‘A stepping stone’ – Skipper stays strong and now targets Kona podium

'I was done with Kona after 12 miles of the run,' said Joe Skipper after a rollercoaster ride at the IMWC

News Director
Last updated -

Britain’s Joe Skipper went through a rollercoaster of emotions as he made it into the top five at the IRONMAN World Championship.

The four men that beat him – Gustav Iden, Sam Laidlow, Kristian Blummenfelt and Max Neumann – all shattered the previous all-time best time at Kona on an historic day for the sport.

Skipper clocked a 4:11 on the bike and a 2:45 marathon to move through the field and just got the better of a battle for fifth with the legendary Sebastian Kienle.

But he’s looking for more in the future, saying: “Yeah, it’s good to obviously break into the top five for the first time.

“The other guys had great races, with some really fast times. I mean, personally, I would have liked to have got on the top three, but fifth place is better than I’ve done before, so I’ll take that as a stepping stone.”

Second wind

Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images for IRONMAN

The heat and humidity of Kona was always a primary concern for Skipper ahead of the race and he admitted: “I really found it hot out there. I was done with Kona, to be honest, after 12 miles of that run.

“I said ‘I’m not coming back’, but then I got a second wind with about five to six miles to go and that was the highlight of the race for me.

“After I passed Sebi I didn’t dare look over my shoulder. I kept expecting him to be there again.”

But when the line came Skipper had just over a minute-and-a-half in hand on the German as he logged another top result to follow up his victory at IRONMAN Wales last month.

Jonathan Turner
Written by
Jonathan Turner
Jonathan Turner is News Director for both TRI247 and RUN247, and is accustomed to big-name interviews, breaking news stories and providing unrivalled coverage for endurance sports.  
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