Race results

Boom time in Busso!

December 3

What a weekend at Ironman Western Australia. We saw the reemergence of one of the great Iron Women of all time, Caroline Steffen. Upon returning to be coached at the end of 2017, she was asked to put all her fears behind her, and look at the 2018 season as a new beginning. This season has been a revelation with new baby Xander, and celebrating a 40th birthday. It is no small feat to trust that it's not going to turn out to be a nightmare.

But trust Caroline did, and produced an extraordinary performance to culminate her 2018 season with a record smashing win in the Ironman. This is due to her ability and her courage. It was an absolute delight for me, to see Xena The Warrior Princess back to her slashing best, well done indeed.

But not to be outdone, the performance of Barb 'Pepper' Riveros to secure a spot in Kona was also magnificent. I know how good Caroline is at long distance and I thought I knew that Barb could be special too. With an outstanding ITU career, to convince her that her real strengths lie elsewhere if she would only believe in herself, is quite the challenge.

Barb's first foray in going long was a devastating win in Pucon 70.3. Then a great second in the ITU Long Course World Championships. For any doubters who are questioning her ability to ride 'on her own', how about 4 hours 58 minutes, in her first Ironman and not another bike rider in sight. She just proved to herself and the world what I knew, she is a very very good rider. For a 45kg athlete to ride that time on a course suited to power athletes, it is clear that Kona just got another contender for 2019's race.

Barb now has a very difficult decision in her mind. Do I go for the Olympics or do I go long? That decision in her coaches mind is easy. Barb is that good, she can do both. Congratulations on a terrific debut Pepper. Racing with brains and courage, we are super proud of you.

James had an unfortunate day, but one that can be forgiven as mechanicals plagued his weekend.  He will be giving it another shot in Ironman South Africa should all go well.

A huge congratulations to Shannon who completed Ironman WA under the most difficult of circumstances. A fantastic swim, Shannon's race was temporarily derailed after a very sad incident early on the bike course leaving her with a broken bike and a broken arm. No pity parties here, as she improvised and overcame, finishing with a 3rd place podium and inspiring many with her grit and determination.