For Van Berkel, the podium finish was a solid way to close out his 2019 race season.
“After a disappointing Ironman World Championship in Kona, I wanted to try and finish the year on a high,” Van Berkel said. “I decided to race one of my favorite Ironmans in Australia. The day started a little slow, but it got better as the day went on. I had no real expectations for the race, so I’m pretty happy with a podium to close out the year.”
For Appleton, Ironman Western Australia was a whole new experience. The 28-year-old is one of the world's best in shorter distance Ironman 70.3 races, but is a newcomer to the full Ironman distance.
“I had a good swim and followed it up with a 4:10 bike, but after 21km on the run my quads had deteriorated into a state of survival and I had to forget pace and just put one foot in front of the other,” Appleton said after his strong fourth-place finish. “I lost a lot of time in the back half of the run, and part of me longs for what could have been. But it was also my debut and I learned so much. I’ll be back for sure!”