Soggy, blowy conditions descended on Pennington Flash yesterday morning for the 2015 edition of Ironman UK, with women’s winner Lucy Gossage describing her race as “really tough and so, so cold”.
>>> Gallery: Ironman UK 2014
In the men’s race, Scottish duo David McNamee and Fraser Cartmell quickly built a substantial lead over their rivals despite the wind chill and horizontal rain, leaving Denis Chevrot (FRA) and Victor Del Corral (ESP) in their wake over the 180km bike course that included 1,500m of climbing.
Cartmell decided to test the relatively novice Ironman bike legs of McNamee and managed to gain a 3.5 minute lead into T2. It was a lead he held until about the 10km mark knowing that McNamee is a strong runner over the half but less experienced over the full distance.
McNamee continued to push through the 42.2km marathon run in 2:51:49, some 8mins faster than Fraser, to cross the finish line with his maiden Ironman title in a time of 08:46:37.
Scotland’s David McNamee wins Ironman UK
David McNamee said on the finish line: “I knew there was an outside chance to make the podium but to come out on top is fantastic. I lost a nutrition bottle and one of my aero bars so struggled at the back of the bike, however I found my run legs! I didn’t even expect to be doing an Ironman last year – I’m struggling to put it into words how pleased and proud I am.”
Meanwhile, pre-race favourite Joe Skipper didn’t get the result he was hoping for, but struggled on through the field from the rear of the swim pack, to take 3rd place finishing in a time of 08:55:38.
Joe Skipper on the finish chute at Ironman UK
An emotional Joe Skipper who had his heart set on winning said, “All I wanted was the win, but I just suffered all day – it was horrendous. I was outclassed today and I’m just really happy to have finished it and just sorry my friends and family who came here today couldn’t see me get this win I wanted so badly.”
The competition that Michelle Vesterby (DEN) was looking to pose to Gossage (GBR) and the other UK favourites didn’t materialise in the women’s pro race, due to taking a wrong turn on the bike course, leaving Gossage to produce one of the best bike and run splits of her career.
Caroline Livesey (GBR) confirmed her status as a pro athlete backing up her 3rd in Lanzarote with a brilliant second place finishing in 10:05:21.
Alice Hector produced an incredible run to secure third place in the Pro Field, finishing in a time of 10:18:46. Special mention should go to the first age-group female athlete Kate Comber, who had a stunning race and crossed the line in 10:15:32.
On her win an ecstatic Lucy Gossage said: “I’ve never wanted something so much. This was my goal – I wanted it so much and I’m so pleased. It was really tough and so so cold. I caught the girls quickly on the bike and I felt amazing on the run – probably my best ever. The UK crowds and support can’t beat any other race.
“Kona is my next goal but for now just savouring every moment – this has been an amazing year and I’m really happy.”
For full results head here.
Did you race Ironman UK? Let us know in the comments below!