The annual trip down to Exmoor for Ironman UK70.3 is a highlight for the team. A chance to race on one of the toughest and fairest courses in the world, to catch up with old friends and foes and to hopefully bring back the odd trophy make it a must do race.
Having had the overall amateur male and female winners in 2011 the team were under a certain amount of pressure to perform. Neither Stuart or Jenny were back to defend their crowns so it was up to Sam Baxter, Alison Rowatt, Richard Hobson and Tim Bishop to do the team proud.
Sam has been improving steadily since taking up the sport seriously in 2010 and this race perhaps more than any other announced himself as a serious contender in amateur racing. An overall win including a bike time nearly six minutes faster than anyone else in his wave of 20-40 year olds, beating in the process most of the 70.3 specialists currently racing in the UK. Fantastic performance.
Starting fifteen minutes later in the ‘old man’s wave’ were Richard and Tim and, like Sam, Richard set about smashing the bike leg to pieces and was the only amateur on the day to come close to Sam’s bike time, and he held on during the run to win his age group and indeed the whole of the second wave. Richard picked up his Vegas slot which had been hids main goal for this season so it was job well done.
Tim struggled to overcome residual fatigue from his epic race in Utah a month earlier but dug in and finished in a creditable 7th in his age group.
Meanwhile, Alison had been storming the swim and bike and was in the lead in a close battle for top amateur with eventual winner, Amy Forshaw. With a gap of a minute or so going into the second half of the run Ali made the agonising decision to drop out as a recurring foot injury began to surface and she was conscious that her A race in Bolton was on the horizon. Here’s hoping for a full recovery before the big race.
A successful weekend then and great to catch up with so many friends and supporters of the team. Already planning the trip there for next year’s race.
For full results and splits visit the Ironman UK website.
To see more images from the day visit our facebook page here.
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