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Kona 2010: GB Age Group Ladies review
Posted on: Tuesday 12th October 2010
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There is little doubt that the standard of athletes racing in the Ford Ironman World Championship represents the very peak of the sport. For long distance racing at least, this is the race to win, and everyone arrives with their 'A game', fully focussed and ready to rumble of the Big Island. You only have to read the number of times our contributors to the 2010 Kona Diaries reference the 'stunningly tuned bodies', the 'ridiculously skinny looking guys' and 'rubbing shoulders with the worlds best' to realise that Kona is full of seriously fit people at Ironman time - given just how fit the people making those comments are in the first place...
We've reviewed already the GB Pro Ladies and GB Pro Men and their performances on Saturday, but of course the bulk of the Ironman field is made up of the Age Groupers. And, if there is an argument that Kona is the most competitive Pro field in the world at any distance, that argument doesn't apply to the Age Groupers - it is the most competitive triathlon in the world. Full stop, no arguments. XTERRA, Ironman 70.3, ITU Standard and Long Distance, Duathlon...none of them comes close to Kona in terms of quality. Simply qualifying is a challenging task, securing a top finishing position requires dedication and talent of the highest order.
Today we review the GB Age Group ladies at Kona 2010.
Pride of place as first British Age Grouper at Kona goes to Lucy Gossage, who crossed the the line in 10:01:04. This was the second visit to Kona for Lucy, who was also the first British Age Group finisher in Hawaii in 2008. On that visit she recorded a time of 11:09:27, so having cut well over an hour from that, you can expect she will be rather ecstatic with her result. Lucy was expected to be one of the fastest Brits as a result of her course record setting performance at The Vitruvian, National Relays win and top finish at Ironman Germany this Summer where she finished in a swift 9:53:28 on a course extended due to road works.
Lucy finished fourth in the super competitive W30-34 category (eighth Age Grouper overall), which means she will return to the UK with a nice award for her effort, since prizes are five-deep in Hawaii.
Second Brit behind Lucy was TFN team mate, and fellow National Relays and Outlaw Relay winner Louise Collins. Lou again won the National Middle Distance Championship at Bala this year, and of course finished second overall in that stunning race at Ironman Lanzarote in May. That was her first Ironman, and while she did finish six minutes behind her friend and training partner in Kona, a fantastic 3:11:11 marathon was good enough for her to win the W25-29 category, the only Brit to win at Kona this year - and I believe the first British Age Group victory for several years - though I'd have to research that further to confirm! So, two Ironman races and two age group wins including Kona - a great year for Lou Collins.
Just behind Lou was Corinne Abraham, who contributed to our pre-race Kona Diaries, and has also provided us with her post-race report which you can read in full HERE. Corinne, who finished third overall at Ironman Regensburg this year will be racing as a professional in 2011, and described her Kona experience as "an amazing day."
Tri247 columnist Sarah Lovelock finished under 11 hours and said "coming down Palani into the last mile, was a fantastic feeling. This time I completely took in and enjoyed the final 400m's into the finish chute, and somehow managed to muster a massive jump as I crossed the finish line...", Lisa Picton who we interviewed recently finished in 11:43 while Edwina Brocklesby (W65-69) was just one place off of the Kona podium in sixth.
"I was really pleased with how my race was going - I swam well and felt like I pushed just the right amount on the bike to come into T2 feeling ready to hit my favourite part of an Ironman race. It was a tough day on the bike - the winds were really strong up at Hawi and I was really pleased with how I had handled this mentally and physically.
"Heading out onto the run I was feeling great and enjoying the run to 3 miles - it was time to reign in those uber bikes…..
"Then some very low stomach discomfort started - no problem just walk through the aid stations and settle the stomach. I ran for parts from here to mile 5 turnaround and by then I was reduced to a very painful walk. Slightly kidding myself I walked on, in fact as far as mile 12 thinking it would all come right and at least I would be able to run the second half.
"That didn't happen - I spent the next six hours in the medical tent and at the hospital. Blood tests show an infection and I'm due a scan to check my appendix - I couldn't face being there last night until 2am. Anyway the good news is I have woken up this morning feeling still a little sore but better so am sure I will very quickly be back to full health.
"I had high hopes for this race and really felt like I was in the right shape going into it. It's really disappointing not to wake up with aching legs from the run and with a result I desperately wanted. But I guess it's not an easy game."
Of course, as I said at the outset, the Ironman World Championships is the single most competitive triathlon event in the world - so a huge congratulations and big respect to all of the ladies on the list below.
Full GB Ladies Age Group Results
(Please email me via email@example.com if you spot any errors below - the data has been extracted from IronmanLive, and hence identifying the British athletes is dependent on the correct categorisation by the organiers).