Joe Skipper “disappointed” by Texas DNF and shares plans for bounce back race

Joe Skipper (GBR) will try to salvage his IRONMAN Pro Series ambitions in Australia, after the British pro was forced to DNF at IRONMAN Texas last weekend.

Staff Reporter
Last updated -

Following a strong tenth place performance at IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside earlier this month, triathlon fans were anticipating IRONMAN Texas to be the race where Joe Skipper could really come into his own.

In the battle for the IRONMAN Pro Series title, the matchup between Skipper and some of his main rivals such as Patrick Lange and Braden Currie looked set to be crucial in deciding the end of year standings.

Unfortunately for the Brit, however, he was forced to withdraw during the run. in Texas Sharing his thoughts on Instagram, Skipper underlined his disappointment and revealed his plans for his next full distance race.


“My legs still felt good but my body just felt terrible”

Starting from the top, Skipper said that he was still puzzling over his poor swim in The Woodlands, but that parts of his bike performance were a silver lining during an otherwise bleak day.

Challenge Geraardsbergen 2023 - Photo Credit José Luis Hourcade

“In the swim I actually felt alright, I seemed to get an ok start and felt like I was swimming ok. I don’t have any excuses there and was surprised to hear I was eight minutes down when I exited the water.

“It was a bit disappointing to have such a deficit when in training I was swimming similarly to how I have before in previous years, but […] I thought and with a good bike-run combo I could still be in the mix. 

“At the start of the bike I was very surprised how quickly I was catching athletes and groups in front despite not having to put in that high a power, which was definitely a positive to take from the race.

Challenge Geraardsbergen 2023 - Photo Credit José Luis Hourcade

“Just before the end of the second time up the Hardy toll road, I caught the group with the eventual winner and Patrick Lange, and had made my way into fifth place.

“I was confident in my run legs as from what I had seen in training I was in my best ever run form, so thought if the opportunity arose to take time out of the guys on the bike, then I would go for it and if not I would sit in and back my run. 

“However, my body had other ideas and after 3h30 of racing , started to feel really ill, bloated and sick. I don’t know why I felt like this as I had felt good up until around this point and then just went to feeling absolutely awful. My legs still felt good but my body felt terrible.”

“I just feel very disappointed”

Off the bike and through transition, Skipper said he went from feeling bad to worse, and eventually made the decision to pull the plug.

Challenge Geraardsbergen 2023 - Photo Credit José Luis Hourcade

“Once I started the run, I felt even worse than I did on the bike. Even the pace I would normally run at for an easy run felt unattainable and I knew there was no point in pushing through and finishing the race when I was feeling like this.”

Reflecting on the disappointment of a DNF, the 36-year-old said it was a tough pill to swallow, especially after spending most of the month Stateside to prepare for the race.

“Honestly I just feel very disappointed and a bit sad to have put in all that time, effort and energy into this winter and the whole trip and to not be able to do on the day what I know I can do.”

Looking ahead to the coming months, the Norfolk native said the result had made him question his decision to race the IRONMAN Pro Series, but instead of making any immediate changes, he would keep pushing and reassess after his next full distance race.

“What’s next? I’ve thought about this and I will give IRONMAN Cairns a go. That was always on the cards anyway, but after this result I have contemplated whether the Ironman Pro Series is worth pursuing with lots of races close together.

“I will race Cairns and assess after that. I just want to have fun racing out there and execute a race that I will be happy with and what will be, will be.”

Tomos Land
Written by
Tomos Land
Tomos Land is a triathlon & running journalist whose expertise lies in the professional world of short course & long distance triathlon, though he also boasts an extensive knowledge of ultra-running.
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