Australian Ironman 70.3 Championships
Inaugural 2012 SunSmart IRONMAN 70.3 Mandurah Australian Championships a roaring success
This win here in Mandurah has just turned my year upside down. To be crowned the Australian Pro 70.3 Champion is a dream come true
The first ever Ironman 70.3 event to be hosted in the City of Mandurah, Western Australia required athletes to tackle a challenging 1.9km swim, 90km bike and 21.1km run, taking in the stunning Mandurah course.
Tim Berkel turned in an outstanding time of one hour and fifteen seconds on the 21.1 km run to record a runaway victory. “Australia is the only place I seem to win in the world – I am over the moon,” said an elated Berkel. “This win here in Mandurah has just turned my year upside down. To be crowned the Australian Pro 70.3 Champion is a dream come true.”
Berkel admitted that today’s win didn’t come easy, and said he had to work really hard on the bike leg to take charge as race leader. The perfect conditions in Mandurah attracted huge crowds of spectators to cheer on these Ironman 70.3 athletes and Berkel said the energy of the locals was a considerable encouraging factor.
In the women’s race, it was Melissa Hauschildt who took out a convincing win and showed a hot pair of heels on the final kilometres of the 21.1 km run leg ahead of Liz Blatchford and Radka Vodickova, who gained second and third place respectively.
“It was a running race, I have never experienced that in triathlon before,” said Hauschildt. “For 6km straight we (Liz Blatchford and her) were running side by side, so every now and then we would each put on a surge and try and break. I used to be a 3km runner so with that distance to go I just hung on and kept pushing until I had no idea where Liz was.”
The SunSmart Ironman 70.3 Mandurah event offered a US$50,000 prize purse for the Australian Professional Championship and announced that the 2013 event will have 30 exclusive qualifying slots for the 2014 Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. It also saw an inspiring field of age group contenders tackle the 1.9km swim, 90km cycle and 21.1km run, with over 1300 competitors racing, including IronKids Mandurah, which took place on Saturday, October 20, 2012.
Mandurah proved the perfect host city for the inaugural SunSmart Ironman 70.3 event. The Mayor of Mandurah, Paddi Creevey, was overwhelmed by the calibre of athletes racing, the age group contenders who chose to embark on the Ironman 70.3 journey and by the energy of the local community supporting and cheering the athletes on.
“When you see the crowd here at the finish line and all along the course and how pleased the athletes are with the swim, cycle and run course, it couldn’t be better. It’s just fantastic for Mandurah,” said the Mayor.
220 Triathlon ANZ was the proud media partner of this spectacular event.