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Fri 19th Aug 2022
Super Siddall takes third in Taupo
Posted by: John Levison
Posted on: Monday 14th December 2015

Tags  Annabel Luxford  |  Ballarat  |  Braden Currie  |  Laura Siddall  |  Matthew Pellow  |  Meredith Kessler  |  Taupo

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Taupo and Ballarat host final Ironman 70.3 events of 2015

Laura Siddall secures podium in Taupo

As you would expect in mid-December, the long distance action this past weekend was all on the other side of the world, with Taupo, New Zealand (Saturday), and Ballarat, Australia (Sunday), providing the two Ironman 70.3 events of the weekend - and indeed the final events of the M-Dot empire for 2015. 70.3 will return in January (Pucon, Chile), while we have to wait until early March until we return to Taupo for Ironman New Zealand, the first full-distance Ironman of 2016.

No stranger to Taupo, Meredith Kessler used her swim ability to take an early lead, one she would maintain until the finish despite the best efforts of Sam Warriner (NZL), in what is reported to be her final professional race. Warriner, two minutes back in the water closed around half of that on two wheels but would then pay for that on the run, fading to fourth. The fastest ride of the day actually went to Great Britain's Laura Siddall. Third last month in Mandurah, Siddall recovered almost two minutes of the four she gave up to Kessler in the swim, an effort which left Kessler, Warriner, Siddall and Amelia Watkinson (NZL) all within two minutes of each other at T2.

That close racing would continue on the run. While Warriner faded, Watkinson was closing in, gradually, on Kessler. Siddall was running superbly too, running at the same pace as the far more experienced Kessler. Watkinson's effort wouldn't quite be enough however, as Kessler took the win by 41 seconds with Siddall two minutes back from first place. She can take great heart from that effort that she is definitely moving in the right direction, as Kessler really is a class act.

For the men, Braden Currie is best known for winning the Coast-to-Coast race in New Zealans, but he proved once again his triathlon credentials with an impressive win against a quality field.

Ironman 70.3 Taupo, New Zealand, Saturday 12th December 2015
1.9km / 90km / 21.1km

Pos Men Women
1st Braden Currie (NZL) 3:51:48 Meredith Kessler (USA) 4:17:31
2nd Callum Millward (NZL) 3:52:38 Amelia Watkinson (NZL) 4:18:12
3rd Dylan McNiece (NZL) 3:57:48 Laura Siddall (GBR) 4:19:32
4th Graham O'Grady (NZL) 4:03:15 Sam Warriner (NZL) 4:25:49
5th Dougal Allan (NZL) 4:03:36 Tineke Stewart (NZL) 4:35:30

Australia's Annabel Luxford was the class of the field at Ironman 70.3 Ballarat. Like Kessler in Taupo, it was a gun-to-tape win, five minutes clear of the racing machine that is Yvonne Van Vlerken. Remember, the Dutch athlete finished third a week ago at Ironman Western Australia.

Several of the marquee names add issues in the men's race, with a mechanical (Luke Bell) and illness (Pete Jacobs) impacting their chances. Home athlete Matthew Pellow was going to grab his opportunity for a breakthrough victory, his forst on the 70.3 circuit, holding off Germany's Per Bittner (who also raced last week in Busselton), and Nick Baldwin (Seychelles), who produced a super confidence boosting performance after what has been a difficult and frustrating year.

Ironman 70.3 Ballarat, Australia, Saturday 12th December 2015
1.9km / 90km / 21.1km

Pos Men Women
1st Matthew Pellow (AUS) 3:51:21 Annabel Luxford (AUS) 4:10:46
2nd Per Bittner (GER) 3:55:16 Yvonne Van Vlerken (NED) 4:15:15
3rd Nicholas Baldwin (SEY) 3:56:13 Kate Pedley (AUS) 4:18:12

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