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Sun 3rd Jul 2022
Thomas and Holst win 25th IRONMAN Lanzarote
Posted by: John Levison
Posted on: Sunday 22nd May 2016

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Two Brits on the Pro podium at 25th anniversary IRONMAN Lanzarote

David McNamee and Lucy Charles earn third place in the Canaries, as IRONMAN World Champ Frodeno is edged into second.

Men’s Review

While his mid-season goal is the publically stated aim of breaking the iron-distance world best time at Challenge Roth, reigning IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion, Jan Frodeno (GER), still needed to complete an IRONMAN race to validate his Kona start for October. Originally scheduled for South Africa, an early season injury meant that Lanzarote was his new destination.

The day started well for the champion, with a race best swim of 46:53, leading out Stephen Bayliss (GBR), Carlos Lopez Diaz (ESP), David McNamee (GBR), Ivan Rana (ESP) and Johann Ackermann (GER) – with a certain Pro debutant British female (see below), not far behind…

Frodeno’s immediate progress was halted in T1 by a problem with his helmet, resulting in more than two minutes lost in transition while that was resolved.

By the mid-point of the bike, Ackermann had a small lead over McNamee, with Frodeno and Rana just over two minutes in arrears, with another pairing (Timo Bracht (GER) and Jesse Thomas (USA)), five minutes off the lead.

Despite the challenging terrain, the racing continued to be close over the second half of the ride. Ackermann reached T2 first, but with Frodeno, McNamee, Rana, Thomas and Bracht all within three minutes with the marathon left to run. The fastest ride of the day (4:57:27) went to Chris Baird (USA), and he arrived in T2 in eighth position, eight minutes off the lead but still in contention. There really wasn’t much to separate the leaders on the bike, with six athletes breaking the five hour mark on this notoriously tough course.

Once on the run, Frodeno took the lead at 5km and Ackermann would them go on to lose time quickly. The man on the move was six-time Wildflower Triathlon winner Jesse Thomas. At 15km he was 1:47 behind Frodeno in second, with Bracht, McNamee and Rana all still close. By 25km Thomas was shoulder-to-shoulder with the Laureus Award winning IRONMAN World Champion, and the 2015 Ironman Wales winner – in only his second iron-distance start – showed no fear and pulled into a lead approaching one minute at the 30km mark.

Thomas kept up the pressure and would go on to win by two minutes over Frodeno, while McNamee would prove the strongest of the rest to complete the podium thanks to a 2:51:51 marathon.

For the other British male Pro’s, Nicolas Ward Munoz was 12th (9:22:09), Graeme Stewart 24th (10:19:48, impacted by mechanical issues), while it was a DNF day for Stephen Bayliss and Craig Twigg.

Women’s Review

It may well have been her first race in the professional ranks, but it was no surprise to anyone who knows a thing or two about this sport to see Great Britain’s current F20-24 Ironman World Champion, Lucy Charles, totally dominate the opening 3.8km swim. A former Elite open water swimmer, Charles has done a great job of developing her bike and run skills without impacting her impressive swim skills. Her 47:11 swim split was just 18 seconds off the pace of Jan Frodeno – and over seven minutes faster than the next female Pro.

As we’ve said here previously, Charles is no ‘one trick pony’, and she has been working hard to develop both her bike and run skills this winter, which has included some impressive running performances in the process. In her first Pro race in the Ironman ranks, Lucy lead for the full 180km, while behind Tine Holst (DEN), who started the ride more than 14 minutes in arrears gained back almost all of that by T2, and quickly moved into the lead during the early stages of the marathon.

At T2 it was Charles, Holst followed by defending champion Diana Riesler (GER), Saleta Castro (ESP) and Caroline Livesey (GBR) who was still in contention after a strong bike ride.

Belgium’s Alexandra Tondeur was on the move once on the run, though Holst was looking strong too. As Riesler passed Charles, was the young Brits chance of a debut podium evaporating? While she could do nothing against the speed of Tondeur who would pass and set about trying to catch leader Holst, she wasn’t going to give up third position lightly, and battled back to re-take the experienced German.

Denmark’s Holst would take her first IRONMAN title, Tondeur set the fastest female marathon of the day (3:10:26) for second place and Charles would hold on in impressive style to complete the podium ahead of Riesler and fellow Brit Livesey in fifth place (10:28:32).

IRONMAN Lanzarote – Saturday 21st May 2016
3.8km / 180km / 42.2km


1st – Jesse Thomas (USA) 8:42:33
2nd – Jan Frodeno (GER) 8:44:38
3rd - David McNamee (GBR) 8:46:36
4th – Chris Baird (USA) 8:48:35
5th – Ivan Rana (ESP) 8:50:09


1st – Tine Holst (DEN) 10:02:35
2nd – Alexandra Tondeur (BEL) 10:04:53
3rd - Lucy Charles (GBR) 10:10:13
4th – Diana Riesler (GER) 10:24:52
5th - Caroline Livesey (GBR) 10:28:32

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