Monday, 24 Jan, 2022

Matt Burton and Kylie Simpson win Ironman Western Australia, small pro field in possibility to race

Burton celebrates his IM Western Australia victory. (Picture: Instagram Burton)

With seven men and three women at the start in the pro field, Ironman Western Australia was a race with not that much pro athletes on the line. Given the many travel restrictions, no one could be blamed for that, and so it was no surprise that – with the exception of one British athlete – only Australians were racing. The win went to Matt Burton and Kylie Simpson.

Burton came out of the water in penultimate place, with a swimming time of 51:32 minutes. He was then about two minutes behind Steve McKenna, who came out of the water along with Lachlan Kerin and Caleb Noble first. Fraser Walsh also had a good connection at that point, as he only conceded six seconds.

On the bike, Burton began to catch up, although he didn’t really succeed until the final kilometers. Only just before T2 did he find himself at the head of the race and so he switched to the marathon at the same time as Kerin. The rest of the field was then four or more minutes behind.

During the run, Burton only saw his lead grow. After 8:01:23 he claimed victory, 9:11 minutes ahead of McKenna who took the silver. Walsh was third, 10:27 minutes behind the winner.

The women’s race was thus won by Simpson. After the swim, she was still more than nine minutes behind Kate Bevilaqua, and Simpson’s swim time of 1:08:34 was not exactly a great time either. On the bike, Simpson needed about 120 kilometers to catch up and then she left Bevilaqua behind. From that point on, her lead only grew, eventually to more than three quarters of an hour. At the time of writing, Simpson was already celebrating her victory, with a finish time of 9:06:15, and Sarah Thomas was 45:27 minutes behind. Bevilaqua was another eight minutes behind Thomas.

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