DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Mexican Mauricio Mendez edged last year’s three-peat winner Australian Timothy Reed to win the 2018 men’s IronMan 70.3 Davao, while Czech Radka Kahlefeldt won the women’s category despite giving birth over two months ago.
The 23-year-old Mendez came from behind Reed at the final running event to finish the race with 03:50:32 record time in the 1.9-kilometer swim, 90 km bike and 21 km run race, which started and ended at the Azuela Cove in Lanang, Davao City on Sunday, March 25.
Timothy James “Tim” Reed failed to secure his fourth Ironman 70.3 win on Philippine soil as he came in second with a time of 03:52:26.
His fellow Australian, Tim Van Berkel, came in third at 03:53:45.
Mendez came in second in the swimming and biking but managed to take the lead during the run despite the 32-celsius heat.
“I like to run in the heat,” said Mendez after the race. “I actually struggled more in the bike. I didn’t work in harmony. My goal was just to be as close to the front group.”
Kahlefeldt is new mom and champ
The women’s pro title went to Radka Kahlefeldt of the Czech Republic after finishing the race with a time of 04:25:38. Kahlefeldt aced the race despite giving birth about 10 weeks before the competition.
Kahlefeldt told media that she capitalized on her advantage in biking and swimming to secure the top spot.
“My strategy was to swim and bike very fast because I felt these are my two strongest disciplines and to have some advantage for the run,” she said.
Khalefeldt said that this is her first time to be in Davao and the people’s warm support fueled her throughout the race.
“In the finish line I wanted to run to look good only where there were people cheering, but it was always so I have to run the whole way and I survived it,” she said.
Naomi Washizu from Japan came in second at 04:36:53 and Australian Dimity Lee Duke was third with a time of 04:39:12.
Completing the Top 10 in the men’s pro are Craig Alexander (03:56:24); Bradley Weiss (03:58:37); Kyle Buckingham (04:01:43); Samuel Melle Betten (04:03:36); Eric Watson (04:13:59); Ben Allen (04:18:08); and Brent McMahon (04:20:38).
Joining the top six in the women’s pro are Lisa Tyack (04:41:01); Kirralee Seidel (04:43:36); and Sarah Lester (04:53:04).
Filipinos top Asian Elites
Filipinos dominated the men’s Asian Elite category with Jorry Ycong securing the first place with a time of 4:24:15, followed by August Benedicto with 4:25:02 and at the third spot is Banjo Norte with 4:25:07.
Leanne Szeto of Hongkong got the top spot in the women’s Asian Elite category with a time of 04:52:14 while Alexandra Ganzon of the Philippines bagged the second place with 05:13:49.
This year’s race is the inaugural event of the Ironman 70.3 in Mindanao and also marks the 10th year anniversary of the IronMan Philippines organized by Sunrise Events.
A total of 1,792 individuals joined the event, where 23 of these are professional triathletes coming from around the world.
Hungarian Anna Eberhardt, the 2017 Ironman 70.3 Vietnam Women’s Champion, pulled out from the event as she announced she was suffering from stomach pain and vomiting. (With reports from Trisha Mae B. Lopina/davaotoday.com)