Reed (AUS), Steffen (SUI) take back titles at 2019 Ironman 70.3 Subic Bay
Tim Reed of Australia and Caroline Steffen of Switzerland both used their strength in the bike to regain their titles at the 2019 Ironman 70.3 Subic Bay. Reed previously won in 2015, and was third in 2016 and 2017. Steffen won in 2016 and was runner-up in 2017. The Pro Race was in the full distance event of Ironman Philippines last year, and will come back again in 2020.
In the men’s race, Reed was caught up behind early to swim leaders Alexander Polizzi (AUS) and Sam Betten (AUS) who swam the 1.9km course in 23:21 and 23:30 respectively. Coming into T2 with Tim Van Berkel, the duo immediately worked together in chasing down the leaders. Reed stamped a race-best bike split of 2:13:46, with Van Berkel just a tad second behind at 2:13:47. Polizzi was able to hang on to the leaders approaching T2.
“I love coming back here because I always race here,” said Reed, who won the 2017 Ironman 70.3 Subic Bay. “More importantly, my form’s coming back so it’s nice to be racing well again.”
“I think I had a good race three, four weeks ago in Ironman Australia and another good race in Vietnam so my form is really good.”
In a test of mettle amidst tremendous heat and humidity in Subic Bay, Reed gradually ran away from the leading trio, and timed the best run split of the day at 1:23:17, a full 8-10 minutes slower for the best half-marathon split in calmer conditions. Reed finished in 4:04:33, a full 4 minute winning margin over Van Berkel. Nick Baldwin of Seychelles, the Ironman Philippines champion last year, had the 2nd best run of the day to grab the third spot podium
In the women’s race, Manami Iijima of Guam led the swim at 27:01 to take a 53 second lead over Steffen and 1:13 on Kiwi Laura Wood. A surging Steffen pedalled the best women’s effort at the bike at 2:24:54, more than 3 minutes and a half better than Aussie Dimity Lee Duke’s split of 2:28:23.
With a huge buffer going out of T2 and with the smouldering conditions on the run course, Steffen still managed to get the day’s best run split among women at 1:34:17. With a finish time of 4:29:14, it was a 13 minutes and 44 seconds winning margin over Duke. Wood capped off podium spots by finishing third at 4:46:22.
|2||Lee Duke, Dimity||AUS||4:42:59|
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