Records tumble in ‘dream’ Cairns Ironman
BRISBANE’S Josh Amberger was crowned the Cairns Ironman Asia-Pacific champion yesterday after completing a near perfect race.
In his first Cairns event and only his third Ironman, Amberger couldn’t put a foot wrong to complete the gruelling 3.8km swim, 180km bike and 42.2km run in a record time of 8h:2m:6s.
"I have never won a major championship, so to put it together on a day like this is amazing,” the Queenslander said after the race.
“Everyone talks about how wonderful this race in Cairns is and all the guys that do it always seem to come back. I can see why, it was just unbelievable. One of the best, if not the best course I have raced on."
Amberger led out of the water and was also first off the bike in a flawless performance. He received a thunderous applause as he made his way towards the hairpin on Macrossan Street in Port Douglas yesterday.
"It was literally like a dream,” he said.
“I was first off the bike and I managed to have good legs. I am still new at IRONMAN so I was unsure of the run pacing. I think I went out a bit too hard but managed to hold it together and run a really good marathon.
"I had a feeling I had the race wrapped up but I didn’t want to celebrate too early. The last two kilometres was lined with spectators and being a Queensland boy to take this race out in front of a lot of family and friends and people who have watched my career over the last ten to fifteen years it was fantastic.”
Amberger paid tribute to his Brisbane based coach Cameron Watt, who had a double of his own yesterday by also coaching the winner of the women’s Ironman Sarah Crowley.
In her seventh trip to Cairns, Crowley also smashed a new course record of 8:58:13. She had been performing strongly in lead up 70.3 races, including a triumph in the Middle East Championship in Bahrain late last year.
"Coming out of the water up the front I don’t have to chase and hurt yourself in the first part of the bike by trying to play catch up and you can set your ride up better,” she said.
“It happened here, I was able to build through the ride and I really hammered the back end where I knew the race would be won. In the past I would have had to hurt myself out to Port Douglas to try and catch up. Taking that off the table has unlocked my racing for me."
In the 70.3 event it was Dan Plews saluting, completing the 1.9km swim, 90km ride and 21km run in
Gold Coast athlete Madi Roberts took out the women's event.
CAIRNS IRONMAN ASIA-PACIFIC RESULTS
Joshua Amberger (AUS) 8:02:16
Joe Gambles (AUS) 8:04:02
Braden Currie (NZ) 8:07:45
Sarah Crowley (AUS) 8:58:13
Sarah Piampiano (USA) 9:08:19
Kristin Moeller (GER) 9:14:07
Dan Plews (NZL) 04:09:04
Andy White (AUS) 04:11:03
Simon Nash (AUS) 04:14:14
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