Kiwi raiders travel to IRONMAN Western Australia.
Athletes travel from all over the Asia/Pacific region for IRONMAN Western Australia 140.6 triathlon.
IRONMAN Western Australia
The seaside town of Busselton has hosted IRONMAN Western Australia every December since 2004, a favourite in the Asia/Pacific region athletes go to ‘Busso’ as is affectionately known by the locals with PB’s in mind. IRONMAN Western Australia is a fast flat course with a sea swim around the iconic Busselton Jetty, which coincidently is 1.841km long, making it ideal for an IRONMAN length swim. The whole town of Busselton seems to be made for triathlon, locals take ownership of the event and the buzz over race weekend is electric. IMWA is one of those events you can feel is here to stay and with personal bests on offer its hugely popular. Don’t be fooled though, there is a sting in Busselton’s tail! My own PB for 70.3 distance is at Busselton, however it is also the home of my worst 140.6 time. The weather in South West Australia in December can be very hard to pick, one day might be 24 degrees with sea breezes the next 38 with a baking wind coming off the interior, and flies, millions and millions of flies. IRONMAN Western Australia 2012 was a hot day and I suffered badly on the run course. Having lived in Western Australia for 7 years of my life I was some what prepared and even with the tough conditions it was still a thoroughly enjoyable race. Fortunately I was able to return in May of 2017 to do the Busselton 70.3 and found a small amount of redemption with a PB over the shorter distance.
Those of you familiar with the latter of those two races, or indeed familiar with South West Australia, will also know that sharks are a consideration, in 2017 the 70.3 was cut short by the presence of a shark and the teams swim was called off.
In honesty while its a consideration its not a huge concern, sharks live in the ocean, so their presence is no real surprise and the Busselton surf life saving team do an incredible job, they know their beach well and monitor the coast line constantly through the summer months with particular attention given to event days. Visibility at Busselton is usually good and in 2012 I can recall seeing rays and fish around the footings of the jetty.
New Zealand’s finest long distance triathletes travel to IRONMAN Western Australia
IRONMAN Western Australia 2017 looks to be an epic Anzac battle as New Zeland’s strongest mens long distance triathletes head across the ditch to take on some of Australia’s heaviest hitters.
It’ll be no easy feat for the Kiwis to upset the Aussies on their home track, Pete Jacobs was the IRONMAN World Champion in 2012 an accolade only he has of the entire field, Cameron Wurf is the current Kona bike course record holder and Tim Van Berkel and Luke Bell have formidable CV’s. Not to mention all of the non Anzac talent making their way down under. IRONMAN Western Australia is set to be an epic affair, expect some fast racing and sub 8 hour times – especially if the weather is favourable. Let’s take a look at the Kiwi talent.
Arguably the hardest working man in triathlon and New Zealand’s strongest athlete currently is defending IMWA champion and course record holder Terenzo Bozzone, Terenzo has had a stellar season this year taking top spot on 70.3 podiums at Cozumel and Los Cabos, 2nd at the 70.3 Middle Eastern Championships in Bahrain, 5th at Challenge Roth, 6th at IRONMAN New Zealand, and an outstanding 6th at Kona posting the fastest ever time from a New Zealander on the big island. Terenzo also finished 2nd by only .4 seconds to Ben Kanute at the Island House Tri invitational sprint series showing he can still mix it with the best of the ITU guys. Terenzo will be hugely motivated to defend his crown in WA, look for him to attack hard on the bike and set himself up at the front of the field.
The next Kiwi athlete needs no introduction, Cameron Brown has a CV most would die for, the seemingly ageless Kiwi defies the odds time and time again, a crowd favourite the world over Cam will be looking to keep the young guys humble and snatch himself a spot on the podium. 12 time IRONMAN New Zealand champion, Cameron has also been on the podium 4 times at Kona, the only male Kiwi athlete to step on that hallowed dias, but it doesn’t stop there, Cameron has been the European Champion, Ironman Cairns Champion at 43 years of age, has twice finished on the podium at Challenge Roth, 10 time Port of Tauranga Half champion (New Zealand middle distance championships) The list goes on and on, in March this year he broke his own run course record at IRONMAN New Zealand to run himself into second place. Cam is by far the most experienced athlete lining up at IMWA and is deeply respected by his fellow competitors and age groupers alike.
Next up is Dougal Allan, the adventure race specialist and two time Challenge Wanaka champion (2016,2017) has turned his attention to long distance triathlon in recent years and has been racking up the podiums since. Dougal has a habit of breaking bike course records and the IMWA course will suit him down to the ground. 2nd place at IRONMAN Kalmar in Sweden 2015, 5th at IRONMAN Australia 2016, 7th at Challenge Roth 2017 and 2nd at Challenge Taiwan 2017 look for Dougal to really shake things up out on the roads of Busselton.
Callum is searching for his maiden 140.6 victory and he’s been close on numerous occasions, with a strong 2017 season under his belt he’s a good chance at making the podium at IMWA. With three career 70.3 titles to his name and one NZ middle distance title Callum is a regular on podiums at home and in the United States.
Guy Crawford (AKA Captain Awesome)
Guy keeps busy racing in the Asia/Pacific region, the New Zealander is an IRONMAN Western Australia regular and has posted strong performances in both 140.6 and 70.3 distance. 3rd at Challenge Taiwan this year Guy will be looking to round out a solid 2017 season.
Carl is the best decorated man in Triathlon and a regular in New Zealand and Australia, with a great career and solid performances since 2012. Carl does triathlons in between tattoo sessions and is a crowd favourite at home in New Zealand who can be spotted quickly by way of awesome facial hair or beautiful art work on his skin. Carl will feel right at home in Western Australia, the land of mullets and tattoos.
I’ve been looking forward to this race all year and I’ll be watching closely. Western Australia was my home for 7 years and was a fantastic place to work, live and do triathlon. It’s hard to pick a favourite for race day, I’ve been able to meet and shake hands with most of the Kiwis and Aussies racing and they’re all great guys. Good luck to everyone taking part, I hope conditions don’t get too hot, although knowing Western Australia like I do, I know there will be plenty of beer to cool everyone down post race!