Ellie Salthouse wins Australian middle distance championship wire-to-wire

Ellie Salthouse has started two races this year. She's won them both.

Ellie Salthouse led wire-to-wire to win the 2021 Husky Triathlon and be crowned the Australian middle distance champion. Her swim, bike and run splits were all the best in the women’s field, giving her an overall time of 4:09:59 — 1:55 faster than runner-up Amelia Watkinson, and 4:28 faster than third-place Annabel Luxford.

“I was really pleased with how the race unfolded. My plan was to go hard from the gun and hold on the best I could, which I was able to do,” Salthouse said after the race. “I was able to further open the gap on the bike and follow up with a solid run to grab the win.”

Ellie Salthouse posted the fastest splits in the swim, bike and run.

Salthouse and Luxford dueled neck-and-neck for most of the race. Luxford came out of the water just one second behind Salthouse — both nearly 1:20 faster than Grace Thek, the next closest competitor. Salthouse maintained a 15-second margin at the end of the bike, but Luxford made up 12 seconds on the second transition, then briefly took the lead on the flat course.

Salthouse stuck her nose back out in front then never looked back as Luxford faded. The win was Salthouse’s second of the season, coming three weeks after she took Hell of the West in Goondiwindi.

Two starts. Two wins.

“Earning myself the Australian long-course title, and my second win for the year, is an amazing start to the season,” Salthouse said. “I am hoping to continue to improve on my current form ahead of the next few races here in Australia.”

Salthouse’s next target is Ironman 70.3 Geelong on March 28. She took second in the race in 2019. With two wins this year under her belt and a history of success in the series — Salthouse has won Ironman 70.3 events in Cozumel, Coquimbo, Boulder, Los Cabo and Miami — it could be another special Sunday for the 27-year-old.