On a day when the weather gods delivered a little bit of everything, it was Jodie Swallow (GBR) and Matt Trautman (RSA) who delivered world class displays to win the tough Standard Bank IRONMAN 70.3 South Africa for the sixth and second consecutive years respectively. Both athletes achieved the win breaking the men’s and women’s course records in the process.
Jodie Swallow led from the front in the swim in some choppy water early on. Swallow was predictably the first woman to exit the water, in the day’s third fastest overall swim time of 00:25:15. Lucie Zelenkova (CZE) and Susie Cheetham (GBR) followed more than three minutes back. Professional debutant, Annah Watkinson (RSA) was a further half-minute back.
Swallow proceeded to take command on the bike in the wet conditions already with a ten minute lead over Cheetham at the midway point on the bike. Watkinson and Germany’s Astrid Stienen pushed ahead with both managing to pass Zelenkova after 20km who dropped to fifth. With Swallow up front and untroubled, Cheetham suffered a fall on the bike, which left her with injuries and set her back on the leader board. Stienen was doing well and passed Watkinson to move into second place. Swallow, now more than 15 minutes ahead, entered T2 first in a time of 02:26:01 shaving more than six minutes off her own bike course record. Stienen was second into T2 with a bike split of 02:34:41 followed by Watkinson in 02:39:20. Despite the fall, Cheetham still managed to enter T2 in fourth.
With Swallow in such a commanding position, the result seemed a formality. Swallow never slowed down, instead increasing her lead to over 18 minutes to take her sixth consecutive title in a new course record time of 04:23:28. Stienen finished second in 04:42:00 with an ecstatic Watkinson rounding out the podium in 04:43:34.
Top 5 professional women’s results:
SWIM BIKE RUN OVERALL
- Jodie Swallow GBR 00:25:15 02:26:01 01:27:28 04:23:28
- Astrid Stienen GER 00:31:34 02:34:41 01:29:49 04:42:00
- Annah Watkinson RSA 00:29:08 02:39:20 01:29:25 04:43:34
- Maria Czesnik POL 00:29:05 02:46:14 01:33:34 04:45:34
- Lina-Kristin SUI 00:37:33 02:41:42 01:33:23 04:57:58
The swim was evenly contested in the pro men’s race with no athlete holding a clear advantage. It was the British pair of Mark Threlfall (00:24:42) and Will Clarke (00:25:14) who exited the water first with Threlfall holding the early lead. Kyle Buckingham (RSA) and Rudolf Naude (RSA) followed only seconds back. Matt Trautman (RSA), Konstantin Bachor (GER), Clinton Gravett (RSA) and James Cunnama (RSA) were just under a minute further back.
Threlfall’s lead on the bike was slim as Clarke, Buckingham, Naude, Trautman and Bachor were all within a minute. Strong bikers, Trautman and Buckingham soon took the early control with the pair leading at the 45km mark, only a second between them but over three minutes ahead of the chase group of Cunnama, Threlfall, Stuart Marais (RSA) and Bachor. Trautman and Buckingham maintained their lead heading into T2 with only 31 seconds between them. Trautman’s bike split of 02:13:38 a new bike course record. Cunnama entered T2 in third more than five minutes back on the leader and with some ground to make up on the run. Bachor and Marais were only seconds behind him.
It was still all to play for at the start of the run with Buckingham not too far off Trautman with Cunnama also in with an outside chance. However, Trautman proceeded to push on stretching his lead to a minute and twenty seconds 5km in. By the halfway point on the run, Trautman’s lead was two minutes twenty. Trautman maintained his pace and put enough distance between himself and Buckingham to win emphatically, by over seven minutes in an overall time of 04:01:52 – a new course record. Buckingham finished second in 04:09:10 closely followed by Cunnama rounding out the all-South African podium in 04:09:11
Top 5 professional men’s results:
SWIM BIKE RUN OVERALL
- Matt Trautman RSA 00:26:02 02:13:38 01:17:34 04:01:52
- Kyle Buckingham RSA 00:25:17 02:14:45 01:24:23 04:09:10
- James Cunnama RSA 00:26:07 02:18:41 01:19:48 04:09:11
- Stuart Marais RSA 00:27:18 02:17:59 01:19:53 04:10:22
- Konstantin Bachor GER 00:26:04 02:18:56 01:24:03 04:13:54
For more information on the IRONMAN brand and global event series, visit www.ironman.com.
Author: Tanja Schmitz
Founder and Editor of Fitness Magazine. You’ll find her behind her computer or on her bike, dreaming up new ways to improve or create content for you.