Lucy Charles and David McNamee both made the IRONMAN World Championships podium in Kona, Hawaii. Charles finished second to the overwhelming race favourite, Daniela Ryf, and McNamee was third behind Patrick Lange (GER) and Lionel Sanders (CAN).
Making her professional debut in Kona, 24 year old Lucy Charles was always expected to set the early pace, thanks to her background as a high level swimmer. She did exactly that, swimming stroke-for-stroke with USA’s Lauren Brandon and exiting the water just behind her in 48:48.
Charles held her lead until Ryf started charging towards the end of the bike leg. She put together a brilliant marathon run to hold on to second place. Ryf won for the third year in a row.
Charles thanked her coach and fiance, Reece Barclay, who also competed in the age-group race in Kona. “Second in the world! A million thankyous for all the support! Especially my family and Reece Barclay.”
Like Ryf, Jan Frodeno (GER) was also going for his third title in a row but a hamstring injury at times halted his running completely. He completed the race, but it was compatriot, Patrick Lange, who took the spoils in a new course record time.
Lange looked smooth and confident on the run to overhaul Canada’s Lionel Sanders. David McNamee had the run of his life to finish third. His 2:45:30 marathon helped set up a new British best-ever time at Kona of 8:07:11.
McNamee, who was also the top British finisher in 2015 and 2016, said: “I have no words. Trust me this never happens. A day of big surprises.”
Over 1500 amateur athletes took part, racing for IRONMAN world titles in their age group. Britain’s Ali Rowatt was amongst the winners, claiming the 35-35 title in a time of 9:58:16. Jane Hanson was second in the 45-49 age group with 10:19:15.
1. Daniela Ryf, SUI, 8:50:47
2. Lucy Charles, GBR, 8:59:38
3. Sarah Crowley, AUS, 9:01:38
4. Heather Jackson, USA, 9:02:29
5. Kaisa Sali, FIN, 9:04:40
6. Susie Cheetham, GBR, 9:16:00
15. Laura Sidall, GBR, 9:29:51
16. Corinne Abraham, GBR, 9:30:37
20. Rachel Joyce, GBR, 9:42:12
1. Patrick Lange, GER, 8:01:40 *course record
2. Lionel Sanders, CAN, 8:04:07
3. David McNamee, GBR, 8:07:11
4. Sebastian Kienle, GER, 8:09:59
5. James Cunnama, RSA, 8:11:24
21. Harry Wiltshire, GBR, 8:35:41
Photo credits: IRONMAN home page image / David Pearce header image