Waves, wind, rain, cold cheer squads.... Ironman WA had it all and put our BTC representatives to the test last weekend. All of our athletes made it home safely across the line and we had some brilliant results along with great displays of resilience on a tough day.
The swim was some of the toughest conditions ever reported. From the Busselton jetty it looked horrible with a lot of the professionals even resorting to backstroke and some being swept under the jetty with the strong current. There were heartbreaking scenes with lots of age group athletes needing to be rescued or not making the cut off time. Margie Sneddon was spotted from the jetty looking incredibly calm and smooth at the back end of the swim course and spent the second half overtaking everyone. Rachel Monahan showed off her BTC open water swim training with a great swim. All of our BTC athletes made it into T1 with a smile on their face (?) and ready to get stuck into the rest of the day.
The bike leg had on/off rain and bouts of strong cross and head winds adding some serious challenge to the flat and usually fast course. Ben Thomson had a great ride sneaking in under 5 hours (4:59:22).
The run was where our athletes put the hammer down though, with all of them looking consistent and composed out on course. Bruce Tomlinson's fast and efficient cadence had him ticking along very nicely to produce a 3:41 run. Ben T was looking very spritely the whole run and was awesome in putting together a 3:46 run after his strong bike. Pocket Rocket Ray and IronMargie were arguably the happiest athletes on course with waves, high fives and even the occasional joke as they ran past the fans. With text book consistency and form from both of the girls, it was awesome to see them put their hard training on show. Ben Boyd and Neil Culkin both ran sub 3:40's; great running in tough conditions. David Stewart faced some challenges early on in the run but showed great perseverance to push through.
Our highest placed finisher on the day was Rachel Monahan who in just her second Ironman placed 6th in her category. Ray quietly chipped away at some really hard training over the last few months so we're incredibly proud to see her day come together so well. Her composure when she races, especially in the tough second half of the marathon is something you have to see to believe. Ray has kindly given us an insight into her race, which you can read here.
Margie raced her first Ironman and was truly amazing to watch. She smiled the whole day and (seemed) to just love being out there. She executed arguably a perfect race with consistency that is very rarely seen in a debut Ironman performance. She finished in 12:41:38 with a couple of minutes of that spent in the finishing chute soaking up the atmosphere and celebrating with her fans (in fact if you watch her finish line video you can hear Pete Murray calling "Margie Sneddon, are you ever going to finish?").
Ben T and Bruce Tomlinson were consistent and strong all day both with top 20 finishes.
Our fastest finished Ben Boyd also produced a top 20 finish in the very competitive 35-39 age group.
Congratulations to all of our athletes!
Professional Spectator Ben Browne grabbed some brilliant shots from the day; you can check them out here.