Last year Ashleigh Gentle broke Emma Snowsill Frodeno’s women’s record of five wins at the legendary Noosa Triathlon with her sixth victory at the 34th edition of the popular Queensland short course triathlon.
That victory tied Gentle with Craig Walton at six victories for the most wins at Noosa by a man or woman.
Today, at age 29, Gentle finished in 1:57:53 to win, topping fellow Australian Natalie Van Coevorden by 56 seconds at the Noosa Triathlon to earn her record-breaking 7th career victory at the historic Queensland swim-bike-run contest.
Gentle started the day with a 17:29 swim split, tied for second-best with Radka Kahlefeldt of the Czech Republic and 49 seconds behind swim leader Natalie Van Coevorden. After a women’s 4th-best 59:52 split for the 40-kilometer bike leg, Gentle stood in the middle of a fierce battle for the lead. Coevorden led at 1:20:18, followed by Radka Kahlefeldt (+7 seconds), Sarah Crowley (+8 seconds), Gentle (+10 seconds) and Kerry Morris (+12 seconds).
Gentle then took history by the scruff of the neck on the run as she posted a women’s-fastest 35:34 10 kilometer run which was 24 seconds better than the next best effort by Kahlefeldt. Gentle thus finished in 1:57:53 with a 56 seconds margin if victory over Van Coevorden, 1:07 over 3rd place Sarah Crowley, 1:20 over 4th place Kahlefeldt and 2:47 over Kerry Morris of Australia.
After the race, Gentle posted a brief note in Facebook: “Even just preparing for this race helped me reignite my ? for this sport. Thanks #NoosaTri, that one was special. #7.”
Gentle was aware of her place in Noosa history as she noted in an interview before last year’s race. “Craig [Walton] was a coach of mine a few years ago, so I know how much Noose meant to him. Everyone knows how well he raced at Noosa and really dominated the race, so if I can put my name in the history books alongside his I would be very honoured. It is not something I will think too much about before the race because I don’t want to put too much extra pressure on myself but if I achieve it I will be extremely happy.”
Jake Birtwhistle won a hard fought battle with Henri Schoeman of South Africa for the 2019 Noosa men's crown by virtue of a race-best 30:55 split for the 10-kilometer run that provided 20 of his 22 seconds margin of victory. Birtwhistle started his day with a 26 seconds deficit to Schoeman after the swim, then made up 18 seconds with a faster transition.
Birtwhistle made up 12 more seconds on Schoeman with a faster bike split, then surrendered 2 seconds with a slower passage through T2. With all the splits and transitions accounted for, Birtwhistle started the run leg with a 2 seconds lead to the South African.
Once on the run, Birtwhistle’s running prowess ruled the day as his 30:55 run split was 20 seconds faster than Schoeman and more so than all other competitors.
Birtwhistle thus finished in 1:43:39 with a 22 seconds margin of victory over Schoeman (31:15 run) and 39 seconds ahead of 3rd place finisher Aaron Royle (31:33 run).
Noosa Heads, Queensland, Australia
November 3, 2019
S 1k / B 40k / R 10k
1. Ashleigh Gentle (AUS) 1:57:53 S 17:29 T1 3:07 B 59:52 T2 1:49 R 35:34
2. Natalie Van Coevorden (AUS) 1:58:49 S 16:40 T1 3:10 B 1:00:28 T2 1:50 R 36:40
3. Sarah Crowley (AUS) 1:59:00 S 17:31 T1 3:15 B 59:40 T2 1:56 R 36:36
4. Radka Kahlefeldt (CZE) 1:59:13 S 17:29 T1 3:09 B 59:47 T2 1:49 R 35:58
5. Kerry Morris (AUS) 2:00:40 S 17:34 T1 3:07 B 59:49 T2 1:48 R 38:20
1. Jake Birtwhistle (AUS) 1:43:39 S 14:18 T1 2:43 B 54:05 T2 1:36 R 30:55
2. Henri Schoeman (RSA) 1:44:01 S 13:52 T1 3:01 B 543:17 T2 1:34 R 31:15
3. Aaron Royle (AUS) 1:44:18 S 14:21 T1 2:44 B 54:05 T2 1:33 R 31:33
4. Max Neumann (AUS) 1:44:28 S 14:28 T1 2:44 B 53:50 T2 1:33 R 31:51
5. Ryan Fisher (AUS) 1:45:22 S 14:24 T1 2:50 B 53:54 T2 1:35 R 32:37