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Reed wins for 3rd time

Death mars Cobra Ironman 70.3

By Waylon Galvez

LAPU-LAPU CITY – Australian Tim Reed stamped his class once and again and won a third straight Cobra Ironman 70.3 championship yesterday at the Shangri-La Mactan here.

Reed was nine seconds behind from two competitors after the 1.9km swim, but he quickly recovered in the 90km bike.

That switch from swim to bike proved to be the turning point for Reed, navigating the middle event a little over two hours.

Australian Tim Reed wins anew to complete a three-peat. (MB photo | Rio Deluvio)

Australian Tim Reed wins anew to complete a three-peat. (MB photo | Rio Deluvio)

Despite efforts to catch up in the 21.1km run from defending World XTerra champion Mauricio Mendez of Mexico, Redd finished the 113km tri-event in three hours, 54 minutes and seven tenths of a second.

“You can’t control how other people race. I knew I was very fit, I knew I’d have a good chance,” said Reed, who won here in 2015 and 2016 when the event was under the classification of Asia-Pacific, a qualifying event for the World Championships of Ironman.

“But if somebody else beat me but I put in a really good performance, I’m okay with that…. and today was just all about focusing on myself and racing as hard as I could,” added Reed.

The 21-year-old Mendez, who had the best time in the run event with one hour, 16 minutes and 55 seconds, came in second in three hours, 56 minutes and 46 seconds, followed by Australia’s Ryan Fisher (4:00:20).

Reed said he knew it was in bike event that he had his chance, and when the opportunity presented itself, he took advantage of the situation and built a gap on his pursuers like Mendez, Fisher, Australia’s Tim Van Berkel and Brent McMahon of Canada.

“I go to the swim right up at the front which is great for me. I’m not the best swimmer. In the bike, I made my move so I had a little gap to the rest of the field and I thought it’s time to go. That opened up a few minutes and I was able to build on that,” said Reed.

“I saw him (Mendez) in the first lap of the run, and I was like, ‘I’d better start running, be quicker!’,” said Reed. “He’s a beautiful runner, really talented athlete so I was definitely concerned.”

In the women’s category, Amalia Watkinson of New Zealand bagged the title, clocking in four hours, 29 minutes and 17 seconds to beat the Australian duo of Jacqueline Thistleton (4:35:53) and Kerry Morris (4:39:11).

Kim Kilgroe, a Filipino-American pro triathlete, finished seventh overall, an improvement from her 10th place finish when she first competed last year, with a time four hours, 58 minutes and 58 seconds.

Meanwhile, the death of one of male participants put a cloud on what was a successful event attended by 2,764 triathletes from 52 countries after suffering a heart attack during the swim leg.

In a statement, the organizer Sunrise Events Inc. issued a statement, but did not release the name of the athlete until after an investigation.

“We are deeply saddened to confirm the death of one of our athletes following the IRONMAN 70.3 Philippines in Cebu. The athlete required medical attention during the swim portion of Sunday’s race and was properly transported to a nearby hospital where they were treated,” said in the statement.