Just when you think you're tough enough


Crowie Alexander and Caroline Steffen Sizzles in Ironman 70.3 Subic Bay

Crowie Alexander and Caroline Steffen win Ironman 70.3 Subic Bay. (
Crowie Alexander and Caroline Steffen win Ironman 70.3 Subic Bay.

Five-time world champion Craig ‘Crowie’ Alexander showed he is still a highly competitive athlete with victory in Century Tuna IRONMAN 70.3 Subic Bay in the Philippines.

The 42-year-old Alexander ran down bike leader Patrick Lange from Germany, while the women’s honours went to the imperious Caroline Steffen, who like Alexander took command on the run in the sun.

It proved an outstanding weekend for the Asia-Pacific 40-somethings following 43-year-old Cameron Brown’s win at IRONMAN New Zealand.

Crowie Alexander wins Ironman 70.3 Subic Bay.
Crowie Alexander wins Ironman 70.3 Subic Bay (

Alexander on the run

Australian Sam Betten set the standard in the 1.9km swim, out in front in 22.43 along with Jonathon Ciavattella (ITA) and Lange. The high profile trio of Alexander, Reed and van Berkel were a minute back.

The German wasted no time in pushing to the front on the bike, stretching the gap to 1.10 at the bike turn, then turning up the heat to extend his advantage to three minutes off the bike.

Alexander was the first to move on the run and by the turn on the out-and-back, one-lap course, he had reduced the margin to 35 seconds. The pass came soon as Alexander pushed clear, holding on to win his first title in 2016, finishing a minute ahead of Lange. The German held off the fast-finishing Reed with van Berkel close behind.

“I was very happy with my performance today. My training leading in had been good but it was only my second race in seven months so there is always a little bit of the unknown,” says Craig Alexander.

“I just tried to be consistent across all disciplines. Whenever you win in a field that contains athletes like Reed, Van Berkel and Lange you are really made to work for it.”

There was disappointment for local Subic Bay-based Australian Mitch Robins who withdrew after a mechanical on the bike.

Caroline Steffen en route to winning Ironman 70.3 Subic Bay
Caroline Steffen en route to winning Ironman 70.3 Subic Bay. (Twitter)

Steffen foots it to the front

Pre-race favourites Radka Vodickova and Caroline Steffen were out of the 1.9km swim in 24.16 and already with a significant advantage. The pair had a 1.35 lead over Bree Wee with Asian-based Australian Dimity-Lee Duke more than three minutes adrift.

Vodickova and Steffen could not be separated throughout the 90km bike, arriving at T2 together with a four minute buffer over Duke, who made strong ground through the field.

However Steffen took little time to stamp her class, pushing out to a 400m advantage after 3km and from that stage cleared out for the victory.

Vodickova finished in a clear second place with Duke third to claim a repeat of her podium at this race last year.

Caroline Steffen win Ironman 70.3 Subic Bay. (
Caroline Steffen win Ironman 70.3 Subic Bay.

“I had a set plan that I wanted to execute today but after about 45kms on the bike I realised I was going to have to change plans and turn it into a running race between Radka and me,” says Caroline Steffen.

“You need to play it smart in the heat and humidity in the Philippines and I just tried to keep my heart rate down. It was so hot out there but I felt really good and was able to just keep increasing my lead all the way to the finish. I’m really happy with how I went out there today.”

Subic Bay, formerly USA’s largest naval base outside of North America, is now a premier holiday destination with pristine beaches and stunning surrounds.

Pl Name Ctry Swim Bike Run Total
1 Craig Alexander AUS 0:23:41 2:05:35 1:17:04 3:48:56
2 Patrick Lange DEU 0:22:44 2:03:39 1:21:34 3:50:45
3 Tim Reed AUS 0:23:45 2:05:35 1:20:29 3:52:28
4 Tim van Berkel AUS 0:23:44 2:05:38 1:21:22 3:53:19
5 Jonathan Ciavattella ITA 0:22:44 2:06:29 1:24:36 3:56:59
1 Caroline Steffen SUI 0:24:19 2:18:46 1:23:53 4:09:40
2 Radka Vodickova CZE 0:24:16 2:18:54 1:28:59 4:14:51
3 Dimity-Lee Duke AUS 0:27:26 2:18:56 1:34:09 4:23:52
4 Kathryn Haesner NZL 0:26:06 2:29:47 1:36:11 4:35:38
5 Bree Wee USA 0:25:50 2:24:34 1:42:54 4:36:36