The sun shone for the 2,000 athletes taking the plunge in Weymouth Bay for the inaugural Ironman 70.3 and Ironman Weymouth.
In the men’s Marc Threlfall (GBR) was first out of the water leading Harry Wiltshire and Stuart Hayes (GBR) onto the bike. This trio were not to be separated until they laced up their racing flats and hit the Esplanade for the foot race.
Threlfall and Wiltshire were joined at the hip for the first 10k of the half marathon, when Hayes made his move on a slightly faltering Threlfall; Wiltshire managed to pull away whilst Threlfall was paying the price, unable to hold the blistering pace he had set early on, which opened the door for Hayes to step up into 2nd place.
France’s Yvan Kerridge, who was 5th place out of T2 with a 3m23s deficit on the leader, produced a 1hr16m half marathon to beat Threlfall in the dying stages, securing the final step on the podium.
“I’m delighted with the finish today – what a great event! I honestly didn’t know whether my legs would hold out after racing Ironman Vichy,” said Wiltshire. “Marc set a very fast pace and I knew one of us was going to blow, but fortunately I felt good to push through to the finish line. I would love to replicate this performance in Kona in 3 weeks time!.”
In the women’s race, Hannah Drewett (GBR) was first out of the water in what was her first Ironman 70.3, in a time of 25m02s, giving her almost 2 minutes lead on favourite Emma Pallant (GBR). However Emma blitzed the bike course and left T2 with a 2m40s lead over former GB Hockey player, Natalie Seymour and 6m15s over Hannah Drewett, who she passed two-thirds of the way into bike course.
Once on the run course Pallant, buoyed by the spirits of the thousands of the crowds, was not to be stopped, crossing the finishing line victorious in 4:40:16. Her first race on home soil followed a great first season of podium positions. Seymour backed up a brilliant second from the recent Ironman 70.3 Dublin, with Hannah Drewett holding onto to ensure an all British podium.
“I’m really pleased with my performance today and it was amazing to win on home soil,” said Pallant. “It was a lonely race upfront until I stepped onto the Esplanade and the support from the crowds made this good day even better and I am blown away to win my first Ironman 70.3.”
Ironman Weymouth race advice
Men’s Pro Results – Top 5
Women’s Pro Results – Top 5
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Olle Gatell, Dolca