Kimberley Morrison earns her second career IRONMAN 70.3 title
It has already been quite a season for Kimberley Morrison. She was our ‘Brit abroad’ blogger for IRONMAN 70.3 Dubai – a race in which she set a bike course record, and surprised most by starting the run side-by-side with four time World Champion, Daniela Ryf.
In March Kimberley returned to Buenos Aires, Argentina, to defend her title their from 2016, coming up just 47 seconds short… while riding more than nine minutes quicker than the race winner. (THIS IS THE BIKE she’s been doing it on!).
And today… well, if there was any doubt that Morrison is a serious contender for best female rider in the sport right now, she chucked another entry into that virtual competition today with another wattage-fest in Texas. Her 2:10:38 bike split was more than eight minutes quicker than any other women racing today – and less than five minutes slower than the men’s race winner, Mauricio Mendes (who also happens to be the XTERRA World Champion).
Always strong on two wheels, make no mistake, Morrison has stepped up to the big league for 2017. With Holly Lawrence also burning the roads, there is some serious bike power right now in British female middle and long distance racing.
However, “it’s not (all) about the bike” – it’s a triathlon after all – but the adage of train your weaknesses, race to your strengths still applies. Right now, much as we are seeing with Learmonth and Hall in ITU racing – Kimberley Morrison is doing just that. Unlike the fish-like ITU pair, Morrison’s formula is swim well, minimise losses. Then bike the house down, eliminate any swim arrears and then push on, fast. Finally, hold firm on the run (which, itself, is a work in progress and improving). She’s not the complete package yet – but it is a formula that is working.
Three minutes behind Lauren Brandon (USA) after the opening 1.9km swim today, 90km of cycling later and Morrison was ready to start the run with a seven minute lead… While he 1:33:21 run wasn’t the fastest, it is the finish time that matters – and Morrison stopped the clock two minutes and 20 seconds ahead of Michaela Herlbauer (AUT) – a sub-nine hour IRONMAN athlete, with Brandon arriving another two and a half minutes later.
Kimberley Morrison is the female winner of today's #IM703texas! @triathlonkim pic.twitter.com/MtXZzokOUV
— Memorial Hermann (@memorialhermann) April 2, 2017
Memorial Hermann IRONMAN 70.3 Texas – Sunday 2nd April 2017
1.9km / 90km / 21/1km
1st – Kimberley Morrison (GBR) – 4:15:40
2nd – Michaela Herlbauer (AUT) – 4:18:00
3rd – Lauren Brandon (USA) – 4:20:28
16th – Francesa Sanjana (GBR) – 4:41:30
1st – Mauricio Mendez Cruz (MEX) – 3:45:35
2nd – Tim O’Donnell (USA) – 3:46:19
3rd – Rodolphe Von Berg (USA) – 3:49:01