Reed, Watkinson Victorious at Ironman Thailand 70.3
Australian Tim Reed and New Zealand rising star Amelia Watkinson caps off their amazing 2016 season by winning Ironman Thailand 70.3.
Reed Holds off Raelert for the Win
Tim Reed continued to pad his amazing 2016 resume in Thailand by holding off 2-time Ironman 70.4 world champion German Michael Raelert (GER) with a race-best run split of 1:17:39 to finish in 3:48:33. This will be Reed’s 3rd Ironman 70.3 win, which includes World and Asia-Pacific titles, and a course record win in Ironman Australia. Ironman 70.3 Thailand is Reed’s 12th Ironman 70.3 win.
Australian Eric Watson, based in Bahrain, and now wearing the country’s colors, was first out of the swim in 22:24. Raelert, Reed and Alberto Casadei of Italy followed suit, with a deficit from 5 to 11 seconds.
Raelert and Reed immediately went to work on the bike, and had broke away from the pack after 18kms. The duo had put on around a 4 minute lead by that mark. Aussies Matt Burton and Tim Van Berkel were the chase duo, and were trailing by 4:20 by the halfway point of the 90km bike leg.
Reed and Raelert though were just on a different level on the bike leg, and doubled their lead approaching T2. They led nearly 9 minutes ahead of Burton and Van Berkel, and another duo, Luis Amirault (FRA) and Watson by 13 minutes.
Raelert had put on a 7 second-lead by the 4km mark on the run but just passed the halfway mark, Reed made the pass and had increased the lead by 40 seconds in the 15km mark. Raelert made one final push but ran out of miles to cover the deficit. Reed won with a 15 second margin. Raelert ran the 2nd best run split to cap off runner-up honors.
The battle for 3rd was also a 2 man affair, but Tim Van Berkel was just too strong on the run, to win 3rd in 4:05:32, just a minute margin over fellow Aussie Burton.
Antony Costes of France, who is based in Thanyapura was a last-minute scratch to recover
Interview with race winners Tim Reed and Amelia Watkinson:
Watkinson Stamps Class in Southeast Asia
Amelia Watkinson of New Zeland, now based in Thanyapura Sports Center in Phuket, again dominated with another wire-to-wire victory, winning in 4:21:01. This will be her 11th win in 12 triathlon starts for 2016.
Watkinson led from the start, gaining 7 second lead out of the swim over Emma Pallant of Greta Britain and over 3 minutes to Aussies Dimity-Lee Duke and Annaliese Jefrries.
On the opening 15km, Watkinson and Duathlon World Champion Pallant were on the lead and had pulled away from their pursuers with a 3 minute lead. After 3 kilometers, Watkinson had put on a 2:15 lead on Pallant, 4:12 on Duke, and 5:18 on German Imke Oelerich.
Going into T2, Watkinson, her women’s best 2:20:43 bike split had given her a commanding 8:29-8;34 lead on a trio of chasers Duke, Pallant and Oelerich.
With a huge lead, Watkinson was on steady cruise control the rest of the way, but was still able to run the women’s 2nd best run split of 1:31:19. She finished in 4:21:01, with a 9:04 margin over Duke and 3rd place Parys Edwards of Great Britain.
“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.”
23-year old age grouper Imogen Simmonds of Great Britain surprised everybody by completing the 2nd fastest time among women, finishing in 4:22:08, giving her the age group women’s overall title.
A total of 1350 triathletes from 61 countries participated in Ironman’s return in Phuket, Thailand.
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