you have a race like that you set the bar high and always come back wanting to beat it. In saying that though, I will be equally happy with a win even if I have to hurt a little more this year to do it,” Amberger said.
Marangon is excited about getting down to business when the gun goes off racing as the defending champion for the first time.
“I've never defended a title before, but am excited to try,” she said. “I love this time of year. The weather is magical which means I'm enjoying my training more.”
Port Macquarie will always hold a special place in the development of Amberger’s triathlon career. He did his first IRONMAN 70.3 here in 2011 and then recorded his first win on Australian soil here last year.
He’s hoping on Sunday he can add another chapter to that history.
“Port is a special place to race for me, the area is beautiful and I love the support the event gets from the local community,” he said.
“My form is good. I'm coming off a 2nd in the Beijing International Triathlon and win at 5150 Philippines, so the results have been there. I'm settled back in Australia after a long five months of travel to and from the US, and I always experience a little bump in fitness and motivation when I'm back home and can focus all my energy on training.”
Kahlefeldt is coming off a 4th place finish at IRONMAN 70.3 Sunshine Coast, after arriving there from Canada late in race week. He’s hoping the extra few weeks rest will allow him to unleash his devastating run leg.
“I’m feeling good. The training has been going well and I've recovered from the trip back from the US. I’m really looking forward to getting out there and racing,” he said.
“We will see what happens on race day. If I am feeling good I hope to be pushing towards the front of the race.”
Port Macquarie has been a happy hunting ground for Marangon; she followed up her win here last year with a 2nd place at May’s IRONMAN Australia.
If she can continue that form and secure a second IRONMAN 70.3 title on Sunday the win will be extra special, her father who hasn’t seen her race since 2006 will be cheering her on.
“I love Port Macquarie it’s my home soil. My dad is coming to watch me, so it's pretty special,” she said.
The biggest threat of spoiling Marangon’s day will come from Vodickova who continues to build an impressive IRONMAN 70.3 resume.
Vodickova finished 2nd at IRONMAN 70.3 Sunshine Coast, an impressive effort when you consider she was on the other side of the world just a week before. With her legs feeling fresher this week she goes into the race as a red hot favourite.
“I raced IRONMAN 70.3 Sunshine Coast physically tired from racing three weeks in a row at Life Time Fitness Chicago, 5150 Hy-Vee, and the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Mont Tremblant Canada. I was quite tired from all that racing and travelling,” she said.
“After IRONMAN 70.3 Sunshine Coast I had few days off and now I am back in training, trying to get back to good shape and trying to build some base to enable me to race until December. I would definitely like to go one better then at Sunny Coast.”
Marangon had a disappointing race at last month’s IRONMAN 70.3 Sunshine Coast and is keen to find the form she displayed at IRONMAN 70.3 Port Macquarie last year.
“At IRONMAN 70.3 Sunshine Coast I knew something wasn't right as I felt like I was stuck in first gear all day. I know I'm fit, I’m needed to spend some time after that race working on getting some speed, which would allow me to race fast again.”
Race start is 6.45am on Sunday with the first Male finisher expected at 10.50am. The first female finisher is expected at 11.20am. Race day will also include over 1000 age group athletes chasing their own personal bests.