With almost the entire field made up of Australians, the Hell of the West Triathlon was a little different than usual this year. It didn’t make the race any less exciting, though, and still produced some impressive wins as Steve Mckenna came out on top for the men and Ellie Salthouse for the women. The men’s race was especially exciting, with just 10 seconds difference between the top two.
That ten-second difference was made after 2 km of swimming, 80 km of biking and 20 km of running as Mckenna stayed just ahead of compatriot Simon Hearn. Mckenna finished in 3:29:41, with Hearn’s time 3:29:51. Former 70.3 World Champion Timothy Reed took third in 3:31:16hr. The three men were equally quick in the water and on the bike, so the differences were made during the run.
Among the women, Salthouse was slightly more dominant, taking the title in 3:50:41, nearly five minutes faster than runner-up Amelia Watkinson (3:55:26). The third woman, Kylie Simpson, rounded out the podium with her 4:07:49 finish.
Salthouse was in front in the water, grabbing a nearly two-minute lead over Watkinson. While she lost a handful of seconds on the bike, she made the biggest difference during the run where she was over three minutes faster than Watkinson. Salthouse’s finishing time was only a few seconds behind Sarah Crowley’s race record.