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Clarke, Mullan dominate 70.3 UK
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Sunday 15th June 2014


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A first Ironman 70,3 victory for Will Clarke along with a third consecutive Wimbleball win for Eimear Mullan were the headlines from Ironman 70.3 UK today.


WILL CLARKE CELEBRATES FIRST IRONMAN 70.3 WIN

Over 1300 registered athletes from more than 40 nations took to the water at 7am this morning for the start of the 9th annual iconic IRONMAN 70.3 UK, but it was defending Champion Eimear Mullan (IRL) and maiden IRONMAN 70.3 Champion Will Clarke (GBR) who crossed the finish line in glorious sunshine as winners of IRONMAN 70.3 UK 2014.

Ironman 70.3 UK 2014

In the Men's Pro field, a large leading pack emerged from the 1.2 mile lake swim including Mark Threlfall (GBR), Dan Halksworth (GBR), Will Clarke (GBR) and Johann Ackermann (GER) followed by chasing athletes including defending Champion Ritchie Nicholls (GBR), Paul Hawkins (GBR) and Harry Springall (GBR) over a minute behind.

As the lead pack headed off onto the 56 mile notoriously tough two lap bike course that covers some 1190m of climbing, Clarke and Ackermann made their move, steadily pulling away as leaders and headed into T2 neck-and-neck.

But it was the run that saw Clarke too strong for his rivals and spurred on by the support of his seven month old son watching for the first time, Clarke continued to build a more comfortable two minute cushion on his closest rival Springall over the first 7km. With Halksworth out due to injury, this lead increased to nearly five minutes by the time he crossed the finish line to take his first 70.3 win in a time of 4:18:07.

Ironman 70.3 UK 2014

Meanwhile, defending 70.3 UK and 70.3 European Champion Ritchie Nicholls headed onto the run in sixth place and wasn't going to give up his title lightly. Pushing hard over the multi terrain 13.1 mile run, Ritchie steadily worked his way up the field with a blistering 1:17:45 run time, which earned him a podium third place, but it wasn't enough to catch Harry Springall, who produced a fantastic race, hanging onto second place and posting his best ever 70.3 result in the process.

On his first IRONMAN 70.3 win, Clarke said “It's a great feeling to have won today. It's been a couple of years coming and I'm stoked to have won especially on fathers day with Freddie (my son) watching. I knew Ritchie was closing me down - a bit too close for my liking as he's a hearty runner, so I'm really pleased.”

Ironman 70.3 UK 2014

Despite being disappointed not to have successfully defended his title, Ritchie commented, “I lost time on the bike and I had to work really hard. It was very tough to stay motivated coming into the run in sixth place but I'm really chuffed I did and managed to claw back to third place.”

In the Women's Pro field, double 70.3 UK Champion Eimear Mullan proved too strong for the small assembled field. Whilst 30 year old age grouper Katie Henderson led the females out of the water in an impressive 25:58 giving her a good two minute lead, Eimear was quick to make it up on the bike. Pushing hard with little pressure from the chasing pack, Mullan steadily built her lead up to over 11 minutes to cross the finish line in 04:52:16, posting a time of nearly 5 minutes faster than 2013 and taking her third consecutive win.

On crossing the finish line Eimear said, “This is my favourite race. It was totally different this year in terms of the weather and competition but that doesn't take away my win at all. I pushed hard and really enjoyed it.”

Ironman 70.3 UK 2014

As predicted, the competition was on for second and third place and a trio of age grouper females were putting the Pros under pressure. Jo Carritt worked hard on the bike to enter T2 with a 01:30 second lead over Henderson and Vicky Gill but it was up and coming Nikki Barlettet who was hot on their heels. Despite a set back on the bike course with mechanical problems, Bartlett proved that she is a force to be reckoned with in the future, putting all of her Scottish training into practise over the 13.1 mile notoriously hilly run course. Even a three minute cushion was not enough for Jo Carritt to hold on to and Bartlett managed to move into second place overall crossing the line in 5:02:53, ahead of Carritt who finished in a time of 5:03:23.

A hugely excited Barlett commented, “That was a fantastic race. It's my first time racing here and it's a tough course but I really enjoyed it. My gears weren't working properly and at 30 miles I couldn't change gears at all - people kept telling me I needed to change gears! The mechanics were amazing and despite losing two minutes while they repaired my bike, I am so pleased to have made up for it. I'm not ready to go Pro yet but am hoping to in the near future.”

Kevin Stewart, Managing Director of Ironman UK and Ireland said, “It was fantastic to see so many athletes and spectators enjoying the spectacular Exmoor conditions today. A big thank you must also go to our partners and all the volunteers who make such a massive contribution to the success of the event.”

Pos Men Women
1st Will Clarke (GBR) 4:18:07 Eimear Mullan (IRL) 4:52:16
2nd Harry Springall (GBR) 4:23:31 Nikkie Bartlett (GBR) 5:02:53*
3rd Ritchie Nicholls (GBR) 4:26:32 Joanna Carritt (GBR) 5:03:23
4th Rhys Davey (GBR) 4:30:12 Vicky Gill (GBR) 5:07:26*
5th Hector Guerra (ESP) 4:31:09 Katie Henderson (GBR) 5:08:53*
6th Johann Ackermann (GER) 4:33:24 Gill Fullen (GBR) 5:22:53*
7th Oliver Simon (GBR) 4:35:32 Amy Forshaw (GBR) 5:23:44
8th Mark Threlfall (GBR) 4:35:35 Jessica Parry-Williams (GBR) 5:25:59*
9th Danny Russell (GBR) 4:35:55 Becky Hoare (GBR) 5:27:10*
10th Stephen Skates (GBR) 4:40:06* Chantal Cummings (GBR) 5:29:20*

* Age Group athlete


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