IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship RACE DAY

It was a day of firsts. This was the first IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship held south of the equator. It was also the first IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship with the nation represented by the most athletes from somewhere other than the United States. Australia took that honor with more athletes competing than any other country, which was no surprise since they were hosting the event on the Sunshine Coast here in Queensland.

It was also the first time nearly three quarters of the competitors were racing in a World Championship event. How could the day be anything other than epic!

Just before the start we were shown a skill that had nothing to do with triathlons, one that has been handed down for eons by the Native People of Australia. With the distinctive sound of the didjeridu playing in the background, they made fire with only two sticks!

It was a stunning day. There's a reason it's called the Sunshine Coast.

I was the official starter ready to send off nineteen waves of athletes into the Mooloolaba Beach waters. It was clear from the look of joy on the athletes' faces that they were excited and ready!

There were athletes from eighty-three countries competing. And in keeping with that international flair, the live call was done by Paul Kaye from South Africa and Pete Murray from Australia, two of the best in the business.

Paul Kaye
Pete Murray

Hundreds of thousands were able to watch the event in real time on Ironman Live hosted by Greg Welch and Michael Lovato. Local elite Liz Blatchford dropped in to give her insights into the race as well.

Greg Welch, Liz Blatchford and Michael Lovato

There was no shortage of fans helping spur the athletes onto greatness. Some were pretty serious about their job to cheer, and some, well, they took a more lighthearted approach to the responsibility!

Everyone needs a GoPro on their hat!
Leanda Cave with her colorful crew.

The men's race was the most tense head to head battle ever for an IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship. Sebastian Kienle of Germany and Aussie Tim Reed traded the lead on the run countless times. Neither could break the other.

It came down to a sprint finish that wasn't decided until the final few meters. The national favorite Reed came out on top, winning his first IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship by a scant two-seconds! The respect between these two titans was clear.

Tim Reed, IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion

The women's race didn't have a back and forth battle, but was no less impressive. Holly Lawrence from the UK took the lead on the bike and never looked back. It was her first IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship victory as well. Congratulations Holly!

Women's World Champion Holly Lawrence

Nearly 3,000 age group athletes finished. Some showed the spicier side of their character. Others showed the depth of their character and what they were willing to put out on the race course.

Chris Stadler, Ironman CMO on the left and Diana Bertsch, VP of IRONMAN World Championship Events were all smiles near the end of an incredible day in Mooloolaba here on the Sunshine Coast.

The finish line was a celebration. First timers as well as seasoned vets, young and old from all corners of the globe made this a World Championship of iconic proportions. Congratulations to all.

Jurgen Zack, Germany
Ellen Hart, USA
Team Bahrain
Garth Barfoot, New Zealand 80 years old

See you next year at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships that will take place in Chattanooga, Tennessee!

Mark Allen Coaching

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