Fastest British athletes in Hawaii: the all-time list

KAILUA KONA, HI - OCTOBER 13: David McNamee of Great Britain celebrates finishing third with a time of 8:01:09 during the IRONMAN World Championships brought to you by Amazon on October 13, 2018 in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. (Photo by Nils Nilsen/Getty Images for IRONMAN)
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The history of ‘fast Brits’ at the IRONMAN World Championship

As you’ll no doubt be aware having read the Male and Female Pro reports from the IRONMAN World Championship, the performances in Kona this year are going to leave a lot of people with a lot of work to update a lot of record books. I’m just one of them.

Having started this particular feature 12 months ago, let’s get to it and at least get this one updated!

2018 Update

First up, both Lucy Charles (second) and David McNamee (third) both finished in the fastest times ever from British athletes in Hawaii. Not only that, both also broke the previous overall course record times in the process, meaning they are also the second (female) and third (male) fastest athletes in history, respectively, in the 40 years of the IRONMAN World Championship.

KAILUA KONA, HI - OCTOBER 13: Lucy Charles of Great Britain celebrates after finishing second with a time of 8:36:32 during the IRONMAN World Championships brought to you by Amazon on October 13, 2018 in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. (Photo by Nils Nilsen/Getty Images for IRONMAN)
Lucy Charles 2018 – Photo by Nils Nilsen/Getty Images for IRONMAN

For David (pictured at the top of this page – Photo by Nils Nilsen/Getty Images for IRONMAN), it was also – once again – a new Scottish record time for distance. He is – without question – the best British male Ironman athlete in history. The only British man to make the top-three in Kona (now achieved twice), he has still never been beaten by another British athlete over the distance. Still only 30, he should have several more years of contending for the top step.

Joe Skipper had a great day in Hawaii too this year. Possibly his best ever swim set up his day and he finished it off strongly on the run with a 2:54:16 marathon to finish in seventh place (and collect $14,000). His finish time of 8:05:54, in British terms, is second only to David who finished 4:45 in front of him on Saturday.

Joe Skipper - IRONMAN World Championship 2018

Also securing a first ever Kona top-10 in ninth position was Corinne Abraham. Third off the bike, she was able to manage a running injury picked up a couple of weeks before the race to finish in ninth (8:57:54), on a day in which the entire women’s Pro top-10 broke the nine-hour mark.

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The result of so much support and encouragement from so many for so long. Thank you thank you thank you. It was a rocky and emotional lead into the race with no run training for 3 weeks, but I’m happy that I played the hand that I had to the best of my ability. Coming out of the water with the pack – RESULT! Cycling up to 3rd place by T2 – RESULT! Being able to run at all – RESULT! Picking my heels up to keep up with Angela when she passed me so I could hang onto 9th place – RESULT. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Photo (c) @witsupcom 🌸 🌴 ☀️ 🐠 🐙 🌴 🌼 🐠 @castellitriathlon #ironman #ironmanworldchampionship #ironmanworldchampionship2018 #40yearsofdreams #kona #hawaii #palani #witsup

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2017 Update

The 2017 edition of the IRONMAN World Championship was certainly a marquee year for British athletes. While success from, in particular, the Female Pro athletes in recent years has been extensive from the likes of Chrissie Wellington, Leanda Cave and Rachel Joyce, the emergence of Lucy Charles (second) and David McNamee (third) was notable not just for being new names to the podium. At just 24 and 29 years of age respectively, they potentially have many more years ahead of them to repeat or improve upon those results.

KAILUA KONA, HI - OCTOBER 14: Lucy Charles of Great Britain celebrates after finishing second during the IRONMAN World Championship on October 14, 2017 in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)
Lucy Charles 2017 – Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN

Such was the impact of those finishes, sometimes other great performances can get overlooked. For example, that David’s finish time this year was (by far) the best from a British athlete in Hawaii was clear; but it was also a new Scottish Ironman record, taking 20 seconds from his time in South Africa earlier in the season.

KAILUA KONA, HI - OCTOBER 14: David McNamee of Great Britain celebrates after finishing third during the IRONMAN World Championship on October 14, 2017 in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images for IRONMAN)
David McNamee 2017 – Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images for IRONMAN

There were other notable, yet perhaps under the radar, results too. Harry Wiltshire for example – his finishing time of 8:35:41 has only been beaten by two other British athletes in Hawaii, David McNamee and Tom Lowe.

Another top performance came from Susie Cheetham. While Lucy Charles of course grabbed most of the attention from a British perspective in the women’s race, Susie’s result matched her sixth place from two years ago – and was almost eight minutes faster too.

While disappointed with her 15th place finish in her Kona debut, Laura Siddall still cracked the 9:30 mark in Kona which, given the history of the race, is not an easy task.

Given these examples, I’ve decided to collate the fastest times recorded by British athletes at the IRONMAN World Championships. Ever.

Presented below is the all-time list of sub 8:45 (Men) and sub 9:30 (Women).

IRONMAN World Championship: British MEN Sub-8:45 in Hawaii History

YearFinishing PositionNameTime
20183rdDavid McNamee08:01:09
20187thJoe Skipper08:05:54
20173rdDavid McNamee08:07:11
201613thDavid McNamee08:28:05
201111thTom Lowe08:29:02
201511thDavid McNamee08:32:27
201721stHarry Wiltshire08:35:41
201513thJoe Skipper08:36:02
201515thTim Don08:39:05
19985thSpencer Smith08:39:07
201317thPaul Amey08:39:20
20008thSpencer Smith08:43:05
20187th (in AG 30-34)Robert Drake08:44:06
KAILUA KONA, HI - OCTOBER 13: Bart Aernouts of Belgium (2nd place), Patrick Lange of Germany (1st place) and David McNamee of Great Britain (3rd place) celebrate after the IRONMAN World Championships brought to you by Amazon on October 13, 2018 in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. (Photo by Nils Nilsen/Getty Images for IRONMAN)
Photo by Nils Nilsen/Getty Images for IRONMAN

IRONMAN World Championship: British WOMEN Sub-9:30 Hawaii History

YearFinishing PositionNameTime
20182ndLucy Charles08:36:32
20091stChrissie Wellington08:54:02
20111stChrissie Wellington08:55:08
20132ndRachel Joyce08:57:28
20189thCorinne Abraham08:58:54
20172ndLucy Charles08:59:38
20113rdLeanda Cave09:03:29
20133rdLiz Blatchford09:03:35
20143rdRachel Joyce09:04:23
20081stChrissie Wellington09:06:23
20114thRachel Joyce09:06:57
20071stChrissie Wellington09:08:45
20103rdJulie Dibens09:10:04
20144thJodie Swallow09:10:19
20152ndRachel Joyce09:10:59
201817thLaura Siddall09:12:08
20131st (AG)Catherine Faux09:15:16
20121stLeanda Cave09:15:54
20176thSusie Cheetham09:16:00
20105thRachel Joyce09:18:48
201111thCatriona Morrison09:22:07
20156thSusie Cheetham09:23:50
201411thCorinne Abraham09:25:04
201312thLeanda Cave09:25:07
20169thLucy Gossage09:25:57
201010thLeanda Cave09:27:42
201826thSusie Cheetham09:27:56
201510thLucy Gossage09:28:36
201715thLaura Siddall09:29:51
Chrissie Wellington IRONMAN Hall of Fame
4-time IRONMAN World Champion, Chrissie Wellington

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