SUBIC – Sam Betten clinched a three-peat while Dimity Lee Duke scored a breakthrough triumph as the Aussies asserted their might in the rain-drenched Regent 5150 Triathlon on Sunday.
Taking advantage of the relatively cooler environs brought by the heavy morning showers, Betten stormed ahead in the swim stage and never relinquished control en route to posting a milestone treble in the annual Olympic-distance race.
Betten negotiated the wet course in 1:55:58 to beat compatriot Mitch Robins by nearly five minutes. Robins (2:00:27) settled for runner-up honors for the second straight year even as American Iain Alexandrinis (2:01:46) took the bronze in the 1.5K-swim, 40K-bike, 10K-run race that drew close to 1,000 participants from 27 countries.
“It was really tough. The rains made things really hard, especially in the bike. But the organizers made a good decision changing the course to make it safer. It was a good race, and to win this race three years in a row, it’s such an amazing feeling,” said Betten.
The 6-foot-4 Betten emerged from the waters of Acea Beach after 19 minutes and 57 seconds, putting some distance between him and Robins (21:30) and Alexandrinis (21:34). He added two minutes to his lead in the bike ride on the wet roads and maintained it running home to Remy Field’s track oval.
“I felt really good out there. The heat wasn’t too bad so I didn’t have to push quite hard (than usual), which was really advantageous to me,” he said.
After podium finishes the last two editions, Duke finally hit paydirt as she rose to the throne with her 2:13:32 effort.
Duke worked her way up from fourth in the swim, catching up with early pacesetter Laura Wood at the latter part of bike then putting the hammer down in the 10K footrace to seal the deal. Wood clocked 2:15:11 for silver while Anna Eberhardt (2:15:48) landed third.
“I didn’t know what to expect today. I actually was a bit sick for this week. I just went in with an open mind, stay up in swim and use my strength in bike and hope to hold them off in the run,” said Duke, silver medalist in the inaugural Regent 5150 in 2015 and third placer last year.
“Getting a win this weekend is really a big confidence boost leading to Ironman 70.3 Queensland next weekend,” she said.
National team mainstay John Leerams Chicano, meanwhile, dominated the Asian Men’s Elite category. Chicano clocked 2:03:06 to beat 2015 SEAG gold medalist Nikko Huelgas (2:06:19) and Paul Jumamil (2:10:19) for the plum.