11 August 2019
Australian triathlete Tim Reed limped to the finish line as he gasped for air. He then held up the finish line tape to signal his fourth 70.3 Ironman championship finish.
Reed was crowned champion in yesterday’s Regent Aguila Ironman after he ended the grueling race in four hours, one minute and 23 seconds.
The look on the champion’s face at the finish line showed how tough the race was.
The multi-titled triathlete barely edged out New Zealand’s Mike Philips who crossed the finish line in four hours, two minutes and 10 seconds.
Reed was attended to by paramedics shortly after crossing the finish line.
“It was the toughest race I have ever done. I’m just thankful that there’s so much support out there. It’s mostly the support from the crowd…thankful for the fans out there,” said Reed in a post-race press briefing at Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa in Lapu-Lapu City.
Reed won the same race in 2015, 2016, and 2017.
Defending champion Mauricio Mendez of Mexico dropped out of the race after finishing the 1.9 kilometer open-sea swim and 90-kilometer bike courses.
Mendez, who competed in his first full race after recovering from a stress fracture, decided not to proceed with the 21-kilometer run. He was running fourth after the swim leg.
Australia’s Tim Van Berkel wound up third with 4:03:12 followed by Czech Republic’s Jakub Langhammer at (4:03:18).
Copping the women’s pro division was Swiss triathlete Caroline Steffen, who completed the race in four hours, 24 minutes, and eight seconds.
Stefen had no problem dealing with the extreme heat.
“I just love the place here. I love the people, I love the weather. The course suits me. They say it is one of my favorite race but they are wrong. It is my only favorite race,” Steffen said.
Stefen’s victory denied an all-Australian show as Dimity Lee Duke came in at second at 4:36:37 seconds.
Another Australian triathlete Courtney Gilfillan ranked third at 4:39:18.
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