Kemp, Luxford top Auckland 70.3
Written by: Timothy Carlson
Date: Sat Jan 19 2013
Kemp emerged from the swim in 24:20, in 12th position and just 51 seconds behind swim leader Cameron Dye and 30 to 45 seconds behind major threats Bevan Docherty (23:49), Clark Ellice (23:36), Fraser Cartmell (23:40) and Graham OíGrady (23:34).
Tasmanian 20-year-old James Hodge, looking to follow in the footsteps of fellow Tasmanian super cyclist-super swimmer Craig Walton, burst into a 1:45 lead for a time and led into T2 by 15 seconds after a 3rd-best 23:31 swim and 2nd-best 2:10:31 bike. But after a race-best 2:09:30 bike split, Paul Ambrose of Australia zipped past Hodge in transition and led out the run, trailed by Kemp, whose 3rd-best 2:10:46 bike split left him about 1 minute down to Ambrose. Ellice and Docherty trailed Kemp by roughly 20 seconds.
On the run, Kemp passed Ambrose at kilometer 3 and remained in control on his way to a 2nd-best 1:19:41 run on the tough course. Kemp finished in 3:56:03 with a 34-seconds lead on the fast charging Docherty, who posted the 3rd-fastest run of 1:19:55. Clark Ellice ran 5th-fastest 1:21:42 to take the final spot on the podium, 1:47 back of Docherty. Ambrose faded to 4th with a 1:23:53 run, edging out Hodge, who ran 1:24:26, by 31 seconds.
"This is the biggest win of my life and Iím just really, really happy and stoked with it," said Kemp after the race. "Iíve gone under the radar in most races I go into at the moment and you have a good day here and there and obviously I had one of them today. Iím not sure that Iíll be right up with the top guys yet but I certainly wonít be flying under the radar anymore."
Kemp added, ďI surprised myself today to be honest. When I was running with Clark and Bevan I was just pinching myself. I donít know how I was there and the legs were feeling good. There was so much support for Bevan and Clark out there it actually inspired me a little bit, and fortunately for me my legs held out just a little bit longer than those guys."
Tim Reed of Australia used a race-best 1:18:38 run to advance to 8th place at the finish. Kempís win might arguably be his best - better than his wins at the 2008 Capricorn half and 2010 Gold Coast half and certainly better than his recent 4th at Ironman 70.3 Vineman last year. One good indicator was the strength and depth of the Auckland field, which included many big names further down the results, including Joe Gambles (12th), Graham OíGrady (22nd), Cameron Brown (23rd), and DNFs by Callum Millward, Tim Van Berkel and Terenzo Bozzone.
Luxford posted a race-best swim (25:49), race-best bike split (2:22:14) and 2nd-fastest run (1:29:47) to finish in 4:19:19 with a 5:57 margin of victory over Caroline Steffen of Switzerland and 10:06 over 3rd-place finisher Meredith Kessler of the United States.
"Iím really happy to get the win, I didnít come into the race with too many expectations so I really just concentrated on doing all the things that I could do right and it paid off today," said Luxford. "I really wanted to race my own race. I didnít want to buy into what anyone else was doing or worry or be fearful of other people. I respect them all as great athletes but I just did my own thing."
Luxford took the lead from Kessler coming out of the swim and continued to increase her lead throughout the race to run up the home straight well clear of her competitors. "Because Iím so new to this racing, the last thing I wanted to do was blow up, so I was mindful of taking in fluids and keeping up my nutrition because I know thatís an important aspect," she said.
Sarah Crowley of Australia finished 4th in 4:32:05 and Anna Ross of New Zealand was 5th in 4:34:26.
Melissa Hauschildt, the 2011 Ironman 70.3 World Champion, fell on a wet corner on the bike course while running sixth. While Hauschildt picked herself up and kept going, she ultimately retired before setting out on the run.
Ironman 70.3 Auckland
Auckland, New Zealand
January 20, 2013
S 1.2 mi. / B 56 mi. / R 13.1
1. Christian Kemp (AUS) 3:56:03
2. Bevan Docherty (NZL) 3:56:37
3. Clark Ellice (NZL) 3:58:24
4. Paul Ambrose (AUS) 3:59:27
5. James Hodge (AUS) 3:59:58
6. Sam Betten (AUS) 4:00:56
7. Sam Appleton (AUS) 4:02:01
8. Tim Reed (AUS) 4:02:22
9. Luke Bell (AUS) 4:02:28
10. Fraser Cartmell (GBR) 4:02:46
12. Joe Gambles (AUS) 4:05:53
13. Cameron Dye (USA) 4:05:58
1. Annabel Luxford (AUS) 4:19:19
2. Caroline Steffen (SUI) 4:25:16
3. Meredith Kessler (USA) 4:29:25
4. Sarah Crowley (AUS) 4:32:06
5. Anna Ross (NZL) 4:34:26
6. Michelle Wu (AUS) 4:36:08
7. Liz Blatchford (GBR) 4:38:02
8. Rebecca Hoschke (AUS) 4:42:25
9. Wendy McAlpine (AUS) 4:44:12
10. Jessica Fleming (AUS) 4:45:36
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Christian Kemp took the title at the 2013 Asia Pacific 70.3 Championships in Auckland, NZ and followed it up with a win at the Geelong Long Course Triathlon. We had a few words with the Aussie who is known by his friends as Kempy. 2.18.13
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Greg Bennett held off Joe Gamblesí late charge by 25 seconds to win in 3:45:49; Meredith Kesslerís better swim helped her dethrone defending champion Melissa Rollison by 20 seconds at Vineman 70.3 7.15.12
Hunter Kemper redeemed his loss last year to Andy Potts and Sarah Haskins repeated her 2011 win by edging Australian Annabel Luxford at the CapTex Triathlon in Austin, Texas 5.28.12
Cameron Dyeís 2nd-best swim and race-best bike gave him a 2:37 margin of victory over Andrew Yoder; Annabel Luxfordís race-best bike propelled her to the win over Leanda Cave at the 5150 Columbia Triathlon. 5.20.12