The Sunshine Coast’s Simon Hearn and Melbourne’s Laura Armstrong took the honours at IRONMAN 70.3 Cairns and their stunning performances earned them the reward of being the first competitors to be able to put their feet up, chill out and enjoy the remainder of the stunning racing unfolding at the Cairns Airport IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Championship Cairns.
The 24 year old Hearn has recently moved from Melbourne to the Sunshine Coast for a lifestyle change and to pursue his dream of racing IRONMAN 70.3 professionally and today’s performance proved he is well and truly on track.
“With the rolling start I wanted go from the front and see how I went on my own. I could have stayed back a bit and work with some guys on the bike but I wanted to see what I had. I swam, came out with a few guys and got away, then biked most of the way on my own. There was one guy ahead of me on the road and the first team runner, who overtook me pretty early but I managed to pull the first age grouper back fairly quickly, so then I just wanted to hold on.”
“This is my first rolling start race so unlike a normal start I didn’t have anyone with me so that took some adjusting to, especially coming into the head wind on the last 30km. I just had to knuckle down and focus on what I was doing and not anyone else. It got warmer on the run but I had a fairly good lead so it was all good.”
“I changed to a new coach David Tilbury-Davis four weeks ago, who is a mentor to Lionel Sanders and a few of those guys. I have just been focusing on this race to see what I could do so I am pretty happy with how things are going and I am really happy with the performance. I will speak to David about future races but the Sunny Coast 70.3 is a no brainer. It is a home town race and I can train on the course,” Simon said.
Former Kiwi, now Melbourne resident, Laura Armstrong was also very impressive, winning in fine style on limited preparation.
“I came here with the goal of just racing because I took a month off in March to get married. When I came back I told my coach Sean (Foster) I was going to do Cairns 70.3, he was a bit surprised because it only gave us eight weeks to get ready.”
“I was confident with the work we had done over the past year that even after a break I could get back and going. I haven’t done a lot of speed work or strength stuff, so it was nice to come here with the motivation to just race and enjoy it. But it certainly paid off.”
“I held good consistent power on the ride and was working the rollers and using the momentum to get me over the climbs. There was a fair bit of wind coming back into town but it was manageable. The cloud cover on the run was amazing for me and it allowed me to find my nutrition and have a really good race.”
“It is the first time I have raced in the heat and enjoyed it, so I am finally getting there. It is really nice up here so I am excited to get out there now and support my husband and a lot of the Fluid Movements squad who are doing the IRONMAN,” Laura said.
1 Simon HEARN 04:09:00 00:26:23 02:18:18 01:20:31
2 Hayden ARMSTRONG 04:12:46 00:28:05 02:14:39 01:25:00
3 Brock MILLARD 04:13:33 00:24:36 02:17:55 01:27:36
1 Laura ARMSTRONG 04:34:53 00:30:36 02:28:24 01:31:59
2 Jane FARDELL 04:44:34 00:31:42 02:37:08 01:31:02
3 Briarna SILK 04:47:42 00:30:02 02:37:58 01:34:28