Britain’s Tom Lowe battled through severe conditions in the Sunshine State last weekend to claim second place at this year’s Ironman Florida, despite winds being so strong that the swim had to be cancelled.
The day started with a time-trial 180km single loop bike, and Canada’s Lionel Sanders began a minute behind Ben Hoffman (USA), fresh off a runner-up finish in Kona three weeks ago. Sanders managed to overhaul Hoffman’s 1min head start after just 20km, and on every single timing split he gained more time on all the men chasing behind.
By the time he reached transition, the Canadian had racked up a 12:45min lead on Lowe, with Joerie Vansteelant (BEL) and Maxim Kriat (USA) following. Sanders kept up the pressure to post a 2:44:12 run split and squeak in under 7hrs, with Lowe and Kriat completing the podium.
Top five men:
1. Lionel Sanders (CAN): 6:58:46
2. Tom Lowe (GBR): 7:17:53
3. Maxim Kriat (USA): 7:24:50
4. Joerie Vansteelant (BEL): 7:29:31
5. Pedro Gomes (POR): 7:29:45
In the women’s race, Yvonne Van Vlerken (NLD) racked up a 4min lead over her nearest rival Rachel Jastrebsky (USA) by the 24km mark, with Dee Atkins (USA), Camilla Lindholm (SWE) and Ashley Clifford (USA) making up the rest of the top five.
By the halfway point of the ride the race Van Vlerken had increased her lead to 10:37mins on Lindholm, and looked a sure thing for the win. Lindholm came off the bike in second place around 13mins down, followed by Jastrebsky and Clifford.
A 3:03hr race-leading marathon was more than enough to deliver the win for Van Vlerken, leaving the excitement to focus on who would take second. Lindholm’s 3:20hr marathon secured silver – but only just ahead of Clifford who finished 28secs later for bronze.
Top five women:
1. Yvonne Van Vlerken (NLD): 8:01:47
2. Camilla Lindholm (SWE): 8:36:28
3. Ashley Clifford (USA): 8:36:55
4. Rachel Jastrebsky (USA): 8:39:43
5. Michelle Bozarth (USA): 8:50:13
For full results head here. Main image: Nick Morales/Ironman.
Did you race Ironman Florida? Let us know in the comments below!