Olympic gold medalist Alistair Brownlee (GBR) and New Zealand’s Teresa Adam shattered the course records at Ironman Western Australia – with Brownlee lowering the record by six minutes with his 7:45:20, while Adam’s 8:38:42 was over 11-minutes under the previous course record.
Brownlee’s thoughts after a record-setting day
“I woke up the day after Kona and I wanted to do another Ironman, so I had two goals coming here,” Brownlee said after the race. “The first was to get around an Ironman without capitulating and I was pretty close, so I am happy with that. The second was to qualify for Kona and I have done that, so I am chuffed.”
“This event is fantastic, the sea is beautiful out there and I stood on the beach this morning and it was so calm and the water was gorgeous,” he continued. “The course is beautiful, flat and well organized and well supported. Right out there in the middle of the ‘outback’ there were tri clubs set up and cheering us on.”
“Having Sam Appleton and Clayton Fettell to swim was perfect and I said ‘Let’s get out on the bike and get rolling.’ We did that and Sam rode really well, I was pretty impressed with him. He was riding quick.”
“On the run I wanted a bit of space and I didn’t want to get to caught on running to a pace. I just wanted to run to what I kind of felt was comfortable. The first few kms I didn’t feel great but for 20 km after that I got into a really nice rhythm. I thought ‘I am flying here,’ so I checked myself a little bit and thought ‘No, no, don’t get carried away, you want to finish this and don’t want to be walking the last 10km.’ I pulled it back a little bit and it was good.”
“It was quite windy today and I honestly think that if it wasn’t so windy, there is five more minutes in the bike there easy. No doubt about it. Five minutes on the bike and run a bit quicker, and this course could be really quick.”
“I have never been to Western Australia before. I had been to the east coast a lot over the years and I came because I thought it was a race that would fit in and I hoped it wouldn’t be too bad coming from the UK with a direct flight. I just wanted to get the job done but I have really enjoyed it. Busselton has a very different vibe to the other part of Australia. It is really relaxed and the people are nice, chilled out and the countryside is beautiful. I have really enjoyed being here and I would like to come again.”
“I have a few days before I go home so I will be exploring the area and I am going to Margaret River and drink red wine and eat some steak. I go to Bahrain next weekend but I won’t be racing, and then it is home for Christmas. When the new year rolls around I will focus on trying to race the World Series as well as I can, with an eye on Tokyo.”
Australia’s Matt Burton, who lives in Perth, Western Australia, took almost 13 minutes off his time from last year’s race to finish second and also claim a Kona slot. Tim Van Berkel took third.
Adam three for three
Teresa Adam has now won all three of the Ironman races she’s competed at in Australia.
“The race was awesome, with outstanding conditions that made for a very fast day,” she said. “I definitely came in wanting to do a good bike ride and the conditions contributed to fast times overall. The swim was calm and awesome and while it got hot on the run, being flat enabled you to keep a nice pace going.”
“I really like racing in Australia. It is simple to come over here and I feel quite comfortable and happy, which helps me race well. We decided to have a break after Cairns and work on a few things. While the running went a little bit sideways, I think the work on the bike has paid dividends here. We plugged away over winter and picked Busselton to do. I have never been over this side of Australia, so it has been really cool and I am really happy with the result.”
“What I do next is always about how I recover from a race, so we have a flexible plan. With Ironman New Zealand being my home event, I need to go home and think about what I am going to do next.”
“A little bit of today was to come out and see if we could do a race that would help my lead into Taupo. I have done Ironman New Zealand then raced well at Ironman Cairns twice which is the second Ironman . So, we thought this time we would do a race before Ironman New Zealand and see if it helps me take that extra step next year.”
American Sarah Piampiano trailed by almost nine minutes after the swim and lost another six minutes on the bike to Adam, but ran almost 10 minutes faster to take second, while Spain’s Gurutze Frades rounded out the podium.
Men’s top 3
1 Alistair Brownlee 07:45:20 00:46:29 04:10:32 02:43:39
2 Matt Burton 07:55:40 00:51:46 04:12:17 02:46:32
3 Tim Van Berkel 08:00:26 00:49:14 04:20:02 02:46:48
Women’s top 3
1 Teresa Adam 08:38:42 00:50:24 04:32:52 03:09:29
2 Sarah Piampiano 08:42:57 00:59:09 04:38:39 02:59:51
3 Gurutze Frades 08:49:40 00:59:03 04:46:13 02:58:33
With files from Noel McMahon