Olympic triathlete Aileen Reid’s fortunes are on the rise as she claimed 7th at the Gold Coast World Triathlon Series. The third round of the series was to be raced over the Olympic Distance with a 1500 metre swim to start, followed by 40 kilometres of biking and a 10 kilometre run to finish.
The early pace was set by Jessica Learmonth of Great Britain who completed the swim course in 19:21, hot on her heals was the World Number 1, Gwen Jorgenson just 4 seconds in arrears.
Former Lisburn City Swimmer, Reid was just 14 seconds off the pace at this stage and posted a quick first transition also.
The early swim leaders managed to form a mini breakaway on the bike and pushed on to secure an advantage of almost one minute by the end of the second discipline. Jorgenson would go on to claim her eight straight World Series victory, a record which looks set to stand the test of time.
From the main pack Reid was leading the chase, picking off all but four of the early breakaway athletes. Her 35:07 run split, after a tough swim and bike saw her home in 7th place overall.
The result see’s Reid move up to 10th in the World Rankings with seven races remaining.
In the men’s race there were three Irish representatives, in the form of Bryan Keane, Conor Murphy and Ben Shaw.
Shaw got off to a strong start as he clocked 17:38 for the swim, leaving him well placed in one of the leading bike packs. Former Age Group World Champion Conor Murphy also had a strong swim as he emerged from the water in 18th and at the business end of proceedings. Cork man Bryan Keane had a little more work to do as he posted 18:50 for the distance meaning he needed to put his renowned bike legs to work.
By the time they hit the second transition it was Olympic Bronze medallist Jonny Brownlee who held the lead. Running at sub 3 minute kilometre pace there would be no catching him and he strolled over the blue carpet with a 29:49 10 kilometre split to claim the victory.
From the chase pack, 34 year old Bryan Keane was showing his pedigree over the Olympic Distance as he clocked 31:41 after averaging 41kph for the 40 kilometre bike section, good enough for a 27th place finish. The result boasts the Irishman to 47th in the series rankings.
“It’s moving in the right direction” he commented after the race.
Teammate Conor Murphy was disappointed with his 40th place finish while Ben Shaw was satisfied with his swim and bike performance but recognised his “run legs were missing” when it came to the business end of affairs.
Round four of the series take place in Cape Town on April 25th. Reid, Keane and Murphy are expected to sit out the event in preparation for later rounds with Ben Shaw and Banbridge native Russell White provisionally set to compete.