Appleton, Derron win Ironman 70.3 Geelong

Sam Appleton ran away from Josh Amberger and Nina Derron eked out a see-saw 7-seconds win over Grace Thek to take the elite titles at Ironman 70.3 Geelong.

Appleton overcame a 28 seconds deficit after the swim with a second-fastest 2:05:28 bike split and a race-best 1:14:03 run to finish in 3:45:52 with a 1:29 margin of victory over Josh Amberger and 3:17 over Ryan Fisher for a 1-2-3 Aussie sweep of the podium.

Nina Derron overcame a 5 seconds deficit after the swim with a dominating 2:25:28 bike split that at T2 gave her a 6:13 lead over Laura Dennis and 6:30 over Grace Thek. After surrendering her lead to a hard-running Thek at the 18 kilometer mark, Derron made a miraculous comeback, retook the lead in the final kilometer and crossed the line in 4:26:11 with a 7 seconds margin of victory over Thek and 3:27 over 3rd place Laura Dennis.


Super fishes Ryan Fisher and Josh Amberger led the men out of the water with 22:33 and 22:34 swim splits that gave them a 28 seconds lead on Sam Appleton, 33 seconds on Jack Tierney, and 34 seconds on Matt Franklin.

At 27 kilometers into the bike leg, Appleton, Amberger and Fisher were 3 seconds apart with Jake Montgomery 25 seconds back in 4th. After 57km, Appleton took a slight lead on Amberger and Fisher with Montgomery, Lachlan Kerin, and Tierney just 18 seconds back. After a 4th-fastest -fastest 2:05:50 bike split, Amberger led into T2 with a 2 seconds lead on Kerin, 4 seconds on Fisher, and 5 seconds on Montgomery (race-best 2:04:25 bike split) and Appleton.

After 10km of the run, Appleton forged a 1:03 lead on Fisher and 1:11 on Amberger. By 13.5km, Appleton led Amberger by 1:04 and Fisher by 1:31. After 17km, Appleton stretched his lead to 1:12 over Amberger and 2:52 over Fisher.

After a race-best 1:14:03 half marathon, Fisher finished in 3:45:52 with a 1:29 margin of victory over Amberger and 3:17 over 3rd place Fisher.


Claire Davis led the swim in 26:07 which gave her a 3 seconds lead on Kirralee Seidel, 5 seconds on Nina Derron of Switzerland, 6 seconds on Grace Thek of Australia, and 11 seconds on Alexandra Brown of Australia.

Derron, who led for much of the day before taking 2nd at the 2017 edition of Ironman 70.3 Switzerland, led at the 45km mark by 3:36 over Davis and 3:38 over Thek. By 72km, Derron increased her lead to 5:16 over Thek and 5:18 over Laura Dennis. After a women’s-best 2:25:26 bike split, Derron led the field into T2 by 6:13 over Dennis, 6:30 over Thek, 10:24 over Davis, and 10:36 over Kirralee Seidel.

After 3.5 km of the run, Thek fought back and trailed Derron by 4:52, while Dennis trailed by 6:52. Halfway through the 21km run, Thek continued to chop away at Derron, just 2:42 behind. Taking 30 seconds per kilometer away from Derron, at 17km Thek sliced Derron’s lead to just 8 seconds. With just 1 kilometer left, Thek surged to a 20 seconds lead on Derron, who suddenly rose from the dead. In a surprising counter attack, Derron accelerated and repassed Thek. After a women’s 5th-best 1:30:52 run, Derron finished in 4:26:11 with a 7 seconds margin of victory over Thek (women’s-best 1:24:39 run) and 3:27 over 3rd place Laura Dennis.

Ironman 70.3 Geelong
Geelong, Australia
February 18, 2018
S 1.2 mi. / B 56 ,i. / R 13.1 mi.



1. Sam Appleton (AUS) 3:45:52 S 23:02 T1 2:02 B 2:05:28 T2 1:20 R 1:14:03
2. Josh Amberger (AUS) 3:47:21 S 22:35 T1 2:02 B 2:05:50 T2 1:26 R 1:15:31
3. Ryan Fisher (AUS) 3:49:09 S 22:34 T1 1:59 B 2:05:59 T2 1:23 R 1:17:18
4. Jake Montgomery (AUS) 3:49:57 S 23:59 T1 2:08 B 2:04:25 T2 1:34 R 1:17:54
5. Jack Tierney (AUS) 3:52:18 S 23:07 T1 2:09 B 2:05:21 T2 1:25 R 1:20:20


1. Nina Derron (SUI) 4:26:11 S 26:13 T1 2:06 B 2:25:26 T2 1:36 R 1:30:52
2. Grace Thek (AUS) 4:26:18 S 26:14 T1 2:27 B 2:31:34 T2 1:27 R 1:24:39
3. Laura Dennis (AUS) 4:29:38 S 27:34 T1 2:15 B 2:30:10 T2 1:39 R 1:28:03
4. Kirralee Seidel (AUS) 4:33:36 S 26:11 T1 2:18 B 2:35:52 T2 1:37 R 1:27:40
5. Melanie Burke (NZL) 4:34:46 S 30:32 T1 2:51 B 2:31:07 T2 1:50 R 1:28:31