David McNamee sets the fastest British time ever at the IRONMAN World Championships, while Lucy Gossage bounces back from a broken clavicle to finish ninth at the most iconic race in the sport.
The IRONMAN World Championship always provides some of the most stunning images and stories as the world’s best long-distance triathletes descend on the town of Kailua-Kona to race on the lava fields of Hawaii.
Defending men’s champion Jan Frodeno, the 2008 Olympic Champion, returned to defend his title and lead home a German podium sweep, followed by Sebastian Kienle and Patrick Lange. The German’s really dominated the men’s race, taking five of the top seven positions in the men’s race. David McNamee was the fastest British athlete of the day. While finishing two places lower than his debut last year, in 13th position, McNamee clocked a swift time of 8:28:05 which takes over the mantle set five years ago by Tom Lowe (8:29:03) as the fastest British time ever in Hawaii.
As with the men, Daniela Ryf (SUI) defended her 2015 victory and did so in fine style, breaking the all-time course record by almost six minutes, with three-time World Champion Mirinda Carfrae in second place, more than 20 minutes in arrears. In the lead up to the race, Lucy Gossage has been using a ‘down but not out’ motivational approach, having broken her clavicle eight weeks before. Having initially assumed she would not even make the start line, Lucy proved that her determination to return from injury was successful, crossing the line to an inspirational ninth place finish, one step up from her race 12 months ago.
As well as the Pro athletes, the Age-Group racing in Hawaii is exceptionally tightly contested, with four British athletes reaching the podium in Kona.
After taking second place last year at her first attempt, Jane Hansom (45-49) returned to take the final step and become the IRONMAN World Champion for her division, almost 17 minutes ahead of second place.
Having previously finished second in both 2013 and 2015, Alison Rowatt (35-39) earned her third Umeke award in Kona, and once again it was for second place. She’ll doubtless be back again in the future to seek the top spot on the podium. Three podium finishes from four IRONMAN World Championship starts represents fantastic consistency.
Like Jane and Alison, Linda Ashmore (70-74) also made the podium last year. This time around she went more than 30 minutes quicker and moved up from third place in 65-69 to second in 70-74 this time around, a superb improvement year-on-year.
In addition to the experienced athletes above, Andrew Greenleaf (30-34) proved that a British Kona debutant could also perform well. He was the fastest British Age-Group athlete overall in 9:08:27 to earn the final podium position (fifth) in his division by just 14 seconds.
The fastest British female Age-Group athlete was Alison Wilson (25-29), who finished just ahead of Alison Rowatt in a time of 10:10:38. That gave her sixth position in her division, one place short of a podium position.
In addition to the Age-Group events, Great Britain’s Becky Hoare also took top spot in the Military division.
IRONMAN Triathlon World Championship – Saturday 8th October 2016
3.8km swim / 180km bike / 42.2km run
1st – Jan Frodeno (GER) – 8:06:30
2nd – Sebastian Kienle (GER) – 8:10:02
3rd – Patrick Lange (GER) – 8:11:14
13th – David McNamee (GBR) – 8:28:05
40th – Harry Wiltshire (GBR) – 9:24:18
41st – Will Clarke (GBR) – 9:25:07
42nd – Joe Skipper (GBR) 9:25:07
DNF – Tim Don (GBR)
1st – Daniela Ryf (SUI) – 8:46:46
2nd – Mirinda Carfrae (AUS) – 9:10:30
3rd – Heather Jackson (USA) – 9:11:32
9th – Lucy Gossage (GBR) – 9:25:57
22nd – Jodie Swallow (GBR) – 9:49:22
29th – Leanda Cave (GBR) – 10:06:44
DNF – Susie Cheetham (GBR)
Great Britain Age-Group Podiums
(In Hawaii, the top-five in each division are awarded the traditional Umeke hand-carved Hawaiian wooden bowls which are the trophies presented in Kona).
1st – Jane Hansom (F45-49) – 10:20:57
2nd – Alison Rowatt (F35-39) – 10:11:27
2nd – Linda Ashmore (F70-74) - 14:38:39
5th – Andrew Greenleaf (M30-34) - 9:08:27
Military Division winner – Becky Hoare
Race website: View here