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Germany’s Michael Raelert and Australia’s Annabel Luxford showed impressive late-season form, grabbing the victories against tough fields at Sunday’s Ironman 70.3 Mandurah.
Raelert was part of the front of the race from the beginning, but it was ultimately his race-best run that gave him the victory. The two-time Ironman 70.3 world champion put together a 20:08 swim, a 2:00:38 bike and a 1:12:45 half-marathon to claim the blazing 3:35:55 victory. Raelert struggled with injury most of 2014, but has shown signs of his old self with this victory and one at Ironman 70.3 Miami at the end of October. Australia’s Tim Reed was also a part of the front group all day, and it was his 1:15:31 run split that gave him second place at 3:38:42. Fellow Australian Christian Kemp rounded out the podium at 3:39:48.
Luxford had the fastest swim time of the women at 21:47, but her lead didn’t last long as super cyclist Anja Baranek (GER) dominated the bike with a 2:11:06 split for the 56-mile bike leg. Like in the men’s race, the deciding factor was the run. Luxford stormed back with a 1:24:12 half-marathon to earn a huge win at 4:02:20. Switzerland’s Caroline Steffen had a strong all-around day, but had to settle for second at 4:03:08. Australia’s Nikki Butterfield, who was returning to racing for the first time after giving birth to her son earlier this year, turned in a solid performance to claim third in 4:03:49.
Ironman 70.3 Mandurah Australia Pro Championship
Mandurah, Australia – Nov. 9, 2014
1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run
1. Michael Raelert (GER) 3:35:55
2. Tim Reed (AUS) 3:38:42
3. Christian Kemp (AUS) 3:39:48
4. Luke Bell (AUS) 3:43:49
5. Ruedi Wild (SUI) 3:47:26
1. Annabel Luxford (AUS) 4:02:20
2. Caroline Steffen (SUI) 4:03:08
3. Nikki Butterfield (AUS) 4:03:49
4. Anja Baranek (GER) 4:04:24
5. Rachel Joyce (GBR) 4:08:41