Wilson, Gibb take Busselton 70.3

Australians Dan Wilson and Katey Gibb won Ironman 70.3 Busselton by close margins Sunday in Western Australia.

Wilson, a former WTS competitor who switched to long course in 2015, broke away from a close swim-bike duel with Craig Alexander with a race-best 1:11:30 run to take a 1:29 margin of victory over the 43-year-old legend.

After 3rd-place finishes at Busselton 70.3 the past two years, Katey Gibb broke through to a win by a 49 seconds margin over Jacqueline Thistleton on Sunday.

Men

Wilson and fellow Aussie Ryan Fisher tied for the fastest swim with equal 23:14 splits, which gave them a 5 seconds lead on Casey Munro, 7 seconds on 3-time Ironman World Champion and 2-time Ironman 70.3 World Champion Alexander, and 9, 11 and 27 seconds on New Zealanders Mark Bowstead, Guy Crawford and Callum Millward.

Halfway through the 56-mile bike leg, Bowstead led a 6-man breakaway by 3 seconds over Fisher, 7 seconds on Millward, 9 seconds on Alexander, 11 seconds on Wilson and 13 seconds on Munro.

After a 2nd-fastest 2:04:29 bike split, Bowstead arrived in T2 with a 7 seconds lead on Fisher, 10 seconds on Alexander and Wilson, 12 seconds on Munro, and 1:06 on Lachlan Kerin, who made up ground lost on the swim with a race-best 2:03:47 bike split.

Wilson quickly broke away from the pack, earning a 12 seconds lead on Fisher and Alexander at 3.5km of the run, with Bowstead trailing by 19 seconds and Casey Munro 1:30 arrears.

Halfway through the 21.1km run, Wilson drew away to a 54 seconds lead on Alexander, 1:04 on Fisher and nearly 2 minutes on Bowstead. After a race-best 1:11:30 run, Wilson finished in 3:42:27 with a 1:29 margin over Alexander (2nd-fastest 1:12:54 run) and 3:21 over Fisher (1:14:56 run).

Wilson, who made a middle-distance breakthrough last year with a win at Western Sydney 70.3 and was 3rd earlier this year at Geelong, ran 1:13 half marathon splits at each of those races and found more foot speed to outpace the ageless Alexander on this day.

Women

Alise Selsmark led the pro womenís swim wave with a 26:44 mark that gave her a 14 seconds lead on Gibb, 16 seconds on Jacqueline Thistleton, 24 seconds on Monica Jurhart and 27 seconds on Kerry Morris.

Halfway through the bike leg, Gibb opened a 1 minute lead on Morris and 1:15 on Thistleton and Jurhart. At 67km, Morris cut Gibbís lead to 42 seconds while Jurhart and Thistleton fell back to a 1:29 deficit.

After a 2nd-fastest 2:21:08 bike leg, Gibb held a 13 seconds lead on Morris (2:21:05 bike split) while Thistleton and Jurhart were locked together with a 1:53 deficit.

After 3.5km, Gibb opened a 53 seconds lead on Morris, 2:20 on Thistleton, and 2:52 on Jurhart.

Halfway through the run, Thistleton passed Morris into 2nd place. At 18.6km, Thistleton was charging and whittled Gibbís lead to one minute.

After a womenís second-fastest 1:26:40 run, Gibb withstood Thistletonís womenís-fastest 1:25:38 half marathon and hit the line in 4:18:05 with a 49 seconds margin of victory. After a 1:31:45 run, Morris finished 3rd, 4:37 behind Thistleton.

After a long chase for her first major win, honing in this year with a 2nd pro at Mooloolaba Olympic distance, a 2nd at the Australian long course and 3rd at Hell of the West, the 4-time Western Australia triathlete of the year broke through.

Ironman 70.3 Busselton
Busselton, Australia
May 7, 2017
S 1.2 mi. / B 56 mi. / R 13.1 mi.

Results

Men

1. Dan Wilson (AUS) 3:42:27
2. Craig Alexander (AUS) 3:43:56
3. Ryan Fisher (AUS) 3:45:48
4. Mark Bowstead (NZL) 3:47:35
5. Casey Munro (NZL) 3:53:45
6. Daniel Stein (AUS) 3:56:18
7. Guy Crawford (NZL) 3:57:44
8. Lachlan Kerin (AUS) 3:58:32
9. Paul Speed (AUS) 3:59:54
10. Fraser Walsh (AUS) 4:07:12

Women

1. Katey Gibb (AUS) 4:18:05
2. Jacqueline Thistleton (AUS) 4:18:54
3. Kerry Morris (AUS) 4:23:31
4. Monica Jurhart (AUS) 4:26:12
5. Marina Jurjevic (AUS) 4:35:53
6. Alise Selsmark (AUS) 4:51:53