Stunning Race for Steffen, Brown + all 2XU athletes at the Inaugural Ironman Melbourne!
Another weekend another win for teamTBB's Caroline 'Xena' Steffen, with an amazing performance at the inaugural Ironman Melbourne. Xena stunned the field with an 8:34 Ironman off the back of a super fast 4:35 bike and 3:01 marathon; winning the Asia Pacific Championship title by almost 12 minutes to 2nd place and about 30 minutes over the 2010 Ironman World Champ in 3rd. The result was an epic one for Xena, who is now the 2nd fastest Ironwoman of all time and shown that she will be one to watch in Kona come October.
On the men's front, 2XU's Cam Brown had the race of his life to claim second place, and we love his personal recap which came through late last night:
Oh man! The inaugural Ironman Asia-Pacific Championships Melbourne ... what a day! My best race to date ... at 39 years and 9 months old! Who said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? A second place in 8h:00m:12s behind three-time World Champ Craig Alexander (AUS), my only regret ... taking the foot off the throttle in the last couple of kilometres, not knowing I was so close to going under the magic 8 hour barrier ... damn it!
Race day started at 7am with a 3.8km swim at Frankston in almost pitch black conditions. It was extremely hard to navigate the swim, not being able to sight any markers...
...The 180km bike took us along the Eastlink motorway - it was always going to be a fast ride! A group of about eight of us rode the first 50kms together, with another pack three minutes ahead out of the swim and Clayton Fettell (AUS) was all on his lonesome with a massive lead. The pack I was in then caught the next and a massive group of around 15 riders rode for around 60kms together, reeling in Fettell in the process. Fredrick Van Lierde (BEL) then made a break and the group separated a bit in the last 40kms as the pace picked up.
By the time we had exited the Nepean Highway, some 18kms later (and thank goodness for that because the camber of the road was horrendous and I could feel my calf tightening) it was Craig Alexander and I running shoulder to shoulder, jostling for position. At 25kms Alexander put on a big surge and gapped me by 10 metres or so, but I managed to haul him back in over the next kilometre. These mind games continued until Alexander broke me at about the 34km mark. I chased hard, but Crowie, as he’s nicknamed, opened the lead and I had to maintain my form and race hard for the finish with Fredi and Eneko still pressuring me from behind.
Craig Alexander took the win in 7h:57m:44s, with me a further two minutes back in 8h:00m:12s and Fredrick Van Lierde, Eneko Llanos, David Dellow (AUS) and Paul Matthews all very close behind.
...An amazing race and the point to point run was certainly tough, not being able to sight the opposition, but Melbourne certainly turned it on, with a mass of riders accompanying the top guys on the run, thousands of spectators lining the roads and fan zones set up every 10kms along the way. The atmosphere was electric in the finishing chute and certainly topped off a great day for me. Crowie had an awesome race again, I pushed him as hard as I could and was happy to be bridesmaid today, to one of the best Ironman athlete’s in the history of our sport.
In addition, brilliant results were also also achieved by a host of other 2XU Athletes including TeamTBB's Dave Dellow (a solid 8:04 to finish 5th in a stacked field of Pro men), Melbourne's own Josh Rix who flew over the line in 11th place in 8:22:17, and TeamTBB's Carrie Lester who landed 8th in the women's race. 2XU's Todd Israel (newly turned Pro just following Hawaii IM 2011) also had a stunning performance in 15th place with a time of 8:33:31.
Finally, a huge shout out to 2XU's Co-Founder and Director, 40 year old Jamie Hunt who won his Age Group in a sensational time of 8:58:06, and 2XU's women's designer, 29 year old Anna Hindle who made her IM debut in an impressive 12:18:29.
Superb day at the office was had by all.
See you down there in 2013!