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.
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.
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
May 7, 2017
S 1.2 mi. / B 56 mi. / R 13.1 mi.
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
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