Appleton, Derron Take Titles at Ironman 70.3 Geelong

Sam Appleton ran away from Josh Amberger and Nina Derron pulled out a slim 7-second win over Aussie Grace Thek to grab the elite titles at Ironman 70.3 Geelong.


Appleton combined a second-fastest 2:05:28 bike split and a race-best 1:14:03 run to finish in 3:45:52 for a 1:29 margin of victory over Josh Amberger (AUS) and 3:17 over Ryan Fisher (AUS) for a 1-2-3 Aussie sweep of the podium.

Uber swimmers Ryan Fisher  and fellow countryman Josh Amberger led the men out of the water with 22:33 and 22:34 swim splits that gave them a 28 seconds lead on Sam Appleton.

At around 26 kilometers into the bike Appleton, Amberger and Fisher were 3 seconds apart.  Fellow Aussie Jake Montgomery was 25 seconds back in 4th. After 60 km, Appleton took a small lead on Amberger and Fisher.  After a 4th-fastest -fastest 2:05:50 bike split, Amberger led into T2 with a 2 second lead over close pursuers.

With Appleton in close pursuit of lead coming out of T2, and before the halfway point of the run, Appleton forged a 1:03 lead on Fisher and 1:11 on Amberger.  Appleton was able to maintain his lead and was never threatened the rest of the way.

After a race-best 1:14:03 half marathon, Fisher finished in 3:45:52 with a 1:29 margin of victory over Amberger and 3:17 over 3rd place Fisher.


Nina Derron (SUI) used the strength of her women’s best  2:25:28 bike split that gave her a  6:13 lead over Laura Dennis (AUS) and 6:30 over Grace Thek (AUS) T2.  Struggling in the run, Derron was able to maintain her lead until the 18thkm when she was overtaken by the hard-charging Thek.  Derron made a miraculous comeback, retook the lead in the final kilometer and crossed the line in 4:26:11 with a 7 seconds margin of victory over Thek and 3:27 over 3rd place Laura Dennis.

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Claire Davis led the swim in 26:07 which gave her a 3 seconds lead on Kirralee Seidel 5 seconds on Nina Derron of Switzerland, 6 seconds on Grace Thek of Australia and 11 seconds on Alexandra Brown of Australia.

Derron immediately worked on the bike, leading at the 45km mark by 3:36 over Davis and 3:38 over Thek.   Derron was able to increase her lead to 5:16 over Thek and 5:18 over Laura Dennis.  After a dominating 2:25:26 bike split, Derron led the field into T2 by 6:13 over Dennis, 6:30 over Thek, 10:24 over Davis and 10:36 over Kirralee Seidel.

Slicing 30 seconds per kilometer away from Derron, at 17 km Thek sliced Derron’s lead to just 8 seconds, and took the lead at the 18km mark.  With just 1 kilometer left, Thek surged to a 20 seconds lead on Derron.   In a surprising counter attack, Derron sprinted and repassed Thek.  After a women’s 5th-best 1:30:52 run, Derron finished in 4:26:11 with a 7 seconds margin of victory over Thek (women’s-best 1:24:39 run) and 3:27 over 3rd place Laura Dennis.

Ironman 70.3 Geelong
Geelong, Australia
February 18, 2018
S 1.9k swim/ 90km bike/ 21k run



1. Sam Appleton (AUS) 3:45:52 S 23:02 T1 2:02 B 2:05:28 T2 1:20 R 1:14:03
2. Josh Amberger (AUS) 3:47:21 S 22:35 T1 2:02 B 2:05:50 T2 1:26 R 1:15:31
3. Ryan Fisher (AUS) 3:49:09 S 22:34 T1 1:59 B 2:05:59 T2 1:23 R 1:17:18
4. Jake Montgomery (AUS) 3:49:57 S 23:59 T1 2:08 B 2:04:25 T2 1:34 R 1:17:54
5. Jack Tierney (AUS) 3:52:18 S 23:07 T1 2:09 B 2:05:21 T2 1:25 R 1:20:20


1. Nina Derron (SUI) 4:26:11 S 26:13 T1 2:06 B 2:25:26 T2 1:36 R 1:30:52
2. Grace Thek (AUS) 4:26:18 S 26:14 T1 2:27 B 2:31:34 T2 1:27 R 1:24:39
3. Laura Dennis (AUS) 4:29:38 S 27:34 T1 2:15 B 2:30:10 T2 1:39 R 1:28:03
4. Kirralee Seidel (AUS) 4:33:36 S 26:11 T1 2:18 B 2:35:52 T2 1:37 R 1:27:40
5. Melanie Burke (NZL) 4:34:46 S 30:32 T1 2:51 B 2:31:07 T2 1:50 R 1:28:31

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