The Netherlands’ Lotte Wilms moved from World Triathlon draft-legal events to long-distance racing at the end of last year, taking the win at Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast, and continued that winning streak today with another win in Australia at Ironman 70.3 Geelong.
Wilms led the women out of the water by a huge margin, hitting the beach over 70 seconds ahead of Australia’s Ellie Salthouse, with fellow Aussie Stephanie Demestichas another 10 seconds back in third. Japan’s Ai Ueda led a group of three that included Grace Thek (AUS) and one of the other race favourites, New Zealand’s Amelia Watkinson.
By halfway through the bike Wilms remained in front, with Watkinson just under two minutes behind and Salthouse almost four minutes back. By the end of the bike Wilms was 2:44 ahead of Watkinson, with Salthouse just under 10 minutes behind in third, with Thek another 1:45 down in fourth.
Out on the run Wilms continued to pad her lead over Watkinson, while Salthouse started to fade out of podium contention. Through 10 km Watkinson was 3:22 back in second, Thek was third, but 9:36 behind, and Demestichas was in fourth at 11:28, 15 seconds ahead of Salthouse.
Wilms continued to pull clear over the last half of the run, taking the win in 4:07:41 after a 1:22:39 half marathon. Watkinson would hang on for second in 4:11:17, with Thek rounding out the podium in 4:15:45.