Appleton, Luxford Winners in Challenge Melbourne Half
Australians Sam Appleton and Annabel Luxford captured the Elite Titles in Challenge Melbourne Half
Sam Appleton was in the lead pack, going out of the water just 3 seconds behind swim leader Dan Wilson. Behind the 2-man lead pack was Casey Munro, who was 6 seconds behind, Tim Reed (42 seconds off), and almost 2 minutes on Mitchell Kibby,Lachlan Kerin, and Gerald Wild.
A 3rd-best bike split of 2:04:41 made Appleton the T2 leader, and lurking behind were chasers Kerin, Wilson, Burton and Reed, all within a deficit from 1:45 to 2:43. Matt Burton had the day’s best bike split at 2:03:00.
Appleton was not seriously threatened on the run, posting the day’s best run split (1:11:13) to win his second half-distance of 2017. Appleton finished in 3:44:51 with a 1:32 margin of victory over Wilson and 9:20 over 3rd place Reed (1:17:50 run).
Annabel Luxford combined her women’s best swim and bike splits, plus her 2nd-best run split to win in a domanting fashion, finishing in 4:09:58, a 6:04 margin of victory over Laura Siddall of Great Britain and 29:13 over 3rd-place Zoe Adams (AUS).
Luxford’s 28:57 swim split and a dominating bike split of 2:14:42, gave her 7:41 lead on Siddall (2:19:13 bike split), 14 minutes on Hosken, and 23 minutes on Adams upon entering T2. Despite the huge lead off the bike, Luxford still posted the 2nd best run split of 1:21:51, just giving away 54 seconds to tunner-up Sidall, who posted the women’s best run split of 1:20:57.
This is the 2nd time Appleton and Luxford both won in Australia for 2017. They were also champions in Ironman 70.3 Geelong last February.
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