Hometown Favourite Makes Ironman History

23 March 2015

Canadian star Jeff Symonds powered to victory in the Ironman Asia-Pacific Championships in Melbourne, before Melissa Hauschildt became the first Australian woman to take the title on home soil.

The 29-year-old men’s winner reeled in German race leader Nils Frommhold before bursting clear of Aussie Tim Van Berkel in the run leg to cross the line in eight hours, four minutes and 28 seconds.

Hauschildt, in just her second Ironman event, stared down debilitating cramps and excruciating blisters to beat Dutchwoman Yvonne van Vlerken in just under nine hours.

Minister for Sport, Tourism and Major Events, John Eren, today joined the two champions, the top athletes from each age bracket and the many volunteers responsible for the event at an awards ceremony in St Kilda.

From the Frankston foreshore to the Catani Gardens, thousands flocked to the course to witness the extraordinary display of human endurance. The last competitors eventually crossed the line close to midnight.

More than 2500 competitors from 43 countries took to the gruelling course, demonstrating once again that Victoria’s calendar of major events draws travellers from all over the world.

Competitors swam 3.8km along the St Kilda foreshore, before completing a 180km bike ride on Eastlink and a 42km run from Frankston to St Kilda.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Sport, Tourism and Major Events, John Eren

“The Ironman Asia-Pacific Championship is one of the many dates on Victoria’s Major Events calendar which makes it the best around Australia and the world.”

“The event has cemented itself as a regular on our city’s long list of sporting highlights.”

“Congratulations to the winners and the thousands of brave athletes who negotiated this gruelling course. Thank you to the hard-working volunteers who made this great event possible.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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