This year’s 30th anniversary in Port Macquarie race saw plenty of professionals battling it out for the win.
After a wet and miserable Saturday, IRONMAN Australia was shaping up to be a slippery day, and a day where some of the world’s top pros would give it their all to take the win in one of Australia’s biggest races. But with the sun finally showing its face, more than 1,800 athletes were ready and pumped to get into their long day and prepare to chase IRONMAN glory. With the likes of Luke Bell, Pete Jacobs, Paul Ambrose, Michelle Bremer and Lisa Marangon on the starting line, anything could happen in the next 8-9 hours.
Kiwi Graham O’Grady edged Luke Bell and 2012 world champion Pete Jacobs out of the water after the crisp and furious swim, but it was in the bike leg that the real battle began. Ambrose, who was runner up last year, worked hard in the but it weasnt until the 135km mark on the ride that he turned the jets on to take the lead, leaving an almost 7 minute gap between him and Bell coming into the run.
“I was isolated at the start on my own, and in that first 40km Luke and PJ put some time into me. But I just stuck to my plan and tried to stay strong,” he said. I gradually picked them up and then ended up with a margin on the bike,” said Ambrose.
In the run, Bell dug deep to try and close that gap and while it looked like he could gain some time back, Ambrose was able to hold the lead the entire time going on to win in 8:35:52 with Bell 2:40 behind and Brian Fuller coming third.
“I’m happy to win the 30th, being 30 it’s awesome. I was losing time to Luke, but I was hoping to get a second wind, which I didn’t I just shuffled quicker,” Ambrose said.
Last year’s runner-up Lisa Marangon came out of the water with a one minute advantage while Bremer forced her way to within a minute of the lead after the first lap on the bike. But it was in the run that things were shaken up. Marangon withdrew from the run after an earlier injury leaving Fleming to break away, but ultimately Bremer found her running legs to take the win in 9:38:23 with Jessica Fleming and Michelle Gailey close behind.
“That was awesome to win. I won my first at IRONMAN Western Australia and it was so surreal, I didn’t know what I was doing that day and didn’t take in the finish line, but I made sure this time I enjoyed every minute of it, I high fived as many people as I can, found my husband as well. It was awesome.” Says Bremer.
1 Paul Ambrose Australia 8:35:52
2 Luke Bell Australia 8:38:33
3 Brian Fuller Australia 8:49:38
4 Luke Martin Australia 8:56:18
5 Nick Baldwin Seychelles 8:59:43
1 Michelle Bremer New Zealand 9:38:23
2 Jessica Fleming Australia 9:42:17
3 Michelle Gailey Australia 9:50:50
4 Marie Sorrell New Zealand 9:57:05
5 Caroline Gregory American 10:16:55
For full race results head to IRONMAN Australia.