US basketball

Reed, Steffen repeat as Cobra Ironman 70.3 Asia Pacific champs

Mars G. Alison
Reed, Steffen repeat as Cobra Ironman 70.3 Asia Pacific champs
Reed wins the men's title by a margin of 3 minutes while Steffen finishes top among women for the fifth straight time

LAPU-LAPU CITY, Philippines – Australia’s Tim Reed and Switzerland’s Caroline Steffen made a repeat of their performance here last year by clinching the male and female pro titles of the Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 Asia Pacific Championship.

Reed eventually took the lead in the run phase and distanced himself more than 3 minutes from his opponents to successfully retain his Asia Pacific Ironman 70.3 title. He completed his second race in Cebu, Philippines with a time of 3 hours, 51 minutes and 46 seconds (3:51:46).

Steffen, for her part, successfully clinched her fifth straight title here in Cebu, Philippines with a time of 4:16:19.

Reed, the defending champion, came out of the Hilutungan Channel in seventh place after finishing the swim segment of the race in 24:21. He was part of a crowded lead pack that had fellow Australian Sam Betten coming out of the water ahead of all male pro entries, with Canada’s Brent McMahon following just a second later, then New Zealand’s Braden Currie, Italy’s Jonathan Ciavattella, Australia’s Craig Alexander and France’s Anthony Costes.

The stiff competition among the male pros continued into the bike section with Jake Montgomery, another Australian, taking the lead while fellow Australian Betten dropped to 6th.

The bike race eventually boiled down to Reed, McMahon, Craig Alexander, also an Australian, and Betten, who all returned to the bike transition just seconds apart.

McMahon, who at some point had taken the lead of the 90-kilometer bike race, and Reed was neck-to-neck coming out of the transition and into the 21-kilometer run segment followed closely by Betten.

With McMahon suffering from cramps, Reed eventually put up an 18-second lead at the 1.1-kilometer mark and from there was never challenged onwards to the finish line.

Fellow Australians Alexander and Betten took second and third places, respectively. Alexander completed the race in 3:55:01 while Betten came in with a time of 3:57:15.

Last year’s second placer, Tim Van Berkel of Australia, who figured in a sprint finish against Reed, was also tapped as one of the top contenders in this race, but he wasn’t able to race earlier after he suffered injuries when he figured in an accident yesterday during a practice bike run. 

In the female pro contest, this year is probably the first time that Steffen was seriously challenged for the title, however, she was more than 5 minutes faster than her time last year.

Steffen was challenged heavily by Czech Republic’s Radka Vodickova who was more than a minute ahead of her out of the water. 

Vodickova continued to take the upperhand in the bike race until Steffen caught up with her at the 35-kilometer mark.

Vodickova, however, refused to concede as the two iron women exchanged lead several times with just seconds separating them going into the run segment.

Experience perhaps was Steffen’s best weapon against Vodickova as had had raced the course 5 times already. 

Just a few kilometers to the finish line, Steffen stopped for hydration but wasn’t able to stop herself from vomiting. She eventually recovered to cross the finish line a little more than two minutes ahead of Vodickova who clocked 4:18:29.

Settling for third place was Australia’s Sarah Crowley with her time of 4:21:53.

In the male Filipino elite, just like last year August Benedicto gifted himself with another win, his fourth in the event, with his time of 4:26:46. He just celebrated his 32nd birthday last August 2.

Paul Jumamil crossed the finish line in second place with a time of 4:27:49 while third place was taken by John Leerams Chicano with his time of 4:28:04.

The distaff side was lorded over by Monica Torres, who used to race in the pro. She clocked 4:45:54. Second place went to Maria Hodges who finished the whole race with a time of 5:07:02. –


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