What does one do in Western Australia, other than experience some of the best surf in the world, well one Richard Ward, when in Western Oz, does Ironman Western Australia in 12:27 and takes an age group third in the M60-64 division.   Hopefully, Richard will report on the race and relate his race experiences for all future race participants to digest.  Great race Richard.  VB

                                           TOTAL             AGE PLACE                  SWIM   BIKE    RUN

Richard WARD           12:27:53           M6064  3                 1:10:31 6:17:35 4:59:47 


Dec. 7, 2008 -- Ironman Western Australia is known as one of the fastest 140.6-mile courses on the planet and the 2008 edition lived up to its reputation. Australia’s Tim Berkel, only 24-years old, picked up the first Ironman win of his short career with a finishing time of 8:07:06. New Zealand’s Gina Fergusson, who finished second behind Aussie Charlotte Paul in Bussleton last year, swapped places with the reigning champ and won in 8:59:24.A pair of Aussies named Luke (McKenzie and Bell) led the men out of the water after a 48-minute swim, which gave them a two-minute gap over the group of Berkel, Jason Shortis, Leon Griffin and Oscar Galindez. Berkel looked strong on the bike and moved toward the front, but he couldn’t hold off the charge of countryman Griffin and Denmark’s Jimmy Johnsen, who was the first back to T2 after a 4:25 bike split. Once on the marathon, Berkel made quick work of the stronger cyclists and assumed the lead for good. The youngster was the only athlete to break 2:50 on the run (2:48:51) and won by almost four minutes over Shortis. McKenzie, who was stalled by a mechanical issue on the bike, ran his way to third.In a relatively small women’s pro field of only 11 athletes, Ferguson was dominant from start to finish. The Kiwi exited the swim alongside the second group of men, in 50:30, which put her over seven minutes in front of Paul. Ferguson added another two minutes to her lead during the 112-mile bike leg, but the fleet-footed Paul wasn’t ready to give up. Unfortunately for the defending champ, Ferguson’s nine-minute gap at T2 was too much to overcome and the Kiwi cruised to the sub-nine hour win. Paul posted the best marathon of the day (3:06:28), which put her at the line seven minutes behind Ferguson and 31 minutes ahead of eventual third-place finisher Kat Baker of Australia. While Baker was never in contention for the win, her podium finish was very impressive for a 21-year old. Baker was the second-youngest female athlete in the race.

Ironman Western Australia
Dec. 7, 2008
Bussleton, Australia
2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run

1. Tim Berkel (AUS) 8:07:06
2. Jason Shortis (AUS) 8:10:57
3. Luke McKenzie (AUS) 8:12:45
4. Jimmy Johnsen (DEN) 8:18:43
5. Simon Billeau (FRA) 8:20:32

1. Gina Ferguson (NZL) 8:59:24
2. Charlotte Paul (AUS) 9:06:34
3. Kat Baker (AUS) 9:37:24
4. Sarah Pollett (AUS) 9:39:21
5. Nicole Ward (AUS) 9:43:12