Joe Skipper breaks British Ironman record at Challenge Roth in Germany
PUBLISHED: 09:39 18 July 2016 | UPDATED: 13:23 18 July 2016
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Joe Skipper has become the fastest British Ironman of all time after the performance of his life at Challenge Roth in Germany.
The 27-year-old, from Cringleford, became the first Briton to ever go under eight hours as he finished runner-up to Jan Frodeno, who also set a new world record at the event.
It caps an amazing turnaround in fortunes for Skipper, who contemplated giving up the sport due to a lack of funding this time last year.
But all the hard work paid off in Bavaria yesterday as he finished the 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride and a marathon 26.22-mile (42.20 km) run, in 7-56:23.
This beat the previous British record by more than five minutes set by Paul Amey in Arizona in 2011in a time of 8-01:29.
Skipper enjoyed a solid first phase in the swim but it was on the bike that he made a massive impression on the field.
He exited T2 in sixth and that position soon became fourth by 12km on the run as Skipper moved past Tyler Butterfield and Cyril Vienott.
By this time Frodeno was well out in front and there was no catching him as he entered the stadium in Roth to cross the line in 7-35:39, beating Andreas Raelert’s record by nearly six minutes.
Following Frodeno home was expected to be defending champ Nils Frommhold, but Skipper had edged past him with less than a kilometre to go to enter the packed stadium to incredible scenes.
Seconds later, Skipper became the first British man to break the magical eight-hour barrier, a time that’s eluded such UK greats as Spencer Smith and Tim Don.