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Coast's Hearn takes out Ironman title

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The Sunshine Coast’s Simon Hearn and Melbourne’s Laura Armstrong took the top honours at the Ironman 70.3 in the Far North at the weekend.

Hearn and Armstrong's performances at the Cairns event means they qualify for the 2018 World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

Hearn, 24, recently moved from Melbourne to the Sunshine Coast for a lifestyle change.

“With the rolling start I wanted go from the front and see how I went on my own. I could have stayed back a bit and work with some guys on the bike but I wanted to see what I had. I swam, came out with a few guys and got away, then biked most of the way on my own. There was one guy ahead of me on the road and the first team runner, who overtook me pretty early but I managed to pull the first age grouper back fairly quickly, so then I just wanted to hold on.

“This is my first rolling start race so unlike a normal start I didn’t have anyone with me so that took some adjusting to, especially coming into the head wind on the last 30km. I just had to knuckle down and focus on what I was doing and not anyone else. It got warmer on the run but I had a fairly good lead so it was all good.”

Former Kiwi, now Melbourne resident, Laura Armstrong was also very impressive, winning in fine style on limited preparation.

Image: Simon Hearn crosses the finish line (courtesy Cairns Ironman 70.3)