It was quite the week for Taylor Knibb – just seven days after winning Olympic silver in Tokyo she was making her IRONMAN 70.3 debut in Boulder on Saturday.
And the 23-year-old did not disappoint, putting in a hugely impressive performance to finish second behind Emma Pallant-Browne after leading into the run in Colorado.
Taylor Knibb on 70.3 desire
Afterwards Knibb admitted that stepping up in distance was something she had been wanting to do, explaining: “I’ve been dying to do one of these for a while, ask anyone who knows me.
“May not have been the smartest choice of course and timing. But I had a great opportunity, it was a home race, this is the first time I’ve raced on U.S. soil in triathlon since July 2017. So I’m just really grateful to be here, it’s a great course.”
Knibb led out of the water and then after the bike leg on Saturday, but eventually had to give best to the surging Pallant-Browne on the run. She did though get the better of a great battle with training partner Jeanni Metzler to claim second place in a time of 4:02:20.
Taylor said: “Emma was fantastic, she said I tried to stick with her, I said ‘wow, you’re in another league’. And then Jeanni at the end, I train with her and it felt like practice, or training I guess.
“It was a great race, I have a lot to improve on, it was a bit nerve-wracking out there, thanks for all the support out there.”
From Tokyo to Boulder
This was quite the change in scenery, context and distance when compared to the Olympic Mixed Relay in Tokyo last week, as Taylor emphasised.
“Yeah in the relay, so about 3 hours and 50 minutes less of racing! There’s only a 2k run vs 21k, but anyway it was great.”
Not surprisingly after this performance, Taylor was asked if she planned to go to the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship at St. George next month. Her answer? “I don’t think so, but I have five hours to decide I guess”.
For now the next assignments will be WTCS events in Montreal and Edmonton in the next two weeks. We look forward to seeing how the Taylor Knibb story unfolds further.