MetaSprint Triathlon Race Results and Race Report here

MetaSprint Triathlon Race Results and Race Report here

Check out the Race Results here.

Middleditch and Haesner Clinch MetaSprint Series Titles in Forceful Fashion

Words by Alan Grant

The 2014 New Moon KhCycle MetaSprint Series ended with the pre-race favourites James Middleditch and Kathryn Haesner living up to their billings as they took out the Sprint Triathlon titles at Changi Beach on April 12, and in the process clinched the overall series crowns.

For Haesner, the winner of the first two legs of the series, the triathlon triumph was even more dominating than her performances in claiming the Aquathlon and Duathlon events. She exited the water after the 750m swim with a huge 75-second lead over her closest series rival Winona Howe and then the Aussie simply put the hammer down on the fast and flat Changi Coastal Road bike course. Such was Haesner’s domination that by the time she had completed the 20km bike leg, the gap to Howe in second place had stretched to over three minutes, making the 5km run through the trees along the beach almost like a coronation procession. She crossed the line in a total time of 1:07:56; the fact that only nine men went faster shows how strong she was.

Howe also finished strongly to claim an unchallenged second place, while Vanja Cnops’ rounded off the podium, her performance highlighted by a storming run, the fastest of all the women.

Haesner didn’t take anything for granted.

“It can be quite daunting when you line up at the start and eye up all the young, fit-looking talent. The first thing that goes through my head is ‘man, this old girl is going to get flogged’,” the champ said. “But I was certainly more confident going into this race knowing I had won the other two, especially with the triathlon being my favourite of the three.”

Despite the big lead coming off the bike, she didn’t take the win for granted.

“Running is my weakest discipline so I’m always a little worried that the younger, faster ones will be on my tail,” Haesner revealed. “[So] I NEVER let my guard down until halfway through the run. If I can see there is a big enough lead or my coach yells at me to ease up and relax, then I’ll back off the pace.”

Having won the MetaMan Blitz race in 2013, Haesner has now won four MetaSport races in a row and will be going for a grand slam of five at next month’s Bintan Triathlon. She’s glad to be stepping up to the Olympic Distance race at Bintan – “I don’t consider myself much of sprinter” – but before and after that race she’s going even longer, two Ironman 70.3s.

“Next up are the three Bs: Busselton, Bintan and Berlin. I’m looking forward to some longer races when my body doesn’t scream so much,” she said.

She certainly doesn’t have to work on her speed work for those events after her dominant MetaSprint Series win.

While Haesner made it look easy, Middleditch took a much more difficult route towards his crown. The two-time Hawaii World Ironman Championships participant is an accomplished all-round triathlete but a relatively poor swim left him over three minutes behind chief rival and teenage superstar Bret Izzo as he hit T1. Izzo wasn’t even the first out of the calm waters of Changi Beach, that honour went to another youngster Tim Hagermeister, his lead over Middleditch a few seconds short of four minutes.

But Middleditch is famed for his bike and run weapons and he set about closing the gap with gusto. A blazing fast cycle time of 28:45 was the only split of the day under 30 minutes for the 20km course, but it wasn’t enough to take the lead. Hagermeister was still the frontrunner and he headed out of T2 a full minute ahead of Middleditch, with Jonathan Ma and Izzo in between. Izzo and Ma caught the fading Hagermeister first but by then the 44-year-old Middleditch had his younger rivals in his sights, and after reeling them in about a third of the way into the 5km run, he strode triumphantly away to clinch the title. He bagged another fastest split in the process, with his run segment of 17:15 giving him a total time of 1:03:52.

Izzo won the race for the runners-up spot, finishing a minute behind the champ and 15 seconds ahead of Ma in third. At just 16, Izzo is definitely one to watch and he can surely only get better as he matures.

Middleditch also seems to be getting better with age and he was delighted with his day’s work.

“I feel fantastic! The list of the SprintSeries champions features Singapore’s top athletes and it’s a privilege to be up there.  I had my sights set on the series champion spot as soon as I confirmed my participation so it was a great feeling that I had achieved my goal. I have never considered myself a ‘sprinter’ so I’m happy to see that you can actually teach an old dog new tricks!” he said.

The Briton revealed that despite the huge gap after the swim, he was still confident he’d win.

“I knew I had a lot of time to make up. But that was expected and I was mentally prepared, so no, there were never doubts,” he said.

His sensational bike leg set him nicely for the run.

“I came into transition just as Bret was leaving, but had no clue how many more were ahead of him. Bret was 20 seconds ahead of me and I was gaining ground. In the distance I could see one more runner. Bret caught and passed Tim. I waited behind and made my move at the 1.5km mark. Bret tried to hang on …” Middleditch recalled.

“At the u-turn on the run I could see I had already created a good gap and then I made the charge for home. On the way back my fellow competitors clapped or cheered me which I found touching and showed great sportsmanship,” he added.

The champ kept the praise rolling.

“I’d also like to thank MetaSport for the great series – well organised as ever, with significant improvements on safety and logistics. The use of the F1 track for the Duathlon was brilliant and was a refreshing change to the usual venues. Also thanks to New Moon Khcycle as the title sponsor for bringing us such a great series, as well as the other sponsors who make the race possible and provide great prizes. And to all who participated, bravo.”

Indeed, nearly 2,500 athletes toed the line at Changi Beach. Among those starters were the 12 to 15 year-old Youths, who as usual put on a thrilling affair with their contest over a 250m/10km/2.5km course. First out of the water was a familiar name, Kyle Izzo, brother of Bret. But the younger Izzo lost his lead on the bike, being passed and dropped by the pair of Ryan Tan and Aaron Shane Tan. However, these Izzos are obviously made of stern stuff as Kyle clawed back a big deficit on the run and went on to claim the title by 30 seconds with a devastating final leg. Ryan Tan won the battle of the Tans for the runner-up spot, with Duathlon winner Aaron Shane Tan having to settle for third.

Just as the male Youths’ race had similarities to the Elite men’s event, the female Youths’ winner Zoe Bowden won in just as dominating a manner as women’s champ Haesner. She built a lead of a minute in the swim, doubled it after the bike and for further emphasis put in a storming run to win by over three minutes from Aaliyah Mataragnon in second and Dayanee Kunaseelan in third.

Both Izzo and Bowden took the series titles with their triathlon wins.

Concluding the action on what was a scorching hot morning was the Kids race for the 8-11 year olds, over a 150m/5km/1.5km course. Jackson Campbell took the boy’s triathlon and with it the overall series title after a ding-dong battle with Matthew Trott, a powerful run finally making the difference. Samuel Compton rounded out the podium places in third.

The winner of the girl’s race was Siobhain Doyle, who won comfortably from Natalie Hunter and Brodie Horn, the latter only just holding for third place. Doyle’s win also made her the series champion.

After a thrilling day at Changi Beach, the local multisport scene moves a short ferry trip away to Indonesia for the 10th edition of the Bintan Triathlon next month. Olympic, Sprint, Youths and Kids races are on offer over what promises to be two days of fantastic action at Nirwana Gardens resort. For further details and to register go to www.bintantriatlon.com



MetaMiles Account