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Reed, Gerdes claim Ironman Australia wins

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 1/05/2016 Will Knight

NSW triathlete Tim Reed and American Beth Gerdes produced sizzling runs to claim victory at Ironman Australia in Port Macquarie on Sunday.

Coming off the bike, Reed was eight minutes and 24 seconds behind leader Clayton Fettell but reeled him in at the 26km mark of the marathon and then ran away to his first Ironman win.

It was a breakthrough race triumph for the 31-year-old from Byron Bay, who stepped up in distance having proven himself with a long list of wins over the world at the 70.3 - or half-Ironman - distance.

Reed crossed the line in a time of 8 hours 16 minutes and 33 seconds to comfortably claim victory by more than five minutes in front of David Dellow (8:22:17) while Fettell (8:23:21) was third.

In rainy conditions on the mid-north NSW coast, Reed's blistering run time of 2:51:32 was easily the best of the day.

The women's race followed similar lines with defending champion Michelle Bremer, the Australian-based New Zealander, boasting a massive lead of over 12 minutes after the 180km bike leg.

However, Gerdes - whose partner is top Australian triathlete Luke McKenzie - scorched with a 2:56:10 run to win by more than three minutes after passing Bremer at the 36km mark.

Gerdes clocked 9:12:25 in a commanding performance after winning Ironman Switzerland last year.

"I thought I would not catch Michelle but I never gave up," said Gerdes.

"I've done all of the Ironman races in Australia but this is the first one I've won so that's special."

Gerdes and Bremer (9:13:33) were so dominant that Dimity-Lee Duke (9:42:15) was half-an-hour behind in third.

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