Hard fought victories for Tim Reed and Beth Gerdes at Ironman Australia
Just because you’re a Triathlon Pro racing on home ground, doesn’t mean you necessarily have an advantage. Australian Tim Reed was made to sweat and dig deep to claim his maiden IRONMAN victory at IRONMAN Australia in Port Macquarie.
Similarly, Australian-based American, Beth Gerdes did not give up till the fat lady sang, chasing down a double-digit lead by defending champion Michelle Bremer in the full marathon. Simply an amazing day in Australia and here’s the recap on what you missed.
Loss of friend motivates Tim Reed’s win
“I had something to fight for today. I lost a really great friend and he was coming up to watch me. I gave it everything for him,” says an emotional Tim Reed after his win.
The 31 year old is one of the world’s premier triathletes over the IRONMAN 70.3 distance, as the current Asia-Pacific champion and with a bundle of victories around the globe. But so far the IRONMAN distance has proven a step too far.
Today, Reed ran down an eight minutes 24 second deficit to fellow Australian Fettell on a wet afternoon in Port Macquarie, winning in 8:16:29 with his missing friend nor the support from his family never far from his mind.
“It is not about the sacrifice that I make but my wife puts up with a pro athlete, then there’s my family, my friends and my training partners. There are just so many people behind this performance. I owe it all to them.”
He finished nearly six minutes clear of Queensland’s David Dellow with Fettell, who fought so bravely mostly on his own at the front of the race, finishing third seven minutes behind the winner.
Fettell and Josh Amberger led out of the swim before Fettell took his chances on the first lap of the bike. He opened a six minute buffer after the first lap and took an 8:24 advantage onto the run.
Beth Gerdes surpasses 12 minute gap in the rain
The women’s race followed similar lines with defending champion Michelle Bremer, the Australian-based New Zealander, seemingly impregnable as she opened a lead of 12:38 off the 180km bike. New Zealand’s Gina Crawford led out of the swim but Bremer pushed through to the lead early on the bike, extending her advantage to seven minutes after the first lap and over 12 minutes onto the run.
Beth Gerdes, a noted runner who won for the first time at IRONMAN Switzerland last year, gradually picked away at the lead. She took four minutes after 16kms but as Bremer began to slow Gerdes pounced, finally overtaking the Kiwi at 36kms.
On the back of a 2:56 marathon, Gerdes claimed the win in 9:10:28. It backs up her victory in Switzerland last year although for a long time today she did not think it possible.
“I thought I would not catch Michelle but I never gave up,” says Gerdes.
“I’ve done all of the IRONMAN races in Australia but this is the first one I’ve won so that’s special. With the weather the run was more like a Tough Mudder than a marathon but that was fun.”
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