Tim Reed of Australia and Radka Kahlefeldt of the Czech Republic took the elite titles at Ironman 70.3 Vietnam.
Reed won the battle of Aussie Tims as he broke a virtual tie with rival Van Berkel after a hard fought swim and run with a race-best midday sun run in Danang. Reed, the 2016 Ironman 70.3 World Champion, laid down a 1:21:23 half marathon to finish in 3:54:55 with a 1:56 margin of victory over Van Berkel and 5:57 over Mike Phillips of New Zealand.
“I dug as deep as I ever have in this race to finally get the win,” Reed told Ironman.com. “Run course was so brutal and Tim (Van Berkel) made me work for it.”
Kahlefeldt won wire-to-wire with women’s best swim, bike and run splits to finish in 4:14:36 with a 10:59 margin of victory over Dimity-Lee Duke of Australia and 15:21 over 3rd place Caroline Steffen of Switzerland.
On a mild morning with cooling cloud cover on the South China Sea, New Zealander Mike Phillips led the pro men’s swim wave with a 23:40 split for the 1.2 miles, followed by Aussie Tims Reed and Van Berkel 6 and 7 seconds back. Two minutes arrears was Australian Nathan Groch and 3:30 back was Pawel Miziarski of Poland.
After 40km of the bike leg, Phillips, Reed and Van Berkel rode together with a 5:53 lead on Groch. As the clouds faded and the sun shone bright and hot, Reed, Van Berkel and Phillips expanded their lead to 7:30 over Groch and Bartosz Banach of Poland at 51 kilometers.
After closely contested 2:07 bike splits, Phillips, Reed and Van Berkel led the field into T2. As they hit the run, Van Berkel and Reed surged ahead of their Kiwi rival. Banach started the run 4th, 8 minutes behind the leader. By 15km of the run, Reed established a comfortable 2 minutes lead on Van Berkel and 5 minutes on Phillips in third.
After a race-best 1:21:23 half marathon, Reed finished in 3:54:55 with a 1:56 margin of victory over Van Berkel (1:23:17 run) and 5:57 over 3rd place finisher Phillips (1:27:09 run).
As the pro women arrived back at the beach in front of the Hyatt Regency Danang Resort after the 1.2 mile swim, Radka Kahlefeldt exited the water in 25 minutes flat, which gave her a 52 seconds lead on Laura Wood of New Zealand, 1:59 on Caroline Steffen of Switzerland, 2:39 on Leanne Szeto of Hong Kong, and 3:45 on Dimity-Lee Duke of Australia.
On a roll in a return to competition after the birth of her first child - 2018 wins at Davao 70.3 and Challenge Melbourne - Kahlefeldt rocketed away to a 5:25 lead on Steffen and Wood at kilometer 29, with Duke making up ground in 4th place.
At 51 kilometers of the bike leg, Kahlefeldt increased her lead to 6:53 over Steffen and Duke, with Wood falling back to an 8 minute deficit. As she sped away, Kahlefeldt advanced to 6th overall including the men.
After 62km, Kahlefeldt leveled off her charge, maintaining a 6:40 lead on Duke and Steffen. Wood trailed by 7:40 with Vietnam 70.3 defending women’s champion Anna Eberhardt of Hungary a further 20 seconds behind.
After a women’s-best 2:16:57 bike split, Kahlefeldt arrived at T2 with an 8 minutes lead on Duke, 11 minutes on Steffen and 13 on Anna Eberhardt.
A few miles into the run, Kahlefeldt continued to dominate - 8 minutes ahead of Duke and 10 minutes on Steffen. After 10 kilometers of the run, Kahlefeldt led Duke by 9:14, Steffen by 12 minutes and Eberhardt by 13 minutes.
After a women’s-fastest 1:29:45 run, Kahlefeldt finished in 4:14:36 with a 10:59 margin of victory over Duke and 15:21 over 3rd place Steffen.
Ironman 70.3 Vietnam
May 13, 2018
S 1.2 mi. / B 56 mi. / R 13.1 mi.
1. Tim Reed (AUS) 3:54:55 S 23:46 T1 1:31 B 2:07:11 T2 1:06 R 1:21:23
2. Tim Van Berkel (AUS) 3:56:51 S 23:47 T1 1:28 B 2:07:09 T2 1:12 R 1:23:17
3. Mike Phillips (NZL) 4:00:52 S 23:40 T1 1:29 B 2:07:21 T2 1:15 R 1:27:09
4. Rodrigo Acevedo (COL) 4:11:47 S 28:13 T1 1:22 B 2:16:18 T2 1:16 R 1:24:40
5. Bartosz Banach (POL) 4:14:30 S 28:11 T1 1:44 B 2L12L17 T2 1:22 R 1:30:57
1. Radka Kahlefeldt (CZE) 4:14:36 S 25:00 Y1 1:41 B 2:16:57 T2 1:16 R 1:29:45
2. Dimity-Lee Duke (AUS) 4:25:35 S 28:45 T1 2:02 B 2:21:11 T2 1:20 R 1:32:19
3. Caroline Steffen (SUI) 4:29:57 S 26:59 T1 1:54 B 2:25:16 T2 1:18 R 1:34:31
4. Anna Eberhardt (HUN) 4:36:08 S 31:46 T1 1:36 B 2:22:44 T2 1:17 R 1:38:47
5. Laura Wood (NZL) 4:39:31 S 25:52 T1 1:48 B 2:29:33 T2 1:14 R 1:41:06