STRONG SHOWING: Sunshine Beach’s Luke McKenzie was runner-up in yesterday’s Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast.
STRONG SHOWING: Sunshine Beach’s Luke McKenzie was runner-up in yesterday’s Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast. Che Chapman

McKenzie eager to win world ironman title

TWO contrasting results in the world's greatest endurance race have provided Sunshine Coast's Luke McKenzie with the motivation he needs to be a force at next month's Ironman World Championships in Hawaii.

The 34-year-old, who was second at Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast yesterday, is intent on winning at Kona after his last two outings there.

In 2013, he was runner-up over the 3.8km swim, 180km ride, 42.2km torture test.

It was a grand feeling but it left him wanting more.

"I'm really hungry to go one step better and I'm doing everything I can at the moment (to make that happen)," he said.

Last year, he failed to fire and finished 15th.

"I didn't have the race I wanted. That made me really hungry to get back where I expect to be. Once you podium there anything less than a podium you consider a bit of failure."

"It's the world champs and there is so many guys who can win it (but) I go there with the mentality that I'm in it to win it."

McKenzie is well prepared for the gruelling event in 2015.

He's happily re-settled on the Sunshine Coast, with fiancée Beth Gerdes and their daughter Wynne, after two years living in California.

"It's good to be back. It's pretty obvious in that result (yesterday) and in the training I've done that everything clicks really well here," he said.

"Life is really good at the moment. When you have a good balance in life, you can expect good things with your results."

McKenzie clocked 3hrs46min44sec yesterday to finish behind compatriot Tim Van Berkel (3:44.27) and ahead of New Zealand's Terenzo Bozzone (3:47.12).

"I was aiming to get on the podium here. With Tim and Terenzo being two of the top guys in the world over this distance (1.8km swim, 90km ride, 21.1km run) I figured if I could be among them I'd be happy with the result," he said.

"Tim is absolutely bombing at the moment so he's going to be one to look out for at Kona."

But McKenzie enjoyed the fastest bike leg (2hrs4min38sec) yesterday.

"I was second to Tim but I feel like I rode stronger than Tim, which definitely helps out in Kona," he said.

"The back-end of the bike there is so hard and if I can forge a lead on the bike in Kona I think I'll be very hard to run down."

Sunshine Coaster Casey Munro finished fourth.

>> See the full results from the day here

ELITE MEN

1. Tim Berkel AUS 3:44.27

2. Luke McKenzie AUS 3:46.44

3. Terenzo Bozzone NZL 3:47.12

4. Casey Munro AUS 3:51.56

5. Todd Skipworth AUS 3:53.03


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