British one-two at 70.3 Finland from India Lee, Kat Rye

Chief Correspondent

Second IRONMAN 70.3 victory for India Lee


Katrina Rye continues her rapid Pro progress with second

Winner of IRONMAN 70.3 Weymouth last year on her debut over the distance, India Lee added to Bronze earlier this year in France with another win today at IRONMAN 70.3 Finland in Lahti.

Lee exited the swim in second, 2:18 down on fellow Brit and Lucy Hall (her 70.3 debut, I think?), with first year Pro Katrina Rye in third, 4:35 behind the uber-swimmer Hall. Rye was in good company, a group of four including home athlete Kaisa Sali, twice fifth at the IRONMAN World Championships.

Lee has transferred her renowned ITU bike strength to the TT format, and her 2:20:36 split was the fastest of the day, taking her to a T2 lead of almost two minutes over Hall. Rye lost a further two minutes to Lee, but was faster than everyone else, leaving her alone on third place, 4:18 down on arrival at T2 in a British 1/2/3 at that point.

Lee pulled further clear of Hall from the start, which meant that the run progress of Rye and Sali from behind were now her only concern in terms of holding on to top spot. India was holding a very similar pace to Rye, Sali and Spain’s Anna Nogura, and while the final stats will show she had the fourth fastest run (1:25:32), the other three all ran 1:24’s, which meant that India had a comfortable winning margin of 3:13 at the finish.

Katrina Rye continued her rapid rise from Age-Grouper to Pro. Third recently at IRONMAN 70.3 Staffordshire, she finished clear in second place and will be part of the Pro field at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in September.


Three men broke clear in the water – Manuel Kueng (SUI), Nicholas Kastelein (AUS) and Daniel Bækkegård (DEN) – and the rest of the men’s Pro field would not see them again all day, the trio arriving at T2 more than four minutes clear.

Bækkegård was a few seconds down starting the run, but soon overcome that slow start and by 8km, he was 40 seconds clear. Showing no weakness, he finished the day with a 1:13:21 split, to finish two and a half minutes clear of Kastelein, with Kueng completing the podium (1:18:11).

IRONMAN 70.3 Finland, Lahti – Saturday 29th June 2019
1.9km / 90km / 21.1km


1st – India Lee (GBR) – 4:17:55
2nd – Katrina Rye (GBR) – 4:21:09
3rd – Kaisa Sali (FIN) – 4:24:30
4th – Anna Noguera (ESP) – 4:26:12
5th – Laura Matthews (USA) – 4:31:40
6th – Lucy Hall (GBR) – 4:32:52


1st – Daniel Bækkegård (DEN) – 3:45:38
2nd – Nicholas Kastelein (AUS) – 3:48:07
3rd – Manuel Kueng (SUI) – 3:50:07

6th – Colin Norris (GBR) – 3:55:46
11th – Harry Palmer (GBR) – 4:06:26
12th – Fergus Roberts (GBR) – 4:12:30
DNF – Mark Buckingham (GBR)

John Levison
Written by
John Levison
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