Alistair Brownlee, Teresa Adam win a record-breaking IRONMAN Western Australia

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Kona 2020 secured in course record time for Alistair Brownlee

Speedy British women go Sub-9 as Teresa Adam takes another IRONMAN win

Sunday proved to be a good day for British athletes in Busselton, Western Australia, with some strong performances on the flat and fast roads of IRONMAN Western Australia. While an established world star secured another win on a remarkable career C.V., there was more cheer a little further down the field on the next generation too.


Pro Men

Rest, recover and rebuild towards at an attempt to secure a third consecutive Olympic Gold medal? That’s the option that Great Britain’s Alistair Brownlee now has available, following a very impressive and complete performance in Busselton on Sunday, winning IRONMAN Western Australia in a new course record of 7:45:21.

He lead out of the swim (46:30) alongside Aussie’s Clayton Fettell and Sam Appleton, before Fettell was dropped from that group and the Brownlee / Appleton duo were pretty much locked together for 180km, reaching T2 with a buffer of more than seven minutes on Matt Burton (AUS) and Antony Costes (FRA).

Brownlee immediately pulled away on the run and was more than 30 seconds clear within the first mile. Covering the first half marathon in approx. 1:17, he was able to ease back during the second half and still produce a fastest run split of 2:43:40 (the fastest of the day), for a winning margin of more than 10 minutes and new best figures on the Busselton course, previously 7:51:26 from Terenzo Bozzone (NZL) in 2016.

He takes the $10,000 prize money – but that Kona slot for 2020, locked up nice and early, now provides plenty of options for 2020 – and will be regarded as by far the more valuable prize.

Pro Women

The winner of the IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Championship in Cairns in both 2018 and 2019, New Zealand’s Teresa Adam proved her star quality once again, leading from the front with a very swift 50:25 swim to start the day.

Equally strong on the bike, Adam was flying with her pace being all but matched by British uber-biker, Kimberley Morrison who had moved into second place with the first 20km.

At the end of the first lap of 90km, Adam had a 4:48 advantage over Morrison, with Poland’s Agieszka Jerzyk and iron-distance debutant, Katrina Matthews (nee Rye), having a great race in fourth. Matthews started the 2019 season with a brilliant Age-Group performance at Challenge Gran Canaria, was soon collecting her Pro licence and then won the ETU Middle Distance Triathlon European Championships, alongside several other podiums, in a very rapid rise. Her full distance debut was following a similar trend.

As they dismounted the bike, Adam stopped the bike split clock at 4:32:53, which was a couple of minutes quicker than Morrison, who would start the run in second place and 6:16 in arrears. Matthews continued her progress in the second half of the ride, and alongside Jerzyk and Sarah Piampiano (USA), all three would start the run in 3rd/4th/5th around 14 minutes back on the leader. Sub-three hour runs from Piampiano (2:59:52) and Gurutze Frades (ESP) earned them podium spots, but a 3:09:30 marathon from Adam was strong and still allowed her to take that gun-to-tape victory with a winning margin of just over four minutes. As with the men’s race, that resulted in another course record, surpassing the 8:49:46 from Caroline Steffen 12 months ago.

Matthews’ debut would continue in fine style, completing her race with a 3:11:02 marathon, fourth place and an iron-distance debut of 8:53:59. That, I think, is second only to the 8:48:11 from Catriona Morrison, 10 years ago at Challenge Roth, in terms of ‘fastest British female debut times’. I have a lot of statistics to update over the Christmas holiday period…!

A good day for Kimberley Morrison too. While she did drop back on the run – finishing in sixth – her 3:22:24 marathon still brought her home in 8:57:54. Ruth Purbrook and Sophie Bubb were both making their IRONMAN Pro debut’s, with Ruth having a few technical issues and finishing eighth, Sophie back in 12th.

British Reactions:

IRONMAN Western Australia, Busselton – Sunday 1st December 2019
3.8km / 180km / 42.2km


1st – Alistair Brownlee (GBR) – 7:45:21
2nd – Matt Burton (AUS) – 7:55:40
3rd – Tim Van Berkel (AUS) – 8:00:27
4th – Sam Appleton (AUS) – 8:09:55
5th – Clayton Fettell (AUS) – 8:12:26


1st – Teresa Adam (NZL) – 8:38:43
2nd – Sarah Piampiano (USA) – 8:42:58
3rd – Gurutze Frades (ESP) – 8:49:41
4th – Katrina Matthews (GBR) – 8:53:59
5th – Agnieszka Jerzyk (POL) – 8:57:33
6th – Kimberley Morrison (GBR) – 8:57:54
7th – Emily Loughnan (AUS) – 9:10:46
8th – Ruth Purbrook (GBR) – 9:17:42

12th – Sophie Bubb (GBR) – 10:06:53

John Levison
Written by
John Levison
TRI247's Chief Correspondent, John has been involved in triathlon for well over 30 years, 15 of those writing on these pages, whilst he can also be found commentating for events across the UK.
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