Matthew Pellow and Annabel Luxford reign victorious in Ballarat while Van Vlerken and Bittner back-up with impressive efforts after Ironman WA last weekend.
In the men’s race at Ironman 70.3 Ballarat, a classy group featuring Luke Bell, Pete Jacobs, Matthew Pellow, Clayton Fettell and Casey Munro, exited the water and set about applying pressure on the stragglers behind.
By the time Annabel Luxford touched dry land, she had established a lead of more than a minute over Andrea Forrest and Kym Coogan.
On the bike, the men’s leaders stayed away from the chasing pack and splintered apart as Bell’s bike strength saw him break away and build a lead of almost three minutes before suffering mechanical failure around the 71km mark. Admirably, Bell would later make his way into T2 and continue out onto the run course to finish the race.
After a tough race last weekend at Ironman WA, Van Vlerken showed little fatigue on the bike, keeping a tab on Luxford who, after building an early lead, was being brought back by Van Vlerken. Heading out onto the run, Luxford would have a two and a half minute buffer back to Van Vlerken.
Pellow took control out of T2 and lead Baldwin, Bittner and Munro onto the run. Pellow finished the day on top, with Per Bittner taking second after a third place at Ironman WA just a week ago. Victorian Jamie Huggett ran strongly into third place during the run but would later succumb to pressure from Baldwin who took third place.
Luxford extended her lead on the run, eventually breaking the tape around four and a half minutes clear of Van Vlerken, and Kate Pedley a couple of minutes back in third.
Among the age-groupers, Hayden Armstrong posted a blistering 3:57:54 in the 35-39 category to finish just shy of the lead professional times. Among the female age-groupers, Zoe Adams (25-29) was quickest in 4:30:07 but Bev Thomas (45-49) wasn't far behind in 4:30:52!
1. Matthew Pellow (AUS) - 3:51:21
2. Per Bittner (DEU) - 3:55:16
3. Nicholas Baldwin (SEY) - 3:56:13
1. Annable Luxford (AUS) - 4:10:46
2. Yvonne Van Vlerken (NED) - 4:15:15
3. Kate Pedley (AUS) - 4:18:12
18-24 - Fraser Walsh - 4:11:15
25-29 - Craig Davis - 4:00:06
30-34 - Roger Witz Barnes - 4:01:13
35-39 - Hayden Armstrong - 3:57:54
40-44 - Sam Hume - 4:06:09
45-49 - David Meade - 4:08:00
50-54 - Mark Jankovskis - 4:34:11
55-59 - Stephen Sitko - 4:42:30
60-64 - Philip Hanley - 5:05:17
65-69 - Jonathan Hamwood - 5:28:14
70-74 - Ken Murley - 5:31:16
PC - Ross Mason - 5:35:22
18-24 - Bonnie Atherton - 4:53:00
25-29 - Zoe Adams - 4:30:07
30-34 - Catherine Allison - 4:34:26
35-39 - Nicole Robertson - 4:48:42
40-44 - Meagan Harvey - 4:44:26
45-49 - Bev Thomas - 4:30:52
50-54 - Ana Oertel - 5:18:14
55-59 - Nancy Cullen - 5:11:17
60-64 - Cheryl Ogden - 5:42:43
PC - Melanie Stewart - 6:54:55