To put it simply, McKenzie won it on the bike. The 6-time Ironman distance winner started with a 2nd-best 49:47 swim that was 1:54 behind Clayton Fettell and 8 seconds better than Chris McCormack and 2:38 ahead of Tim Berkel.
McKenzie then proceeded to obliterate his opposition on the bike, posting a sizzling fast 4:21:52 split that was 13:44 better than the next best effort, Clayton Fettell’s 4:35:36, 16:46 better than Jason Shortis, 17:32 better than Todd Israel and 19:05 better than Tim Berkel’s ride.
McKenzie began the run with a 12:02 lead on Fettell, 19:29 on Israel, 21:46 on Berkel and 21:49 on Chris McCormack.
By the finish, McKenzie’s 5th-fastest 3:01:32 marathon was enough to get him to the finish in 8:17:43 and hold off Berkel;s race-fastest 2:44:24 run by a 4:33 margin of victory. McCormack’s 2nd-best 2:54:52 run advanced him to 3rd place, 15:07 after McKenzie.
“To win my first Ironman in Australia and Queensland is very special,” McKenzie told Ironman.com media. “That is my sixth Ironman title and I am just stoked with it. There are just such great athletes here today – to beat guys like Chris McCormack, Tim Berkel, and Clayton Fettell is incredible.”
Berkel had a hard time garnering his runner-up finish. “The day didn’t start out very well,” he told Ironman.com. “I had a bad swim and I had to work really hard to get up with the boys. Once I got up to the boys, I was happy but then I got a penalty which really hurt and it was very frustrating so I had to work extra hard to get back there. Full credit to Luke – he smashed the run.”
1. Luke McKenzie (AUS) 8:17:43
2. Tim Berkel (AUS) 8:22:16
3. Chris McCormack (AUS) 8:32:50
4. Jason Shortis (AUS) 8:38:21
5. Clayton Fettell (AUS) 8:41:42
6. Matty White (AUS) 8:51:18
7. Todd Israel (AUS) 8:58:38
8. Ben Bell (AUS) 9:03:23 * M35-39
9. Simon Cochrane (NZL) 9:05:48
10. Amos Gollach (AUS) 9:06:21 * M18-24