Christian Kemp ran away from a world class field to claim his second major victory in 2013 at the URBAN Geelong Long Course this morning. Fellow Australian Melissa Hauschildt also came from behind to claim victory from two time world champion Emma Moffatt over the 1.9km swim, 90km cycle and 21.1km run.
Moffatt produced an outstanding swim, emerging with the top men to lead out onto the bike from Sydney’s Anna Cleaver and Kiwi Tenille Hoogland. Hauschildt was over two minutes behind after the swim but not an unusual position for the former IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion to find herself in.
In her long course debut Moffatt maintained her lead after the first lap of the bike with Cleaver, but Hauschildt was slowly reducing the deficit.
The pair continued to keep the pace up at the front of the race keeping the fleet footed Hauschildt at bay to lead at the final changeover.
With Moffatt and Hauschildt both noted runners, the race looked set to come down to the wire but would the Olympic bronze medallist have enough in the tank to go the distance.
The reports back in from the course had the crowd excited as Moffatt continued to breach the 90 second gap down to 15m in the final kilometres.
“It was pretty scary being chased down; usually I am the one chasing people down. I could just see Moffy closing the gap. I was watching every split and she was catching me, and I was just praying that she would blow,” Hauschildt said.
Moffatt just ran out of steam in the end, but was an outstanding performance from the Gold Coast based Olympian.
Hauschildt was just relieved to finish unscathed today after crashing heavily in Auckland.
“I really enjoyed it until about 15-kilometre into the run, and then I questioned what I was doing and I couldn’t wait until my next Olympic Distance,” Moffatt said.
“I was quite excited going in and trying something new but it’s also quite scary not knowing what I am actually doing.
“I knew I had to pace myself throughout the whole event otherwise I would end in pieces.
“The pain kicked in about 15-kilometre on the run. I thought everything was going to fall a little bit apart but it was a good experience and I hope that someday I can do another one.
Moffatt is in currently in a big base training phase for the upcoming season ahead that will see her compete through to September.
“The next Olympics in Rio are definitely a goal but its four years away so it’s long enough to experiment with a few things in between.”
Sydneysider Christian Kemp is fast making a name for himself after his breakthrough win at IRONMAN 70.3 Auckland last month in a star studded field.
After nearly tearing his calf from the bone back in 2011 it has been a hard fought struggle to get back to full fitness for Kemp.
“I am stoked. Two out of two after a couple of terrible years, I am just so happy,” Kemp said.
Kemp was in the second group of eight to emerge from the swim that included James Hodge, Sam Appleton, Brad Kahlefeldt, James Seear and Luke Bell, trailing defending champion Clayton Fettell who lead out.
At the end of the first lap just four remained, Hodge, Fettell, Kemp and Bell. Kahlefeldt was the first to retire with a puncture. Three time world champion Peter Robertson also failed to finish.
“At the start of the bike when we got away with Clayto (Fettell) and James (Hodge) we were just getting further and further away from those behind us, and I just kept telling myself to hang on, the longer you can hang with these boys, the better it will be later,” Kemp said.
Sam Betten moved his way through the field to join the group of five that hit the run course together.
“I felt pretty good on the start of the run; I tried to sting a few of them.
Kemp was full of praise for Bell who pushed him the whole run.
“They had me a bit worried to be honest and then I got a little bit more of a gap and really pushed it, absolutely hurting myself hoping I could get a little bit more break.
“I didn’t feel comfortable until about 100-metres to go, all credit to Bell, he ran really well today.
Bell, like Kemp is in full preparation for Ironman Melbourne and after a disappointing race in Auckland pleased to turn things around today.
“It’s nice to get over here and get things rolling. It has been since about 2006 since I have had to get things going this early in the season. It’s refreshing to be able to tick one off this early and just up the road with family, friends and the crowd here today pretty amazing,” Bell said.
That’s what the sport is about and that is why we love it.”
Amongst the host of long course competitors today were nearly 1000 participants in the SUBARU Olympic Distance Triathlon.
The 1500m swim, 40km ride and 10km run course was tackled by some of the best in the business, with local boy Scott McPherson and UK born Laura Siddall taking the prestigious victories.
With the race doubling as a qualifying race for the Age Group Olympic Distance World Championships in London in September 2013, there were many triathletes putting in their best performance to secure their place in the Australian team.
Ironman 70.3 Geelong
Top 5 Men
1. Christian Kemp 03:47:21
2. Luke Bell 03:47:53
3. James Hodge 03:49:48
4. Leon Griffin 03:49:55
5. Clayton Fettell 03:50:48
Top 5 Women
1. Melissa Hauschildt 4:11:20
2. Emma Moffatt 4:12:36
3. Anna Cleaver 4:24:03
4. Tenille Hoogland 4:26:16
5. Michelle Wu 4:27:34