IRONMAN 70.3 Geelong once again provided intriguing racing as some of the top PTO stars were pitted against each other on the south-east coast of Australia.
There were impressive performances across the field in both the men’s and women’s races, as the athletes completed the 70.3-mile course.
We have created a ‘Dream Relay’ for both the men’s and women’s races, made up of the quickest athletes in each discipline.
Swim: Trent Thorpe (21:33)
Trent Thorpe demonstrated his considerable prowess through the water during the opening leg at Geelong.
The New Zealander raced to the front of the field with Josh Amberger, clocking a time of 21:33 as he edged his Australian rival by three seconds out of Corio Bay.
The leading pair were nearly a minute clear of third place, while eventual winner McKenna trailed by almost two minutes.
Bike: Tim Van Berkel (2:08:18)
Tim Van Berkel, who exited the water in close proximity to McKenna, joined his fellow countryman in hunting down Thorpe over the 90km cycle.
The chasing group that also included Tim Reed set a scintillating pace, eating away at Thorpe’s lead before catching him to form a seven-man cluster heading into T2.
There were some exceptionally quick times among the contingent that closed up to Thorpe, but it was Van Berkel who registered the quickest time for the second leg.
The PTO World #39 recorded a time of 2:08:18, just one second quicker than Lachlan Kerin who finished the day in ninth place.
Run: Steven McKenna (1:10:53)
McKenna showcased his pace on the bike to give himself a chance of victory at Geelong, but it was his lightning speed on the run that made his maiden IRONMAN 70.3 triumph a certainty.
Surrounded by a host of top athletes, McKenna slowly ramped up the pace to overhaul Reed and run clear of his rivals.
The 29-year-old finished the 21.1km run in 1:10:53, nearly a minute quicker than second placed Thorpe.
The men’s ‘Dream Relay’ would have finished in 3:44:44, eclipsing McKenna’s time by 2:01.
Swim: Ellie Salthouse (25:00)
The PTO World #21 clocked 25:00 for the 1.9km leg, just five seconds swifter than Thek.
Demestichas and Watkinson were also within 11 seconds, leaving Salthouse with plenty to do over the remaining two legs to claim top spot on the podium.
Bike: Ellie Salthouse (2:19:18)
In a similar vein to the PTO-supported Big Husky, the duo of Salthouse and Watkinson broke clear on the bike to open up a comfortable lead.
Watkinson briefly threatened to leave Salthouse, but the latter’s pace was too strong over the 90km course.
Salthouse finished the leg in 2:19:18, 1:17 faster than Watkinson who was the next quickest athlete over the second leg.
Run: Ellie Salthouse (1:19:04)
Salthouse was once again superior to all her rivals over the final leg, setting an electrifying pace on the 21.1km run.
The Australian crossed the line over five minutes clear of second placed Watkinson to claim victory and improve on her runner-up finish at Geelong in 2019.
Salthouse’s time of 1:19:04 for the final leg was 1:35 faster than Grace Thek’s effort – the second quickest run of the day.
Our ‘Dream Relay’ consists of Ellie, Ellie and Ellie, as she came home in 4:09:30. – the PTO World #21 did lose 95 seconds to Watkinson over the two transitions. showing there are still areas Salthouse can improve her game.
But based purely on her swim, bike and run times, Salthouse was undoubtedly the fastest athlete at Geelong.