Chris McCormack has pegged Ironman 70.3 U.K. as one of the toughest 70.3 races in the world. The Sunday June 17, 2012 seventh edition of the race will be challenged by over 2000 athletes including four past male winners of the event.
IRONMAN 70.3 U.K. COURSE
There are several reasons why this is considered one of the toughest 70.3 races in the world. First of all the weather always seems to play a big role in the race. For instance this year temperatures of ten degrees Celsius are expected on race morning.
If the sun does happen to come out at least it will not be shining into the eyes of the swimmers out on the 1.2 mile swim course. The swim had been changed to clockwise from the anti-clockwise direction of past years so swimmers are not doing most of the one-lap swim with the sun glaring into their eyes.
It’s bad enough that the water will most likely be very cold on race morning.
It will not get any easier out on the 56-mile two-lap bike course. In all there is over 4000 feet of climbing and once the run leg is reached there is more of the same with another 1323 feet of climbing to be done over the three loops of the course.
A great battle is expected between the pro men for top spot on the podium as four past champions are in the race.
Chris McCormack might seem like the logical pre-race favorite, but he just raced in Cairns and he may not be full recovered for a top effort in Ironman 70.3 U.K. Also he was having some passport problems that could keep him out of the race.
There will be a stiff challenge coming from Paul Amey, Fraser Cartmell, and Phillip Graves. Personally I am going with Phillip to win this one…….on a hunch. Hope I don’t jinx him.
Amey, Paul Annovazzi, Matteo Cain, Martin Cartmell, Fraser Elgezabal, Mikel Ellis, Matt Graves, Philip Halksworth, Daniel Hawkins, Paul Hotchkiss, Jonathan Howard, Ben Kyllonen, Teemu Lassonde, Cedric McCormack, Chris McCrystal, Bryan Skipper, Joe Thomschke, Markus Threlfall, Mark Van Beijnum, Kamil Wegscheider, Erich Wiltshire, Harry
The race for top spot among the pro women seems to be a bit more clear cut. It’s hard to see Emma-Kate Lidbury getting beat here. If she is beaten out for the win it will most likely be Lucy Gossage or perhaps Eimar Mullan who could take command out on the bike course and never be caught.
Abraham, Corinne Barnard, Natalie Braendli, Simone Fowler, Bethan Gossage, Lucy Hignett, Susie Hufe, Mareen Kirchler, Irina Lawrence, Holly Lidbury, Emma-Kate Mullan, Eimear
A expected it was Phillip Graves and Fraser Cartmell who were in the lead pack coming out of the water, however Chris McCormack was nowhere to be seen and indeed was unable to start the race as was thought might happen because of his passport issues.
Perhaps the biggest surprise was that Paul Amey fell off the pace and was almost two minutes behind after the swim.
Phillip Graves stormed to the front on the bike course and took a large lead of over five minutes as he headed out on the run course. Paul Amey fell further back and was well off the pace leaving the bike/run transition.
TOP FIVE AFTER SWIM-BIKE
Graves, Philip 00:22:33 02:29:36 Cartmell, Fraser 00:22:25 02:35:43 Skipper, Joe 00:25:13 02:32:20 Threlfall, Mark 00:22:24 02:36:24 Thomschke, Markus 00:24:28 02:33:37
For the women it was Holly Lawrence who had a slight edge coming out of the water with Simone Braendli and Emma-Kate Lidbury were right behind her.
However it was Eimear Mullan who used her superior biking to create a large gap between herself and the rest of the pro female field. This was not unexpected. The question is whether or not she can hold of the challenges that are sure to come out on the run course.
Phillip Graves was just too tough today and hangs on to win Ironman 70.3 U.k. with a finish time of 04:19:45. The time is a great indication of just how tough the course is.
Excellent efforts were put in by Markus Thomschke and Mark Threlfall who rounded out the podium.
Fraser Cartmell slipped back into fourth spot and Paul Amey was sixth.
TOP TEN MEN
Graves, Philip 00:22:33 02:29:36 01:23:45 04:19:45 Thomschke, Markus 00:24:28 02:33:37 01:18:27 04:21:04 Threlfall, Mark 00:22:24 02:36:24 01:21:22 04:23:51 Cartmell, Fraser 00:22:25 02:35:43 01:22:58 04:24:30 Skipper, Joe 00:25:13 02:32:20 01:25:33 04:27:06 Amey, Paul 00:24:01 02:41:39 01:16:46 04:27:20 Howard, Ben 00:24:04 02:35:00 01:26:09 04:28:47 Hawkins, Paul 00:24:16 02:34:33 01:32:38 04:35:46 Wiltshire, Harry 00:22:22 02:42:33 01:27:32 04:36:09 Cain, Martin 00:26:14 02:43:08 01:23:02 04:36:56
Eimear Mullan is the first across the finish line for the pro women as she used her big lead off the bike to her advantage. Her winning time is 04:53:33.
Have a look at the top five Ironman 70.3 U.K. 2012 age-group finishers