In case her recent win in South Africa at the PTO supported South African National Championships wasn’t proof enough of her fitness, today Emma Pallant put on quite a show at Ironman 70.3 Florida in Haines City, taking the race by over four minutes.
Pallant was never far from the front, coming out of the water in second, just over a minute behind American Sonja Catano, who was still competing in draft-legal races a year ago. American’s Mollie Hebda and Lesley Smith were third and fourth out of the water, 1:24 and 1:27 back, with one of the pre-race favorites, Heather Jackson, 3:03 behind starting the bike.
Pallant quickly put her stamp on the race once she was out on the bike – by 20 km she was in the lead, with Jackson trying to close the gap riding in second 1:36 behind. Halfway through the bike Jackson had made up precious little ground on the Brit, still trailing by 1:30, while Lisa Becharas joined her countrywomen Hebda and Smith in a chase group of three who were 2:42 behind.
Pallant remained in front, hitting the run course 1:24 up on Jackson and a whopping 6:35 ahead of Hebda, Smith and Becharas. Pallant isn’t only a former duathlon star, she was a silver-medalist at the 2017 70.3 worlds, so it was hardly surprising to see her cruise through the run to take the win (4:18:48). Jackson would struggle on the run and eventually get passed by Smith, who used the day’s fastest run (1:24:13) to take second in 4:23:05, with Jackson rounding out the podium in 4:27:42. Hebda took fourth (4:31:57), while Great Britain’s Simone Mitchell (4:33:17) took fifth.
You can find the women’s pro results here.