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Wiltshire, Pallant win Weymouth
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Sunday 11th September 2016

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Harry Wiltshire and Emma Pallant secure their first IRONMAN 70.3 Victories

Great Britain’s Harry Wiltshire backed up a great first IRONMAN win at the recent IRONMAN Vichy, with a fantastic first across the finish line at today’s IRONMAN 70.3 Weymouth. British dominance continued with Emma Pallant claiming her first ever 70.3 win in the women’s pro race, coupled to her first ever IRONMAN 70.3 race on home soil.

Related Article: British double at IRONMAN Vichy

It was a picture postcard setting for over 2,000 athletes, who took the plunge in Weymouth bay this morning for the inaugural IRONMAN 70.3 and IRONMAN Weymouth.

With the sun rising slowly over the Jurassic coast, the athletes could have been forgiven for thinking they were in the Mediterranean instead of the English Channel. These perfect swim conditions were a hint of an exceptional race day to come, which attracted the largest ever field to race an IRONMAN event in the UK.

The favourites did not disappoint in the swim in the Men’s pro race, with Mark Threlfall (GBR) leading Harry Wiltshire and Stuart Hayes (GBR) out of the water and onto the bike. This trio were not to be separated until they laced up their racing flats and hit the Esplanade for the foot race.

It looked like it would be a battle of the British, with Threlfall and Wiltshire joined at the hip for the first 10k of the half marathon, when Hayes made his move on a slightly faltering Threlfall; Wiltshire managed to pull away whilst Threlfall was paying the price, unable to hold the blistering pace he had set early on, which opened the door for Hayes to step up into second place.

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Adding salt to the wound for Threfall, France’s Yvan Kerridge, who was fifth place out of T2 with a 3m23s deficit on the leader, produced a 1hr16m half marathon to power him past Threlfall in the dying stages, securing the final step on the podium.

A victorious Wiltshire said, “I’m delighted with the finish today - what a great event! I honestly didn’t know whether my legs would hold out after racing IRONMAN Vichy. Mark set a very fast pace and I knew one of us was going to blow, but fortunately I felt good to push through to the finish line. I would love to replicate this performance in Kona in three weeks time!.”

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In the women’s Pro Race, Hannah Drewett (GBR) was first out of the water in what was her first IROMAN 70.3, in a time of 25m02s, giving her almost two minutes lead on favourite Emma Pallant (GBR). However Emma blitzed the bike course and left T2 with a 2m40s lead over former GB Hockey player, Natalie Seymour and 6m15s over Hannah Drewett, who she passed two-thirds of the way into bike course.

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Emma, buoyed by the spirits of the thousands of the crowds lining the run course, once on the run was not to be stopped, crossing the finishing line victorious in 4:40:16. Her first IRONMAN 70.3 race on home soil provided the sweetest of memories after a great first season of podium positions. Natalie backed up a brilliant second from the recent IRONMAN 70.3 Dublin, with Hannah Drewett holding onto to ensure an all British podium.

Emma commented, “I’m really pleased with my performance today and it was amazing to win on home soil. It was a lonely race upfront until I stepped onto the Esplanade and the support from the crowds made this good day even better and I am blown away to win my first IRONMAN 70.3.”

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Following in the wake of the Pros were over 2,000 amateur athletes, with more than half of the athletes tackling the inaugural IRONMAN and 70.3 Weymouth as first timers, in this stunning setting of Dorset and Weymouth town.

With the pro’s only competing in 70.3 Race, it enabled a wonderful privilege for an amateur to the the first step on to the finish line and break the tape. This honour went to Michal Podsiadkowski (POL) and Sarah Leakey (GBR), both in the 30-34 age group category, finishing in a time of 09:22:25 and 10:13:46 respectively.

Helping hand out the medals in the sunshine was Deputy Mayor, Cllr Kevin Brookes, who commented on the event, “On behalf of the town of Weymouth and Portland, it’s been fantastic to welcome all of the athletes and their supporters to the sea front. We hope the venue and weather conditions have exceeded their expectations and very much hope this is the first of many for IRONMAN Weymouth, in years to come.”

Alan Rose, Race Director added, “This really is the perfect setting to stage an IRONMAN triathlon and we couldn’t have asked for better conditions for this inaugural event. The support along the route from all the residents who had turned out in their thousands was incredible and hugely appreciated by all the athletes.

We realise that staging an event of this scale including implementing road closures for a 56 mile bike course, does cause inconvenience to local residents and we’d like to thank everyone for their support of the event. We’d also like to thank Weymouth and Dorset Council and to all the athletes, spectators and volunteers who played such a key role in making the event such a success today.”

IRONMAN 70.3 Weymouth - Sunday 11th September 2016
1.9km / 90km / 21.1km - PRO Athletes

Pos Men Women
1st Harry Wiltshire (GBR) 4:10:41 Emma Pallant (GBR) 4:40:16
2nd  Stuart Hayes (GBR) 4:11:43 Natalie Seymour (GBR) 4:44:49
3rd  Yvan Jarrige (FRA) 4:12:12 Hannah Drewett (GBR) 5:01:11
4th  Markk Threlfall (GBR) 4:12:53 Suzie Richards (GBR) 5:03:22
5th  Markus Liebelt (GER) 4:15:05 Dolca Olle Gatell (ESP) 5:06:59

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