Two-time Ironman 70.3 Melissa Hauschildt and Elliot Holtham earned the Ironman victories at today’s Ironman Australia in Port Macquarie.
Defending champion Luke Bell (AUS) and Denis Chevrot (FRA) were first to exit the new one-lap swim course with a two-minute lead over Paul Ambrose (GBR) and Elliot Holtham (CAN) a further three minutes behind.
It didn’t take long for Bell to set the pace taking the lead just 4km into the bike leg, he continued to extend at every checkpoint.
At the 50km mark Bell had established a 6:30 gap to Ambrose with Holtham and Matt White (AUS) a further three minutes behind. Chevrot slipped back to be 14:40 behind after stropping to fix a broken chain.
At the changeover Bell had an 11-minute advantage over Ambrose heading into the final leg.
As the pair crossed paths at the 9km and 6km mark, they had a good long look at each other but disaster struck at the 15km mark for Bell as his left quad cramped and he was forced to a walk.
Ambrose was the next to fall into a hole and Holtham swept into the lead. Ambrose never gave up on the chase but just fell short in the end. Nick Baldwin from the Seychelles also produced a career best performance to run himself on the podium.
“That was a tough day, I cracked my Garmin so had no power, no time, lost my nutrition so wasn’t in a positive place,” said Holtham. “I had the word patience written on my hand and I knew I had to bring it back.”
“I wanted to win an Ironman that’s what we do. It’s really special and I know there’s a lot of people watching back home,” he added.
American Hillary Biscay lead out of the water with Lisa Marangon and Melissa Hauschildt producing great swims to be in contention out of the water.
Marangon used a strong bike leg to move into the lead in the first kilometers. Her plan was to get off the bike with a 10-minute lead and hold off Hauschildt over the marathon, a feat she almost achieved, only giving up the lead at the 24km mark of the run. Hauschlidt ended the day with a 3:13:57 marathon to claim the 9:28:43 victory.
“I decided to do this only three weeks ago and had two weeks off before that,” said Hauschildt. “It felt amazing crossing that line. That was the toughest thing I’ve ever done. It just goes on and on, it was not fun at all.”
“It’s awesome. I don’t get to race that much in Australia, so to win an Australian title is awesome,” she continued. “The next time I do one I think a bit more training is in order.”
2014 Ironman Australia
Port Macquarie, New South Wales, Australia – May 4, 2014
2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run
1. Elliot Holtham (CAN) 8:35:18
2. Paul Ambrose (AUS) 8:37:47
3. Nick Baldwin (SEY) 8:41:19
4. Brian Fuller (AUS) 8:43:01
5. Denis Chevrot (FRA) 8:44:43
1. Melissa Hauschildt (AUS) 9:28:43
2. Lisa Marangon (AUS) 9:30:50
3. Melanie Burke (NZL) 9:32:53
4. Dimity-Lee Duke (AUS) 9:43:38
5. Hillary Biscay (USA) 9:55:43