UK Pro Lucy Gossage once again proved why they call her ‘the biggest smile on the circuit’ with a massive finish line celebration after a massive win at Ironman 70.3 Staffordshire.
The inaugural race at Shugborough Hall somehow stayed dry for the 2700 triathletes and pros which included Ironman 70.3 World Champion and current ITU World Series leader Javier Gomez who took gold. It was billed by organisers as a ‘fast and flat’ race but that myth was soon dispelled. Speaking afterwards, Gomez said it was a tough course with lots of hills and tight turns on the bike.
Lucy Gossage had a brilliant race coming in at 4h 31m 09s – ahead of many of the pro men and 10 mins ahead of her nearest rival Susie Chetham.
On her win Lucy said, “I’m so pleased. I’m really really pleased. The crowds and support were amazing. To have all these people here that I started racing with as an age grouper really spurs me on. The bike course was pretty hilly but the run was absolutely stunning.”
Amongst the thousands of age group athletes, 58% of which were taking part for the first time in an IRONMAN 70.3, was celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay and his wife Tana, competing together as part of their GR100 fundraising team.
Gordon started the day with a solid swim and backed it up with a commendable 3h01m bike split. He managed to hold a steady run on a challenging course to just break the 2hr half marathon mark finishing in a time of 5h53m49s and breaking the magic 6 hr barrier. It was obvious from his smile that he enjoyed the massive support he got from the thousands lining the red carpet at this inaugural event.
“The support has been amazing.” Ramsay said, “all credit to the local volunteers and an amazing turnout. I stopped for some amazing carrot cake. I’m very pleased to have broken my PB by 15 minutes which was 6h37m at IRONMAN 70.3 Vegas. It’s stunning country side but there were too many lovely looking BBQ’s and pubs on the route – what a great day.”