About 2,000 participants in all joined the third IRONMAN 70.3 Putrajaya held in Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur over the first April weekend.
The Malaysian leg of the international IRONMAN series kicked off with a rolling swim start at Putrajaya Lake by the Sri Saujana Bridge. Friends and family cheered triathletes on as they tackled 113 km (70.3 miles) in total, comprising a 1.9 km swim, 90km bike and 21.1 km run.
Supported by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia, Malaysia Major Events and Perbadanan Putrajaya, the 3rd Half IRONMAN race hosted over 1,300 participants in individual and team events. Hailing from 51 countries, the top nations represented were Malaysia (22%), Australia (17%), Singapore (13%), Indonesia (11%), and the United Kingdom (7%).
Veteran Australian Craig Alexander earned the Pro Male Champion title with a time of 03:55:22. Compatriot Josh Amberger (03:58:51) came closely in second place, followed by Great Britain’s Stuart Hayes (04:01:10) in third.
It was hot in the water and on the bike, so the key was not to spike the heart rate. I was conservative on the swim and tried to keep at a steady pace on the bike. I felt really good on the run, made sure I kept the fluids up and was able to catch Josh. He is a great young athlete and one of the best swim-bikers I’ve ever come up against.
—Craig Alexander, Pro Male Champion
Radka Vodickova from the Czech Republic claimed her second IRONMAN 70.3 Putrajaya title in 04:22:15. She beat her previous record of 04:23:09 which won her first place in the 2014 inaugural race. Australian Liz Blatchford followed in second place (04:26:04) while countrywoman Kate Bevilaqua came in third (04:36:17).
Wow! It was crazy hot out there but everything was perfect for me today.
I did not push too much in the water and it was important to keep a normal pace on the bike as well. Once it came to the run I made sure I focused on hydration at every aid station and before I knew it, I was at the finish.
—Radka Vodickova, Pro Female Champion
Over in the team relay category, mixed team “Rudy Project MY” led the rest in 04:09:40. Mixed team “Artsoptical@AustSports” finished second (04:49:09) and all-female team “TIME” followed in third place (05:17:05).
40 top athletes across all categories qualified for the 2016 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship. The highly anticipated championships will take place on 4 September 2016 in Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, Australia.
Amongst the IRONMAN contenders was Youth and Sports Minister, YB Khairy Jamaluddin, the first Malaysian minister to compete in an IRONMAN event. The brainchild of FITMalaysia and the Hari Sukan Negara programmes, he completed his first 70.3 IRONMAN race in 07:36:51.
Other notable participants include Dato’ Ahmad Razlan Ahmad Razali, CEO of the Sepang International Circuit, former national cyclist Mohd. Sayuti Mohd. Zahit, and former national squash player Mohd. Azlan Iskandar. Also present was Malaysian para athlete Mohd. Sabki bin Arifin, who completed the race in 06:17:27 in the Male 35-39 category.
The Best Malaysian Male ad Female awards went to Barry Lee Chun Sing (04:39:19) and Veronica Uhen (5:34:32) respectively. Defending her 2015 title, Uhen improved on last year’s finish (05:59:32) by leaps.
IRONMAN has seen great growth in Asia. IRONMAN 70.3 Putrajaya was introduced in 2014, and we have seen an increase in the number of participants, regional and international athletes who come down to race, as well as local athletes. Triathlon training groups have also aided in the increase of local athletes training for and participating in IRONMAN races. With continued support, we hope to see steady growth and expansion in the coming years.
—Geoff Meyer, Managing Director of IRONMAN Asia
More IRONMAN events!
Adrenaline was pumping to the highest levels in Putrajaya. 350 participants took on a bike-run-bike course in the Putrajaya Duathlon that occurred concurrently with the IRONMAN 70.3, along the same bike and run route.
It wasn’t just the duathletes and triathletes who had a go. The day before on Saturday, 2 April, 300 children aged 5 to 12 kick started the inaugural IRONKIDS Putrajaya. Aimed to encourage healthy and fit lifestyles from young, the kid-friendly event included a 500 metre run for 5-10 year olds accompanied by a parent and a 1 km dash for 11-12 year olds.
Watch out for the next Malaysian race on the IRONMAN series calendar! Set for 12 November 2016 in a tropical destination, the IRONMAN Malaysia Langkawi is now open for registration till 30 September.