SUBIC , Philippines – Sam Betten came through with a hot performance on a cold, rainy Sunday to complete a golden treble in the Regent 5150 Triathlon here.
Pouncing on the relatively cooler conditions on a turf he’s familiar with, Betten left his challengers playing catch-up throughout the 1.5K swim, 40K bike, 10K run and reached home unmolested for his milestone three-peat.
Betten covered the wet course in 1:55:58, checking in nearly five minutes ahead of compatriot Mitch Robins (2:00:27), who settled for No 2 again. American Iain Alexandrinis (2:01:46) took third.
“I’ve never won a race three times in a row and to come here and do that, it’s pretty amazing,” said Betten, getting a loving hug from girlfriend Rebecca Ohlwein after crossing the finish line.
The 6-foot-4 Betten emerged from the waters of Acea Beach after 19 minutes, 57 seconds with Robins (21:30) and Alexandrinis (21:34) on his wake. Notwithstanding the rains that made the roads slippery, the Aussie out-pedaled his rivals and even added two minutes to his lead as they headed into the culminating run towards Remy Field.
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“I felt really good out there. The heat wasn’t too bad so I didn’t have to push quite hard (than usual), which was really advantageous to me. If it were really, really hot, it would have been a different story,” said Betten, who’s developed a fondness for Subic, where he’s raced five times overall.
“Subic Bay is one of my favorite places in the world to come race in. I was lucky this year I was able to bring my girlfriend along to watch the race and enjoy Subic. For me, this is such a great triathlon location and it’s a dream come true to be able to dominate for three years in a row,” he said.
Meanwhile, third time’s a charm for Aussie Dimity-Lee Duke in the yearly competition produced and organized by Sunrise Events, Inc. and sponsored by Regent Foods as she finally struck gold in 2:13:32 after getting tantalizingly close in the past two editions.
Duke worked her way up from fourth in the swim, catching up with early pacesetter Laura Wood at the 30K mark of bike then putting the hammer down in the 10K footrace. Wood clocked 2:15:11 for silver while Anna Eberhardt (2:15:48) placed third.
“I didn’t know what to expect today. I actually was a bit sick for this week. I just went in with an open mind, stay up in swim and use my strength in bike and hope to hold them off in the run,” said Duke, a silver medalist in the inaugural Regent 5150 in 2015 and a third placer last year.
It was only the second crown in Phl for regular visitor Duke. She previously ruled a 5150 race in Bohol, with podium finishes in other Ironman 70.3 races.
“Getting a win this weekend is really a big confidence boost leading to Ironman 70.3 Queensland next weekend,” she said.
Southeast Asian Games candidate John Leerams Chicano, meanwhile, dominated the Asian Men’s Elite category over 2015 SEAG gold medalist Nikko Huelgas (2:06:19) and Paul Jumamil (2:10:19).