The Great Hauschildt Comeback & Montgomery’s First Time: IM 70.3 Geelong Recap

Why should you care about Ironman 70.3 Geelong?

  1. Crowie is racing, therefore everyone is excited. If he wins, it’ll be his 5th Ironman Asia-Pacific victory. Yay?
  2. Melissa Hauschildt, 2 time 70.3 World Champion, is racing for the first time in almost a year, after a nearly career-ending injury.
  3. By some freak of scheduling nature, there aren’t any Ironman events for another whole MONTH after this for you to read about. I guess IM forgot to purchase the rest of the February races. Maybe next year.

The weather was nice, and the course is fast, flat, and consists of lots of loops. At the swim start, the water temp measured a balmy 21.6 degrees, making it wetsuit-optional. All the pros chose to wear wetsuits, as far as I could tell from my Australia telescope.

Women’s Race

The top three ladies – Radka Vodickova, Annabel Luxford, and Stephanie Demestichas – made it out of the water within a 35 second spread. Luxford jumped to the front out of T1, extending her lead to 1:20 over Vodickova by the bike turnaround with Mel Hauschildt moving up to 3rd, Katey Gibb riding in 4th, and Seidel leading a larger chase pack 3:30 back. Luxford held strong out front as Hauschildt passed Vodickova, now just 1:40 off the lead.

Cycling: the only instance in which calling someone a “freight train” is complimentary.

While Hauschildt was busy motoring her way up to Luxford, Lisa Marangon (didn’t she just race last weekend?) and Sarah Crowley were working together in 5th/6th – not out of contention, since Crowley is a particularly strong runner. Hauschildt strategically blew by Luxford in the last few bike miles, giving her a 2-second lead heading out onto the run course.

Those 2 seconds had turned into 1 minute by 10k, and though Hauschildt continued to extend her lead, Luxford held down 2nd place ahead of Vodickova. Behind the top three, there was still a tight race going on between four Aussies – Crowley, Marangon, Jessica Mitchell, and Kate Pedley. Crowley ran just fast enough to edge Pedley by 18 seconds, and the pair rounded out the top 5.

It’s going to be said 1000000 times in the next 24 hours, but here it is: what a comeback by Mel Hauschildt. She won, obviously. She also set a new course record in (previously 4:14:32, set in 2010 by none other than Caroline Steffen). Good to see her back and smokin’ everyone.

  1. Melissa Hauschildt, 4:14:28
  2. Annabel Luxford, 4:20:15
  3. Radka Vodickova, 4:21:49
  4. Sarah Crowley, 4:25:11
  5. Kate Pedley, 4:25:29

Men’s Race

Amberger out of the water. Photo credit @MarcelBerens.

Amberger out of the water. Photo credit @MarcelBerens.

Josh Amberger made his way out of the lake first, modeling what looked to be a Tyr Freak of Nature wetsuit – you know, that one with the 8-pack abs painted on that I like to call “the penis car of wetsuits.” But if it worked for Amberger, it can work for you too! Not sure Tyr will let you pay in installments though. Anyways, he swam fast – 21:51. Amberger was followed pretty closely by Jake Montgomery, Peter Kerr, and Pete Jacobs (yes, that Pete Jacobs).


Jake Montgomery and Amberger cycled neck-and-neck through the next 56 miles, while sadly, Crowie was out due to a mechanical. Holding down the fort behind Jake & Josh were Cyril Viennot, Per Bittner, and Matt Franklin, all about 3:40 back heading out onto the run.

Montgomery finally shook Amberger on the run course, and heading into the second and final lap, Viennot had moved up on Amberger’s heels and taken over 2nd. Callum Millward was looking good in 4th, with a minute gap to Bittner in 5th. Montgomery continued to gain time and secured his first overall 70.3 win at the ripe young age of 21, in a time of 3:51:48. Any younger and we’d have to give him sparkling cider instead of champagne on the podium. Montgomery was followed across the line by Cyril Viennot, Amberger, Cupcakes, and the token German.

  1. Jake Montgomery, 3:51:48
  2. Cyril Viennot, 3:53:14
  3. Josh Amberger, 3:54:17
  4. Callum Millward, 3:56:27
  5. Per Bittner, 3:57:40


About the Author

Adrienne Taren
Adrienne is a MD/PhD in Neuroscience researching stress, your brain & the neuroscience of mindfulness training. She is also a fairly decent triathlete/runner/writer and an average ultra-distance swimmer, if there is such a thing. Visit her blog: Follow @SeeSpondyRun