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Triathlon

Tim Reed and Caroline Steffen defend IRONMAN 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship titles

Tim Reed defended his Ironman 70.3 Asia Pacific Championship title. (Ironman.com)
Tim Reed defended his Ironman 70.3 Asia Pacific Championship title. (Ironman.com)

In the race for the IRONMAN 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship in the Philippines, Tim Reed put his best foot forward at a blistering pace while Caroline Steffen battled hard but came out victorious to defend the title.

Blistering Reed

In typically hot and humid conditions, Reed launched his victory bid straight out of second transition and simply romped away from his rivals to retain the Asia-Pacific title he won in Auckland last year in a time of 3:51:46. Close behind was 43-year-old IRONMAN icon Craig Alexander (AUS) produced yet another demonstration of his enduring strength to take second some 3:15 down on Reed with Sam Betten (5:30) completing an all Australian clean sweep on the podium in third.

Betten (AUS) was first out of the swim in 23:58 holding a one second advantage from the pursuing Brent McMahon (CAN) with Reed 23 seconds down in 12th.

For much of the bike, a lead group of seven – Reed, McMahon, Alexander, Betten, fellow Australians Jake Montgomery and Leon Griffin, along with Antony Costes (ESP) – dominated.

Yet the run was all about Reed, who by the 6 km mark had opened up a near one-minute lead on Alexander and clinched a second successive victory in Cebu following his thrilling two-second defeat of fellow Aussie Tim van Berkel last year.

Reed, who is in outstanding form since winning IRONMAN Australia in May, was pleased with his performance on a hot day.

“I had a tough swim and I was positioned badly on the lane rope but I managed to get to the back of the lead pack,” says Reed.

“On the bike I really had to go for the first 10-15 km’s and I made the move to put the pressure on everyone. I knew there was some fantastic runners and I knew I didn’t want to get off the bike with everyone having fresh legs. I didn’t shake anyone, but I know some of them were feeling a little bit sore on the run. I felt good early on the run. I had a really bad patch, but thankfully it all came good for the last 6-7 km’s,” he adds.

Reed is now relishing his upcoming assault on the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in the Sunshine Coast next month.

Caroline Steffen wins the title five times in a row at Ironman 70.3 Asia Pacific Championships. (Twitter)
Caroline Steffen wins the title five times in a row at Ironman 70.3 Asia Pacific Championships. (Twitter)

Steffen Fantastic Five

In the women’s race it was victory once more for the Queen of Cebu, Caroline Steffen, who was pushed hard by Radka Vodickova of the Czech Republic, to reign supreme for a fifth successive year.

Vodickova dominated the swim in 25:51, opening up a 53-second advantage from Spain’s Judith Corachan Vaquera with Steffen 1:02 down on the leader. On the bike, Steffen quickly made up the deficit on Vodickova but the Czech stuck doggedly to the Swiss athlete as the pair hit second transition together.

From the outset of the run, Steffen established control of the race and by halfway the Cebu specialist opened up a near one-minute lead on Vodickova. The Swiss star went through a difficult period with about 5 km remaining, but found a second wind to win by 2:10 from Vodickova in 4:16:19. Australian Sarah Crowley completed the podium 5:34 behind the winner.

“I never take anything for granted, I’m proud to be fit and healthy and to win in Cebu for a fifth time in a row,” says Steffen, who last won the IRONMAN 70.3 Asia-Pacific title back in 2010.

“It means a lot to me. I have a major sponsor in the Philippines and everyone seems to know me. It is an absolutely stunning course, but the wind did not make it easy on the way back. It was brutal. It was not an easy race, but I enjoyed it,” Steffan reflects.

Top 5 Pro Men

1 Tim Reed AUS 0:24:21 2:03:23 1:20:02 3:51:46
2 Craig Alexander AUS 0:24:14 2:03:38 1:23:10 3:55:01
3 Sam Betten AUS 0:23:58 2:03:33 1:25:21 3:57:15
4 Braden Currie NZL 0:24:10 2:09:16 1:21:24 3:58:42
5 Antony Costes FRA 0:24:15 2:03:29 1:28:23 4:00:08

Top 5 Pro Women

1 Caroline Steffen CHE 0:26:52 2:19:04 1:26:04 4:16:19
2 Radka Vodickova CZE 0:25:51 2:20:07 1:28:09 4:18:29
3 Sarah Crowley AUS 0:28:45 2:22:49 1:25:49 4:21:53
4 Judith Corachan Vaquera ESP 0:26:44 2:22:04 1:37:24 4:31:12
5 Dimity-Lee Duke AUS 0:29:38 2:24:34 1:33:59 4:33:30

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