A big win for Britain’s Katrina Matthews today during Ironman 70.3 Lanzarote. In a time of 4:17:46 hours, she managed to stay ahead of Ironman world champion Anne Haug (GER) and Britain’s Olympic gold medalist Jessica Learmonth.
It didn’t come as a complete surprise to see Learmonth lead the way out of the water. The short-distance athlete, who gave the longer distance a try today, exited the water after 23:34 minutes. She had fellow Britt Lucy Buckingham (formerly Hall) right in her feet, though. Haug reached her bike in third place (+2:59) and Matthews followed right behind her in fourth place.
That Learmonth knows how to swim fast is known, but the question was: how does she handle a non-drafting and rough bike course? Initially, she handled it well. However, in the second part of the bike, Learmonth clearly started to struggle. And that’s when Matthews attacked. In a matter of a few kilometers, Learmonth saw Matthews create a gap of nearly two minutes. Once they reached T2, Matthews was still in the lead, enjoying a 3:43-minute advantage to her fastest chasers: Learmonth and Haug (+5:43).
On the run, Matthews finished what she had started. Running a 1:17:55 half-marathon, Matthews maintained her lead and claimed the victory. Behind her, Haug was able to overtake Learmonth, who no longer managed to keep her pace up. That saw Haug take second (+3:36), while Learmonth crossed the line in third (+5:57).