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Thu 29th Jul 2021
Swallow second as Jessie Donovan wins Ironman South Africa
Posted by: John Levison
Posted on: Sunday 14th April 2013

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Great Britain's Jodie Swallow was aiming for her first Ironman finish today at the Spec-Savers Ironman South Africa in Port Elizabeth, and started the day with the 'favourite' tag firmly around the neck of the former ITU Long Distance and Ironman 70.3 World Champion. Would she be able to deliver on that expectation?

The day started perfectly, and predictably, with a super fast 49:56 swim putting her among the leading Pro men over the 2.4 mile course in Nelson Mandela Bay. No surprise either that Lucie Reed (nee Zelenkova) was her closest chaser, just over two minutes back.

We noted the US athlete and multiple Ironman winner Jessie Donovan in the race preview, saying "she will have a lot of work to do once on dry land - as she is likely to give up the best part of 15 minutes in the water to Swallow and Reed." That proved correct too, as Donovan recorded a relatively pedestrian by Pro standards 1:07:11 in the water.

Swallow proceeded to extend her lead on the 180km, three-lap course, and produced a very swift 4:46:05 split - once again the fastest of the day - with Donovan (4:50:27) the only other female Pro to break five hours. That left Swallow with a huge margin at T2, starting the run with the best part of a 20 minute lead over Simon Brändli (SUI), followed a couple of minutes later by Donovan and Dede Griesbauer (USA).

The run started well for Swallow, the first 14km lap completed with little impact on her huge lead, however, by the end of lap two things were getting very tough and the more consistent pace of Donovan - having moved into second - was starting to seriously erode that leading margin. With just over 5km to go, Donavan passed the struggling Swallow to take the lead, and Jodie had nothing left to respond with. Jessie Donovan completed the marathon and took the win with a 3:09:11 marathon, while Swallow toughed it out to hold on to second via a very painful and gutsy 3:36:44. Great Britain's other Pro lady, Jo Carritt, took tenth (10:16:59), adding another 800 points to her Kona KPR standings. With a couple more solid results, she could be well on the way to Hawaii in October.

In the Age Group ranks, Liz Pinches (Thames Turbo) took second place in F35-39.

Ironman South Africa, Port Elizabeth - Sunday14th April 2013
2.4 miles, 112 miles, 26.2 miles

Pos Pro Women


Jessie Donovan (USA) 9:10:58
2nd Jodie Swallow (GBR) 9:17:00
3rd Lucie Reed (CZE) 9:27:07
4th Simon Brändli (SUI) 9:32:24
5th Diane Mcewan (RSA) 9:37:45
6th Monique Grossrieder (SUI) 9:48:22
7th Katharine Grohmann (GER) 9:55:52
8th Nina Pekerman (ISR) 9:59:13
9th Svetlana Blazevic (SRB) 10:08:42
10th Joanna Carritt (GBR) 10:16:59

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