Not only big for sports, but also big for travel and tourism, today, in the first-ever IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in the southern hemisphere, Tim Reed (AUS) and Holly Lawrence (GBR) claimed victory with times of 3:44:14 and 4:09:12, respectively. Reed edged two-time IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion, Sebastian Kienle (DEU) by two seconds, capping a perfect Down Under Father’s Day on home soil while Lawrence took home the championship title, proving she isn’t just a shortcourse threat. Over 2,700 other athletes from more than 80 countries also competed in this globally-renowned event.
Coming out of the 1.2-mile (1.9 km) swim, Brisbane’s Josh Amberger had a 43-second advantage over a chase pack that consisted of 26 other professionals all within a minute of each other. Onto the 56-mile (90km) bike, the men’s field held a steady and tight pace with Tim Reed and former pro cyclist Tyler Butterfield (BMU) quickly positioning themselves along with German super riders Sebastian Kienle and Andreas Dreitz. Butterfield held the advantage out of T2 by the slimmest of margins as 14 other riders exited transition within the next 37 seconds. The 13.1-mile (21 km) run had a similar feel in competitiveness, but by the halfway mark it would become a two-person race as Reed and Kienle battled the remainder of the way for the win, with Kienle surging to a 30 meter lead heading back from Maroochydore. Reed, however, dug deep to close the gap before making his final push on the downhill run towards the finish, taking the win at 3:44:13, with Kienle just two seconds behind.
After the titanic battle, Reed was welcomed at the finish line by his wife and two children and with the support of his home community. The popular Aussie capped off a remarkable year that also included wins at the Cobra Energy Drink IRONMAN 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship Cebu and an emotional victory at IRONMAN Australia.
“Full credit to Seb. He broke me about four times, but with this amazing crowd I was able to fight back. I owe it to them,” Reed said. “I cannot believe it. This is something I have only ever dreamed about.”
Former Olympian Ruedi Wild (CHE) pushed hard on the run to finish third ahead of the 2009 IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion Terenzo Bozzone (NZL) and this year’s IRONMAN 70.3 Buenos Aires winner Sam Appleton (AUS).
The host country saw four of their own finish in the Top-10, including multi- IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion Craig Alexander.
The impressive field of athletes tackled a 1.2-mile (1.9 km) ocean swim off of Mooloolaba Beach, followed by a 56-mile (90 km) bicycle ride through the Sunshine Motorway and into the hinterland, capped with a 13.1-mile (21 km) run on the Mooloolaba Esplanade along striking shores and a spectator-lined course that finished in the heart of Mooloolaba. In order to qualify for the 2016 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship, more than 130,000 age-group athletes competed to earn slots at over 85 IRONMAN 70.3 events held worldwide.
“The naturally refreshing Sunshine Coast is the host region and official destination partner for the 2016 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship, which is supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland as part of a growing calendar of sporting, cultural and regional events throughout the state.”
n 2006 the inaugural IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship was held in Clearwater, Florida becoming another test for the world’s elite triathletes. Since that auspicious beginning, the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship has grown in stature and popularity moving first to Henderson, Nevada in 2011, where athletes encountered a more challenging terrain and then to Mont-Tremblant, Quebec—its first stop on the new “global rotation” for the championship. The event reached European soil for the first time ever in 2015, with Zell am See, Austria, hosting an epic and memorable event. This year, the race moved from the mountains to the beaches of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. More than 130,000 athletes participated in a season of qualifying races for the championship, a series which consists of over 85 events in locations such as Australia, Germany, South Africa and Switzerland. Approximately 3,000 registered athletes from around the world took part in this prestigious race. Participants in the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship ranged in age from 19 to 75-plus, and represented over 80 countries. In 2017, the event will return to the United States, taking place in Chattanooga, Tennessee and will become a two-day race for the first time.