Timothy Van Berkel’s by-far race-best 1:13:11 run and Caroline Steffen’s women’s 2nd-fastest 1:18:43 half marathon led these two pros to victory over strong fields at Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast in Mooloolaba Sunday in Oz.
Van Berkel overcame a 1:20 deficit after his 7th-best swim and 2nd-fastest 2:04:45 bike split that left him in 5th place and 45 seconds arrears starting the run. Van Berkel then closed with a dominating run that was 2:24 better than his closest pursuer. Van Berkel thus advanced from 5th to 1st and finished in 3:44:28 with a 2:17 margin on Luke McKenzie and 2:45 on 3rd-place finisher Terenzo Bozzone of New Zealand.
Defending champion Caroline Steffen of Switzerland and chief rival Annabel Luxford of Australia quickly made up for a half minute deficit to swim leader Radka Vodickova of the Czech Republic. The duo rode to 2:22:15 and 2:22:25 bike splits (topped only by slow-swimming age grouper Jacqueline Henricks of Australia’s women’s-best 2:20:50 split), which gave them a 2:35 lead over Vodickova at T2.
Steffen, known to her many triathlon friends as Xena, as in Warrior Princess, took a 20 seconds edge of Luxford at 5k, increased that to 25 seconds at 8k, and earned a 1:30 advantage by 15k into the run. By the finish, Steffen’s stellar 1:18:43 split was 2:36 faster than Luxford could muster and brought her to the finish in 4:09:26, with a 2:36 lead on Luxford and 5:44 on Vodickova, who took the final spot on the podium.
Beth Gerdes of the U.S. outran Steffen by 8 seconds on her way to 6th place.
Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast
Mooloolaba, Queensland, Australia
September 13, 2015
S 1.2 mi. / B 56 mi. / R 13.1
1. Tim Van Berkel (AUS) 3:44:28
2. Luke McKenzie (AUS) 3:46:45
3. Terenzo Bozzone (NZL) 3:47:13
4. Casey Munro (AUS) 3:51:57
5. Todd Skipworth (AUS) 3:53:04
6. Jamie Huggett (AUS) 3:54:28
7. Clayton Fettell (AUS) 3:54:49
8. Samuel Betten (AUS) 3:57:03
9. Nicholas Hull (AUS) 3:57:22
10. Lindsey Wall (AUS) 3:59:06
1. Caroline Steffen (SUI) 4:09:26
2. Annabel Luxford (AUS) 4:12:02
3. Radka Vodickova (CZE) 4:15:10
4. Sarah Crowley (AUS) 4:16:51
5. Kiralee Seidel (AUS) 4:17:51
6. Beth Gerdes (USA) 4:18:07
7. Britta Martin (NZL) 4:19:26
8. Andrea Forrest (AUS) 4:19:30
9. Courtney Gilfillan (AUS) 4:19:38
10. Rebekah Keat (AUS) 4:22:23