Rachel Joyce finished second at the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii, securing her third podium finish in three years. British women Susie Cheetham and Lucy Gossage also finished inside the top ten and three British men finished inside the top fifteen.
Joyce finished second behind Switzerland’s Daniela Ryf in a time of 9hours 10:59 after 3800m swim, 112mile bike ride and 26.2mile run. Liz Blatchford, who was representing Australia, was third.
Joyce said: “I felt like I was out of the race at some points today, but I felt like I rode really well at the back end of the course and then I had a few people to tick off. To end up on the podium on second place, yeah, I’m really happy. “
Commenting on the intense heat, she added: “It’s been a few years since I’ve experienced that kind of heat. Usually we get the cloud cover a bit earlier so I was finding one and a half litre bottles of water and dumping them over my head just to cool down as that was the limiter, that was what was slowing me down. I just had to bring my core temperature down and then I could pick up the pace again.”
Susie Cheetham finished in an excellent sixth place and Lucy Gossage was tenth. Cheetham’s run time of 3:06:55 was one of the fastest of the day and Gossage was delighted with her performance, saying: “Tenth in the world. Who would have thought it.”
Jodie Swallow was up with the leaders nearly all day, but faltered towards the end. Afterwards she commented: “There will be a next time here.” Former winner, Leanda Cave, and defending Champion, Mirinda Carfrae (AUS) both also didn’t finish.
The men’s race was won by 2008 Olympic Champion, Jan Frodeno (GER). Dave McNamee was Britain’s top performing man in 11th place, and set the fastest marathon time with 2:49:52. He could have finished higher without a penalty on the bike, but there is no doubt that he will build on this debut performance in the future.
Joe Skipper and Tim Don also made their first appearances in Kona, finishing 13th and 15th respectively.
In the Age Group events Lucy Charles won the 18-24 gold after a storming 52:20 swim, which was faster than all of the professional woman. She won the title by nearly half an hour at the finish.
Other top three performances came from Charlie Pennington (2nd 35-39), Alison Rowatt (2nd 30-34), Jane Hansom (2nd 45-49), Caroline Whittaker (3rd 50-54).
RESULTS: Ironman World Championships, Kona, Hawaii, USA: 3800m swim, 112mile bike, 26.2mile run:
1. Daniela Ryf, SUI, 8:57:57
2.Rachel Joyce, GBR, 9:10:59
3. Liz Blatchford, AUS, 9:14:52
6. Susie Cheetham, GBR, 9:23:50
10. Lucy Gossage, GBR, 9:28:36
1. Jan Frodeno, GER, 8:14:40
2. Andreas Raelert, GER, 8:17:43
3. Timothy O'Donnell, USA, 8:18:50
11. David McNamee, GBR, 8:32:27
13. Joe Skipper, GBR, 8:36:02
15. Tim Don, GBR, 8:39:05