Giant sponsored athlete Aaron Royle put in a strong performance over the weekend winning the 2020 edition of the Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast race in Mooloolaba. The Olympic distance specialist was impressive over the 70.3 distance, a distance in which he doesn't have a high level of experience with having only raced the half-Ironman distance once before back in late 2017.
Aaron traditionally spends his year overseas racing the ITU World Triathlon Series in countries all around the world but in 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic impacting his base of the UK he made the decision to head back to Australia. The Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast was the first half ironman distance race held in Australia since Ironman 70.3 Geelong back in February and it attracted a quality Australian field.
The race began with a 1.9km swim at the Mooloolaba beach. Aaron used his ITU speed to exit the water in second place just 5 seconds behind Josh Amberger. The group of Amberger, Royle and Max Neumann exited the first transition together and the three of them put in a strong showing out on the bike course. Aaron rode a very strong 90km bike leg on his Trinity Advanced Pro triathlon bike equipped with a CADEX 4-Spoke Aero Tubular front wheel and CADEX Aero Disc Tubular rear wheel. His bike time was the 2nd quickest of the day.
Out onto the run Aaron came into his own putting in a race best 1:12:38 split finishing almost a minute ahead of second place finisher Max Neumann. Aaron was super happy with his effort, especially considering his limited experience over the half-Ironman race distance.
After the race Aaron had these words to say, "I was able to enjoy the last kilometre of the run; proud that I was able to execute a solid swim bike and run performance and happy that my decision to make the dash across the NSW/QLD border was worthwhile. A bonus was qualifying my slot for next years Ironman 70.3 world championships. At this stage my focus is still on qualifying and performing well at next year's Tokyo Olympics, but after that who knows? Maybe I might have the opportunity to race against the best in the world at the 70.3 distance."
Photos courtesy of Rebecca Ohlwein.