A never-say-die attitude allowed Australia’s Sarah Crowley to storm home to victory at the Ironman 70.3 Middle East Championship in Bahrain on Saturday.

Text By Rob Sheeley | Images By Getty Images

 

The win was well deserved for the Aussie who had consistently made the podium in 2016 without notching up that elusive victory.

“Oh it’s really hard to describe, it’s somewhat of a relief.” Crowley said after the race.

“We had been training well all year but I got sick at important times and it meant that I didn’t race well at the championship races.

“I was nervous before the race about not achieving what I was capable of. Monkey is now off my back. I was also very pumped and excited coming through the chute. It proves the decisions have been right this year.”

Ironman 70.3 Middle East Championship Bahrain

After taking the plunge into becoming a full-time athlete this year, Crowley says it is paying dividends.

“I knew I had more in the tank than what I was producing while at work.

“We have worked on a lot of things including getting in race shape. The TriSutto training methods seem to sit well with me. We have also re-engineered my swim completely. It’s starting to pay off.”

Crowley was ninth out of the water in a swim that saw Caroline Steffen open up a one-minute lead over the field.

Steffen opened up an early lead on the bike before being joined by Diana Riesler, with the three-time Ironman Malaysia champion moving ahead. Tine Deckers also passed Steffen late, to move into second place heading into T2.

Great Britain’s Emma Pallant was in fourth with Crowley in fifth. Both are known for their powerful runs and were within a minute of the leaders.

It wasn’t long before Pallant found the front, looking a solid winning chance. Her only danger at that stage was going to be Crowley who produced a brilliant 1:20:40 half –marathon to take the win by almost two-minutes.

“When Emma left transition running quicker than me. I was running at a controlled pace but it was quick.

“I knew we would have a headwind coming home and also that she had less long course experience than me.

“I just kept my pace and started to reel her in after 10km. I knew I would outrun everyone else who came off the bike with us.

“Emma is such a talented runner though so I didn’t know for sure until I passed her and laid down a couple of surges.”

Ironman 70.3 Middle East Championship Bahrain

The second-placing caps of a sensational debut half-distance year for Pallant. We can expect to see a lot more of her again in 2017.

Steffen maintained third place, also completing a very successful 2016.

Ironman 70.3 Middle East Championship Bahrain

Ironman 70.3 Middle East Championship 2016 Results

Middle East Championship 2016

 

Ironman 70.3 Middle East Championship Bahrain

About The Author

Rob Sheeley is the Race Editor for WITSUP

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