Britain’s, and 220’s columnist, Lucy Gossage has successfully defended her Ironman UK title in Bolton at the weekend, while in the men’s pro race Kirill Kotsegarov was the victor.
Fresh from the Ironman European championship in Frankfurt just 2 weeks ago, Katja Konschak, was first out of the water but was quickly wheeled in by the charging Tine Deckers (BEL) and Lucy Gossage (GBR). The pair traded the lead for the first 60 miles, after which Gossage made her move, gaining about 4 minutes as she headed out of T2. Gossage then went on to finish in a time of 09:26:05.
Tine Decker pushed hard on the run, to produce a brilliant second place finishing in 09:45:21, ahead of Katja Konschak completing the podium in 10:13:18.
This is Gossage’s third victory here, winning in 2013 and 2015. “I only entered last minute as I just couldn’t bear to miss out on racing at Ironman UK,” she said. “It is such a special race to me. The UK crowds and support can’t beat any other race.
“Tine is a world class athlete and I knew I had to be on form – you never know what’s going to happen out there but I’m really pleased with my performance. Tine had an amazing race but my course knowledge and home crowd support definitely helped me push through so I could even enjoy the run once I had built enough of a lead.””
In the men’s Romain Guillaume (FRA) Markus Thomschke (GER) Krill Kotsegarov (EST) Karl-Johan Danielson (SWE ) Andrej Vistica (CRO) and Harry Wiltshire (BBR) quickly established themselves as the contenders with Guillaume the early leader after making a break on the bike and gaining a lead of over 9 minutes.
However the chasing pack were pushing hard and by the time Romain got to T2, having lost 7 minutes, it was apparent that he wasn’t feeling well. Despite a considerable lead and enthusiastic crowds leading him out of T2, Romain was overhauled by Thomschke and Kotsegarov as the leading duo, with Danielson looking like a firm bronze contender, as Guillaume quickly withdrew from the race.
The leading pair tussled together to the half way point, when Kotsegarov made his move on a tiring Thomschke, to win in 08:41.13 and claiming his 3rd Ironman win. Thomschke held onto 2nd place finishing in 8:50:03.
But the drama wasn’t over as Andrej Vistica (CRO), who had exited T2 over 17 minutes behind the leader, made a surprise surge and the race was on for the final podium spot. Producing a blistering 02:53:00 marathon run, Vistica his way up the field, overtaking Danielson at the 33km marker to take a worthy bronze in 08:58:50.
GB’s Harry Wiltshire came 5th in a time of 09:05:35
“It was fantastic to improve on my 3rd place performance in 2014,” said Kotsegarov. “That was a very tough bike but I was able run well. The crowds were amazing and a huge help to have their support.”