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Luke McKenzie Wins MRA Bali International Triathlon

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Two-time Ironman Japan champion Luke McKenzie continued his dominance in Asia with a convincing overall win at the second annual MRA Bali International Triathlon on Sunday, June 28, 2009, with a victory time of 2:10:15. Fresh off a win at Ironman Japan, and with ideal race conditions of overcast skies, Luke McKenzie came out of the water two minutes ahead of his nearest challenger and never looked back. Australian Kyle James Gear (2:23:15) and Swedish athlete Fredrik Croneborg (2:13:57) exited the water shortly after Luke, but could not overcome his commanding lead. Luke extended his lead on the challenging bike course through the hills of the Bukit Pennisula and Fredrik moved ahead Kyle midway through the course. By the time Luke entered T2 he was 6 minutes ahead of Fredrik. McKenzie savored his finish on the crowded beach in front of the Four Seasons Hotel.

“The Bali race is really an awesome triathlon experience and is unlike any race in the world.” said Mr. McKenzie, “I had so much fun and it’s a great change for to race for the love of the sport here each year.”

The International Distance Triathlon features a 1.5 kilometer swim in the calm waters of Jimbaran Bay, a challenging 40k course through the hills and villages of Nusa Dua and the Ungasan peninsula and a flat, fast 10k run through the crowds of the fishing village of Jimbaran Bay. New this year was a 700m sand run from the swim exit to the new transition area at the Intercontinental Bali Resort, which added a new challenge to the event.

The women’s division featured a podium sweep by the Australians, with Michelle Ann Gailey (2:36:39), beating out 2008 winner, Rachel Gaudrey (2:38:58) and third place finisher Amanda Balding (2:45:00). Michelle exited the water one minute ahead of the next challenger, Kate Rutherford of the UK, and 90 seconds ahead of both Rachel and Amanda. Michelle kept her lead once she got on the bike. Rachel and Amanda passed Kate quite early on the bike, but were still minutes behind Michelle. Coming out of T2, Rachel gave one last push to catch Michelle on the flat run course but could not close the gap before the finish.

Good news came from Indonesia. In the top 30, three Indonesian male athletes grabbed three places. Kadri Regar (2:29:31), came 8th in the overall male category and as well won Indonesian Division. Andi Edinata (2:37:59), a 20 years old Indonesian triathlete, came 14th and third in Male 20-24 category. And MRA Sport Icon, Richard Sambera (2:51:34) who also came 6th in Male 35-39 category.

Nearly 400 international and Indonesian athletes took part in the Olympic distance
triathlon and 5k Fun Run. The event expo was home to a lively celebration where Hard
Rock Radio entertained throughout the morning.  The Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran
Bay offered delicious food and drink while local businesses sold Balinese merchandise and masseurs provided free massages to the public and athletes.

The fourth edition of the MRA Bali International Triathlon is slated for June 27, 2010.

Male Overall Results
1 Luke McKenzie AUS 2:10:15
2 Fredrik Croneborg SWE 2:13:57
3 Kyle James Gear AUS 2:23:15

Female Overall Results
1 Michelle Gailey AUS 2:36:39
2 Rachael Gaudry AUS 2:38:58
3 Amanda Balding AUS 2:45:00