Last year’s champions battle to reclaim their crowns
The Iatest race analysis, including IM Western Australia and IM 70.3 Taupo.
WHAT SUNSMART IM WESTERN AUSTRALIA WHEN 4 DECEMBER 2016 WHERE BUSSELTON, WESTERN AUSTRALIA WINNERS TERENZO BOZZONE (NZL) 7:51:26 MELISSA HAUSCHILDT (AUS) 8:54:39
Racers Terenzo Bozzone and Melissa Hauschildt had scores to settle as they took their places on the start line. The former 70.3 Ironman world champions had both experienced nightmare races in Kona two months earlier, and were forced to pull out with leg injuries.
Today, they were back and ready for retribution in performances that would see course records obliterated.
Australian Nick Kastelein showed he was a force to be reckoned with from the off, exiting the swim in 46.10 and setting a new swim course record.
Training partner and friend Bozzone caught the Australian and together the two carved out an impressive lead on the two lap before the Kiwi edged ahead.
By transition, Bozzone was more than nine minutes ahead. A blistering run saw American Andy Potts tear up the field and overtake Kastelein for second place – but victory for Bozzone was never in doubt.
He crossed the line comfortably in 7:51:26, nearly five minutes inside the record set by Luke McKenzie last year. Second placer Potts (7:55:12) was also inside McKenzie’s record, while Kastelein basked in the glory of his first Ironman podium.
“Hats off to Terenzo, he was outstanding out there today,” Potts commented afterwards. “That was a tough day.”
In the women’s race, Hauschildt took an early advantage over defending champion Sarah Piampiano (USA) and three-time runner up Mareen Hufe (DEU), and had carved out an impressive lead at the half-way point on the bike, when Hafe suddenly made her move.
For a while it looked as though Hufe would finally get the victory that has eluded her for so long when she stormed into the
lead and entered T2 almost three minutes ahead of Hauschildt.
However, once the marathon got underway, Hauschildt clawed her way back and retook the lead at the 10km mark on the run.
She then shrugged off cramps on the finish chute to cross the line in 8:54:39 – bettering Britta Martin’s 2015 record by two minutes. Hufe took her fourth runner-up trophy in a row, while Piampiano completed the podium line-up.
“I’ve never had cramps like that – it was so debilitating… I didn’t think I’d get through it,” Hauschildt said afterwards. “Between the cramps, I was running four minutes per kilometre, then I’d stop and run a 10-minute km,” she said. “I felt really good on the bike – I had a leg issue in Kona, but I got through that, and I was really happy to win.”
Terenzo Bozzone wins the men’s race
Melissa Hauschildt takes victory