On Sunday January 19, 2014 some of the best pro triathletes in the world battled it out for top spot in Ironman 70.3 Auckland in New Zealand.
Ironman 70.3 Auckland is also billed as the championship race for the Asia-Pacific region.
The main headliner for the race was Craig Alexander who is a five-time world champion, but there were many other pros in the race ready to challenge him for top spot on the podium.
Olympic medalist Bevan Docherty was second in the 2013 edition of the race and going into the race figured highly for a podium spot.
Jan Frodeno of Germany won gold in Beijing and also figured to be in the battle at the front of the pack.
For the pro women Annabel Luxford went in as the favorite on the strength of her 2013 victory in Auckland where she finished six minutes ahead of second place Caroline Stephen.
The race began in near perfect conditions and the pro men came out of the water and into the first transition in a large group. Just over one minute separated the top 25 men with Olympian Jan Fredeno leading the way.
About halfway through the bike course Andrew Yoder held a lead of 40 seconds over a chase pack of 11 who were trying to chase him down.
It was Jan Frodena who proved to be the strongest on the day as he charged into the lead early in the run and never looked back is the 2014 Ironman 70.3 Auckland champion.
The race unfolded quite differently for the pro women.
From the very beginning it was pro Annabel Luxford who had her sights set on retaining the Auckland 70.3 crown she won in 2013.
She was over a minute ahead in the swim and one-third through the 90k bike course was over two minutes ahead of her nearest pursuer. Her lead was over two minutes as she took to the run course, but Catriona Morrison of Scotland was charging.
The pros were racing for prize money as well as Kona Ranking Points for the World Championship that will take place in the Fall of 2014.
Top age-group finishers had a chance at earning qualifying spots in the Championship race.
The race was still in progress at press time.
Be sure to check out IronStruck.com for all the top pro and age-group results as they become available.