Physio claims victory
A SUNSHINE Coast physiotherapist pushed himself to the very end to be the fastest man across the finish line at today's Ironman 70.3 Cairns.
Simon Hearn recently moved to the Sunshine Coast from Melbourne "for a lifestyle change and better training", and it seems to have paid off.
The 24-year-old finished yesterday's 1.9km swim, 90km bike ride and 21.1km run course in a time of 04:09:01, shaving three seconds off the finishing time set by Dan Plews last year.
"I talked to my coach David (Tilbury-Davis) earlier in the week and with the rolling start I just wanted to go from the front and see how I went on my own," he said. "I could've probably stayed back a little bit and tried to work with some guys on the bike, but I wanted to see what I had.
"I swam, came out with a few guys and got away, and then biked most of the way on my own."
Hearn was in third place as he ditched his bike and set off on the race's final running leg, with more than two-and-a-half minutes to make up behind then-leader Brock Millard.
Ten kilometres into the run and Hearn had managed to reel in Millard, but still needed to hold on to close out a victory.
"On the run, it got pretty hot and warm, and pretty hard towards the end. I was seeing where the other guys were and felt I had a pretty good lead."
Although Hearn was no stranger to the gruelling nature of the 70.3, having competed in six 70.3's in the past, he was required to push himself as he dealt with the challenge of his first rolling swim start.
"Normally in an age-group race you've got a few guys with you, so it was quite a mental battle," Hearn says.
"Especially coming into the headwind the last 30km, trying to knuckle down and not worry if the other guys were catching up from behind."
Hearn says while he doesn't have any concrete plans, August's Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast is on his radar.
"It's a no-brainer," he says.
"It's my hometown race and I can train on the course."
He says he aspires to race professionally in the future.
"I'm still a little way off that yet. Those guys race a bit harder."
The Ironman 70.3 Cairns features a course memorable for the swim at Palm Cove, a bike leg that travels up towards Port Douglas and run that includes the Cairns boardwalk.
The 70.3 top three was rounded out by fellow Australians Hayden Armstrong and Brock Millard, who finished the course in 04:12:47 and 04:13:34 respectively.
IRONMAN CAIRNS 70.3 MENS RESULTS
PLACE NAME SWIM BIKE RUN FINISH
1st Simon Hearn 26:24 02:18:19 01:20:32 04:09:01
2nd Hayden Armstrong 28:06 02:14:40 01:25:01 04:12:47
3rd Brock Millard 24:37 02:17:56 01:27:37 04:13:34