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As a training hub for several top professionals preparing for next month’s Ironman World Championship, the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia welcomed a competitive field for its 70.3 event on Sunday. In addition to being an opportunity to race four weeks out from Kona, it was also a chance to preview the course that will host next year’s Ironman 70.3 World Championship race. Ultimately it was Australia’s Tim Van Berkel and Switzerland’s Caroline Steffen who claimed the victories over some tough competition.
Berkel’s 24:05 swim and 2:04:45 bike put him in the mix with several athletes starting the run, but it was his race-best 1:13:11 half-marathon that gave him the victory in 3:44:28. Fellow Australian Luke McKenzie had a solid race to finish second in 3:46:45, with New Zealand’s Terenzo Bozzone rounding out the top three at 3:47:13.
The women’s race was mostly a battle between Steffen and Australia’s Annabel Luxford, who will take on Kona for this first time this year. The two posted nearly identical swim and bike splits, but it was ultimately Steffen who found an edge on the run to take the win. Steffen put together a 25:36 swim, a 2:22:15 bike and a 1:18:43 run to get the tape in 4:09:26. Luxford followed at 4:12:02, with the Czech Republic’s Radka Vodickova earning third in 4:15:10.
Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast
Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia – Sept. 13, 2015
1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run
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
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. Kirralee Seidel (AUS) 4:17:51