Dr Tamsin Lewis or ‘SportieDoc’ as she’s known won Ironman UK at the weekend without ever having completed a marathon.
Lewis (GBR) joins Australia’s Melissa Hauschildt, to become only the second woman to win an IRONMAN on a debut performance in 2014, taking today’s 10th Anniversary IRONMAN UK title in the process in 9:52:12.
Click here to read our full race review for Bolton Ironman.
After a run of bad luck this season that included sustaining a broken fork at IRONMAN 70.3 Mallorca, the sun shone on Lewis as she crossed the line for the first major victory of her career.
Opening the day with the second-fastest swim, Lewis found herself with a 3:50 deficit to Katja Konschak (GER) who lead the women into T1. Lewis clawed back a big chunk of Konschak’s lead within the first 15 miles, reducing the gap to just 1:17.
Once Lewis grabbed the lead before the halfway mark of the first lap on the bike, she never looked back for the rest of the day. Having built up her lead to 14:13 off the bike, Lewis just needed to survive the run to take home her first IRONMAN title. However, the Brit was unrelenting in her pursuit of victory. A 3:18:04 for her first-ever marathon in her first-ever IRONMAN it was the icing on a brilliant performance.
Post-race, Lewis paid tribute to the spectators lining the course through the Lancashire countryside, commenting: “I loved the spectators – I was nearly in tears. One of the reasons why I wanted to do this race was because I knew the crowds would be amazing.”
The Men’s Pro race saw Cyril Viennot cross the finish line in 8:44:10.
On his win Viennot said, “I’m really pleased to have won my first IRONMAN here in the UK. It was definitely very tough – the run course more than the bike for me, but this is a really great race.”
Once the Pros had crossed the finish line, the crowds continued to inspire and drive all the age group athletes along the marathon course in Bolton’s town centre to the finish line, in their bid to achieve the IRONMAN badge of glory, right up to the 17 hour cut off.
Many of the Pros returned together with 3 time World IRONMAN Champion Craig Alexander to hand out medals to the worthy finishers.
With competitors of all ages from 18 to 70 tackling this ultimate challenge, comprising a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run, for a whole variety of personal reasons, many were raising funds for highly worthwhile causes including official charities Scope and Macmillan research.
With entries for IRONMAN UK 2015 going on sale tomorrow at 4pm, organisers are anticipating the race to sell out within 50 hours again and would urge anyone considering competing in 2015 to enter at www.ironmanuk.com as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.