Matt Burton in new race record to win Ironman Cairns, Hannah Berry wins women’s race

Matt Burton wins Ironman Cairns in new race record (Picture: Instagram Ironman)

It went faster than ever at Ironman Cairns – at least in the men’s race – as Matt Burton just won in a new race record of 7:45:24. The Australian took the lead early in the race and didn’t relinquish it. In the women’s race, the win went to an unleashed Hannah Berry, who chased solo during the bike and struck during the run.

After the swim, a lead group of three men quickly formed in the men’s bike race: Josh Amberger, Andrew Horsfall-Turner and defending champion Braden Currie, who could make history today for winning the race for the fourth time. Burton found himself riding in a chasing group, but was looking at a deficit of more than 2:30 minutes. During the first 90 kilometers on the bike, however, he rode to the front, but many more other athletes also rallied.

It was only after that that Burton and Amberger went on an adventure together, but even that situation did not last long. No one was up to Burton, who eventually rode away on his own and eventually started the marathon with a lead of nearly six minutes.

During that marathon he did lose some of his lead, but his victory was no longer in jeopardy. He eventually won the race in 7:45:24, a new race record. Currie was second in 7:48:59 and Mike Phillips was third in 7:49:21.

In the women’s, the race was also decided relatively early, although there it didn’t happen until the marathon. After the swim, Lotte Wilms, Lauren Brandon and Rebecca Clarke raced together, while Hannah Berry followed 2:26 minutes behind. Defending champion Kylie Simpson is not known as the best swimmer, but her 18-minute gap was notable.

On the bike, the three leaders stayed together for a long time, until Clarke began to show the first cracks after just over 100 kilometers. Not much later, she lost the connection with Wilms and Brandon and from then on things suddenly went fast as well, because within a few kilometers Clarke lost more than a minute and that would only increase more during the second half of the bike leg as well. Wilms and Brandon obviously didn’t look back over their shoulders anymore, kept riding together and eventually arrived in T2 together.

Both front-runners began their marathon with a 1:16 minute lead over Berry, who had gotten a little closer in the final kilometers of the bike and thus had also passed Clarke, who in turn had many minutes on her hands and started the run nine minutes behind.

During the run, Brandon and Wilms were evenly matched for a while, but it soon became apparent that Brandon could not keep up with the Dutch athlete. At the same time, it became clear almost as quickly that it was Berry who ran to the front and found the connection with Wilms, and so after ten kilometers the two women went side by side in the battle for the win. Unfortunately for Wilms, however, not much later she had to acknowledge her superiority to Berry, who slowly but surely saw her lead grow and eventually ran to victory as well.

Berry won the race in a time of 8:44:31. Wilms was second in 8:46:53 and Simpson, who was thus eighteen minutes behind after the swim, eventually finished third in 8:50:12.