Inaugural Ironman 70.3 Colombo sees athletes competing from 63 countries
The only M-Dot event currently held in South Asia was a success in its debut year, with the age-group only field attracting big crowds in a unique environment
Sri Lanka's capital city of Colombo played host to a new Ironman 70.3 event yesterday, with 63 countries represented in total across the age-group field.
The race took place at Galle Face Green urban park in Colombo's port area, with closed road bike and run courses along the harbour away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Colombo. With the water a balmy 27c, a non-wetsuit swim kicked proceedings off at 6.15am in the Indian Ocean, with a three lap bike course that was windy in places but pan flat.
The two-lap run course was similarly flat but exposed, heading along the harbour and back before finishing at Galle Face Green.
Male winner Olivier Godhart, who stormed to victory in a time of 4:06:06. Credit: Ironman
Just over 556 triathletes conquered the course, with many others succumbing to the heat as temperatures reached the 30's. First over the line was Olivier Godhart of Luxemburg, who had no such problem by finishing with a huge 17 minute cushion over the second-placed finisher in 4:06:06. Godhart was only one of three to record a run split of under 1hr 30mins, preceded by a race-best 2:08:55 bike split.
The first female finisher was Ling Er Choo of Singapore in a time of 4:43:23, with a three minute cushion over second-placed Svetlana Ushakova (Rus) in 4:46:40.
Despite triathlon being a very new sport in the country (Colombo's only triathlon club was founded just last year), Sri Lanka was also very well represented at the event. The first local finisher was Suranga Nuwan Kumara in a time of 4:49.36, and thousands of local spectators lined the streets of Colombo to catch some of the action.
Look out for our feature on Ironman 70.3 Colombo in issue 350 of 220 Triathlon next month