The season is still young, but we have already been lucky enough to see some super racing across the world, and this weekend proved to be another cracker in the hot Philippines with IRONMAN 70.3 Subic Bay. The race saw two purplepatch professional athletes, Tim Reed and Kevin Collington, lined up within a highly competitive field from across the world. The race is one of the newest courses on the IRONMAN 70.3 circuit and provided a great opportunity for both athletes to do an early season race and assess their current fitness levels, heading into the *meat and potatoes* of their season in the coming months. It proved to be a barn-burner, with a fast swim, very strong bike ride, and a large group heading out onto the run ‘ITU style’. The runners were all present, and the racing proved as hot as the weather, with several back and forth’s in lead, and even a sprint finish for Kevin at the end.
As the reigning IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion, Tim was excited to race in Subic Bay, not only due to the beautiful location, but also because the Philippines is home to one of his main sponsors, Alaska Milk. Despite the anarchy of moving house, and a sister’s wedding over the last few weeks, Tim has done well on his progression toward IRONMAN Australia in May, and this would serve as a nice test and fitness boost.
For Kevin Collington, it was his first race of the season and also served as a gauge of his current fitness: "it was a great test before a big block of training heading into the IRONMAN 70.3 North American Championships in St. George.". Of course, Kevin shouldn’t get his eyes too focused on St George yet, as he still has IRONMAN 70.3 Taiwan this coming weekend, a nice 70.3 back-to-back *Collington version* of the Dixon Dirty Double.
With the depth of runners in the field, Tim was hoping to be able to break free on the bike, but the quality of field and terrain didn’t allow, and it came down to the run. A ding-dong battle ensued, and the final victor was the strong running Ruedi Wild. You may well remember Ruedi for having a super performance at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Champs last year, coming close to chasing down Tim and Sebi Kienle in the run, but having to settle for a fantastic third place. Today was his win, and an excellent performance. The never-fatiguing Craig Alexander was 2nd, and Tim settled for a solid 3rd.
Meanwhile, Kevin was in his own battle with Sven Reider, Olympic bronze medalist, for 4th place. It came down to a sprint, but a unique layout for the finish meant that they actually ran past the finish line, before a U-turn and coming back for the finish. This led to both racers ‘going way too early’, certainly a tough way to finish, but Sven edged Kevin at the line grabbing 4th, leaving Kev with a solid 5th in his first outing of the year.
Overall, a good solid day out for both Tim and Kevin, and plenty to take away and work on. Kev travels onto the humidity of Taiwan, while Tim ramps up his training for IRONMAN in May, with Challenge Melbourne on the way.
Well done gents.
The purplepatch team
*Photo by Randolph B. Leongson