Celebrating Easter Sunday will have a new meaning for Australians Peter Kerr and Sarah Crowley as they won the IRONMAN 70.3 Taiwan in their respective categories.
The city of Taitung, hosted as a new venue for Ironman in Taiwan, and together with a new sponsor in the new season, it brought a refreshing change to the scene in Asia.
Breakthrough Win for Australian
Longtime Olympic distance racer and multi-Australian champion Kerr tore through the waters of Flowing Lake in 22:36 with a clear margin over chasers David Mainwaring, Adam Gordon, Sven Croneborg and Guy Crawford, with Norwegian über biker Gutmund Snilstveit nearly seven minutes behind.
Kerr held a steady pace on the bike, a single loop over rolling terrain through quaint villages and dramatic coastal views, as a race-best 2:04:28 bike split pushed Snilstveit into contention.
The Australian enjoyed a two-minute margin off the bike from a stampede of chasers but produced the day’s best run of 1:16:44 to enjoy a start-to-finish debut victory.
“It just so happens that my first ITU race and first 70.3 were in Taiwan. I seem to have a really nice affiliation with Taiwan,” says Kerr who will set his sights for qualification for the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship on the Sunshine Coast in September.
New plans prevail for Crowley
Sarah Crowley put her career on hold as an accountant to focus on IRONMAN under new coach Cameron Watt, was thrilled with the win and excited about her triathlon journey.
Carina Brechters, a relatively unknown 26 year-old German, fought valiantly to maintain her three-minute swim margin through the first half of the bike until Crowley and last year’s runner-up Kate Bevilaqua bridged up to Japan’s Keiko Tanaka to form a potent group of chasers.
Crowley then pushed off the front to cut a minute off the lead going into the run.
“This was manageable for me on the run and let me just worry about myself and keep turning over sub-4km run pace until I caught Carina,” says Crowley.
Keep your eyes on her as she races at IRONMAN 70.3 Putrajaya this weekend with only a week’s rest.
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