Coast contingent survive Hawaii
SUNSHINE Coast professional triathlete Luke McKenzie finished 27th at the gruelling Hawaii Ironman earlier this month.
The Sunshine Beach athlete never troubled the leaders on a record-breaking day in unusually calm conditions as part of the Ironman World Championship on the Big Island.
German Patrick Lange trounced the field on his way to setting a new race record and going well under eight hours, finishing in 7hr 52 min and 39 sec for the 3.8km swim, 180km bike and 42.2km run. He was the first athlete to break the eight-hour barrier at Hawaii, beating his own previous record by nine minutes.
McKenzie produced a solid day out (8hr 30min 32sec), completing the swim in 50min 46sec, was fast on the bike with an effort of 4hr 27min 26sec and then produced a 3hr 7min 29sec marathon.
Peregian Beach’s Callum Millward was 44th amid the elite men, after clocking 9hr 06min 25sec (50:57, 04:32:08, 03:37:46).
Fifth placegetter Braden Currie spent much of his time preparing for the race at Noosa. Currie was pushing for the lead at the early stages of the run, but faded to finish 12 minutes behind Lange.
McKenzie’s wife Beth also raced and finished 22nd in the women’s professional division. She completed the race in 9hr 18min 8sec (1:04:06, 5:04:10, 3:04:50).
As expected, the women’s race was dominated by Daniela Ryf, who also smashed her own Hawaii record by more than 20 minutes with a time of 8hr 26min 18sec.
In the amateurs, former Coolangatta Gold winner and surf ironman star Josh Minogue finished 50th in the men’s 30-34 age group in 9hr 16min 28sec.
Minogue was first out of the water in his division with an effort of 49min 48sec, but dropped back on the bike after getting a drafting penalty to complete the cycle leg after 4hr 52min 13sec. He then came back with a 3hr 31min marathon.
“The Kona experience was everything it was cracked up to be, the people and the place were amazing and to be involved in one of the greatest days in sport was special for me,” Minogue said.
“I’m a bit on the fence about whether it was a good day or not, I wasn’t expecting too much but getting a drafting penalty (which was rubbish) and then not really finishing off the run, made it a little disappointing. Apart from those two things it was amazing, just as tough as I expected.
“The wind direction was very different to the trade winds, so it was quite calm through Hawi and we had a tail wind on the way home, so that made for a quick bike but it was still really warm. The most difficult part of the whole thing was the numbers on the course. When I got my penalty I fell back into a group of 50 or 60 who just didn’t care about whether they were drafting which made things super tough and upset me, because the TOs weren’t even bothering with penalties once we were that far back in the race.
“That was just super tough to deal with personally ... the swim was actually one of the best and easiest I’ve ever done, once I let the leader go (who was just swimming for the record then stopped) I cruised in which was perfect. The run was awesome too until I started struggling, it was an awesome day.”
New Sunshine Coast resident Caleb Noble was seventh in the men’s 18-24 age group after hitting the finishing arch in 9hr 22min 33sec (50:19, 4:46:17, 3:38:33).
Beerwah’s Ashleigh Hunter made her Hawaii debut and was 16th in the women 25-29. She finished in 10hr 27min 11sec (1:08, 5:11:12, 4:00:39).
It was also a successful day out for Gympie vet Anne Alford, who was 21st in women 35-39 with an effort of 10hr 29min 35sec (58:42, 5:10:36, 4:14:27).
Coast father and son Ken and Ryan Rae also competed.
Ken was 21st in men 65-69 in 13hr 39min 58sec (1:14:06, 6:44:21, 5:26:09). Ryan finished 197th in men 35-39 (01:03:54, 05:26:44, 04:15:03).
BITTERSWEET: Josh Minogue on his way to completing the Hawaii Ironman.