PRIORITIES SET: Pete Jacobs freely admits his main aim this year is the long-distance ironman world championship in Kona, Hawaii.
PRIORITIES SET: Pete Jacobs freely admits his main aim this year is the long-distance ironman world championship in Kona, Hawaii. Warren Lynam

Reigning champion hoping for back-to-back wins in Ironman

NOOSA's Pete Jacobs will be hoping it is a case of history repeating on Sunday when he tries to defend his Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast title.

Jacobs showed his class at last year's event, taking the lead early and never relinquishing it.

He said he was looking forward to racing at home.

"It's really exciting racing on the Sunshine Coast, as my wife Jaimie and I have lived up the road in Noosa for two years now and love this area and have lots of friends racing and supporting," he said.

Leading into last year's race, Jacobs was the reigning long-distance ironman world champion, but a disappointing season had many experts questioning his ability to defend his title.

As a result he was desperate to turn around his form and head to the lava fields of Hawaii on a winning high.

He managed to do that with a superb performance in the 2013 edition of the Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast, but followed up with a performance in Kona that failed to live up to his expectations.

"This year I'm not so focused on the win as I was last year. I am only thinking about winning the title in Kona in October," he said.

"So I may not race as hard as I did last year on the Sunshine Coast and save a little more energy for Hawaii."

A stacked field will be primed to take advantage of any compromise from Jacobs.

He will be joined on the start line by Olympians Brad Kahlefeldt and Courtney Atkinson and two-time ironman champion Luke Bell, as well as 2013 Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast runner up Clayton Fettell and third-placed Casey Munro.

Kahlefeldt registered a did-not-start at last weekend's ironman world championships in Quebec, but on last season's form, which included a podium finish in each of the three 70.3 races he contested, he commands respect.

Jacobs said Kahlefeldt's top-end run speed put him very much in the mix.

"I expect the start of the bike will be very fast and tough through the first few hills, and hopefully I can just hang on then and see what happens on the run," Jacobs said. "I think I will run well, but maybe not as fast as some of the 70.3 specialists like Brad Kahlefeldt."

New Zealand's Gina Crawford, who will defend her 2013 title, rarely shows up to a race without putting herself in a position to win.

"I'm not sure if I will have the 70.3 speed needed to make the top positions. I will give it my all as always," she said. "I am in very good iron distance shape at the moment, which sometimes doesn't transfer through to the shorter distance."


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