Ironman 70.3 Port Macquarie
The defending champ was pushed to the edge as Tim Reed swooped in for the win at Port Macquarie
Tim Reed, set out with something to prove over the weekend, determined to knock Josh Amberger’s three-peat victory. Reed produced a cracker of a performance with the fastest run split to claim his first Ironman 70.3 Port Macquarie title while Czech star Radka Vodickova tore up the course to defend her crown.
Defending champion Amberger went into the race with the same plan that had delivered two consecutive titles at Port Macquarie – swim hard, ride hard and hold on for dear life.
After exiting the water with Jake Montgomery and Clayton Fettell, and a 50 second lead over a sizeable chase pack including the determined and pre-race favourite Reed.
After pulling out the big guns and crushing the bike course, Amerger hit the run with a 3 minute lead, but may not have left enough in the tank.
However, by the 3km mark Reed had already shaved more than a minute off the deficit, and by 8km he had become the race leader.
“I know Josh has had a few injuries this year and we’ve gone head-to-head a couple of times. I thought I’d run hard and he came back to me within 8km and I thought, you beauty,” Reed says.
Reed went on to claim his first Ironman 70.3 Port Macquarie title with comfort at a race that he cut his teeth on, three times as an age grouper, and twice as a professional.
“I’m pumped. To get a win at a race I grew up racing, in a place I’ve grown so fond of.”
Amberger faded late on the run to finish sixth, leaving the New Zealanders to battle it out for the minor places.
After a third place finish at Sunshine Coast, Vodickova was forced to work hard for her second Ironman 70.3 Port Macquarie title.
After leading by a minute out of the 1.9km swim, she seemed to have the race well within her grasp when she extended her lead early in the bike.
However Forrest made a strong move to take the lead late in the 90km bike leg and started the run with a 17-second lead.
Vodickova had to work hard to catch the Australian, reaching the lead later in the run with her 1:25:29 run split eventually paving the way for her second Ironman 70.3 Port Macquarie victory by just over a minute.
“It feels awesome to win this race. It was so hard to defend this title. Andrea started the run so fast that I didn’t think I’d catch her,” says Vodickova. “I’m just glad I finished stronger. I’m so happy to defend and I will be back next year.”
Forrest held on for second with fast-finishing New Zealander Anna Russell rounding out the podium.
TOP 5 PRO MEn
1 Tim Reed 3:50:34
2 Mike Phillips 3:55:01
3 Graham O’Grady 3:55:03
4 Todd Skipworth 3:55:33
5 Jake Montgomery 3:56:36
TOP 5 PRO WOMEN
1 Radka Vodickova 4:26:39
2 Andrea Forrest 4:27:55
3 Anna Russell 4:35:41
4 Jessica Fleming 4:37:15
5 Michelle Bremer 4:37:47