Back-to-back Regional Championships wins for Holly Lawrence
IRONMAN World Champion Lange runs to victory in Vietnam
Great Britain’s Holly Lawrence is certainly making it a speciality of hers to win major IRONMAN 70.3 Regional Championship races round the globe. The World Champion in 2016, over the last six months she has topped the podium at:
- IRONMAN 70.3 Middle East Championship, Bahrain
- IRONMAN 70.3 North American Pro Championship, St. George
- IRONMAN 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship, Vietnam
Those last two wins have come just eight days, two continents and more than 7,500 miles apart – but winning margins of 12 minutes and 4 minutes respectively, suggest that Lawrence has well and truly put behind her the foot injury that wiped out most of her 2018 season.
With Emma Pallant (IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships Silver medallist in 2017) also recording back-to-back-to-back wins in France this past weekend, that bodes well for this years World Championships in Nice, France. Add in 2018 runner-up Lucy Charles into the mix, and the British entry looks set to be a strong one.
The race went in typical style when Lawrence is at her best – from the front – starting with a lead of almost a minute and a half through the swim. That was then extended to more than six minutes on the bike with another race-best split, over a chasing trio of Sarah Crowley (AUS), Radka Kahlefeldt (CZE) and Amelia Watkinson (NZL). Crowley was able to regain a couple of minutes over the half marathon, but was not going to threaten Lawrence who collects another $14,000 first place cheque.
Lange starts 2019 with a win…
For the men, Germany’s Patrick Lange has been in impressive form on the second Saturday in October for the past two years (to become IRONMAN World Champion), but the remainder of his season(s) hasn’t been filled with top-level wins. No so in 2019, he started off with a ‘W’.
The Men’s Pro race featured a deep field, from which 2016 World Champion, Tim Reed, had built a T2 lead of more than two minutes from a quality group of 10 athletes who would all start the run within three minutes of the Aussie. Great Britain’s Tim Don was in there, along with Lange, three-time IRONMAN World Champion Craig Alexander (AUS), Tim Van Berkel (AUS), Mike Phillips (NZL), Dylan McNiece (NZL), Luke McKenzie (AUS), Alexander Polizzi (AUS), Romain Guillaume (FRA) and Danil Sapunov (UKR).
By the midpoint of the run, Van Berkel had caught and passed Reed but Lange was only a few second behind and we know just what he can do in hot running conditions. The German took the lead with around 8km of running remaining and with a 1:15:55 run split, took the win from Van Berkel (1:17:43) as Reed held on to complete the podium positions.
Tim Don continued with his racing return after his horrific Kona 2017 experience to take sixth position in what was a very deep field.
IRONMAN 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship, Danang, Vietnman – Sunday 12th May 2019
1.9km / 90km / 21.1km
1st – Holly Lawrence (GBR) – 4:04:41
2nd – Sarah Crowley (AUS) – 4:08:55
3rd – Radka Kahlefeldt (CZE) – 4:11:04
4th – Amelia Watkinson (NZL) – 4:13:01
5th – Grace Thek (AUS) – 4:33:23
1st – Patrick Lange (GER) – 3:49:09
2nd – Tim Van Berkel (AUS) – 3:50:57
3rd – Tim Reed (AUS) – 3:52:14
4th – Mike Phillips (NZL) – 3:53:13
6th – Tim Don (GBR) – 3:54:56