Skipper proves he is no average Joe at Ironman World Championships in Hawaii
- Credit: Archant
Almost a month's worth of acclimatisation paid off for Joe Skipper as he overcame blistering heat to excel at the Ironman World Championships.
The professional triathlete from Cringleford had been in Kona, Hawaii since the middle of September to get ready for the lung-busting race against the planet's best. On Sunday all that hard work was rewarded when the 27-year-old became the second British athlete to cross the line among a huge field of 2,149 finishers. Skipper, third in this year's Ironman UK, came 13th and finished just two places behind team-mate David McNamee as they pushed themselves to the limit in temperatures reaching 49C.
The Tri-Anglia member, born in Lowestoft, completed the phenomenal three-discipline effort in eight hours, 36 minutes and two seconds.
He swam (57 mins, 31 secs) 2.4 miles, cycled 112 (4 hrs, 28 mins and 34 secs) and completed a 26.2-mile (3:04:09) marathon run to conclude the course.
Winner Jan Frodeno and runner-up Andreas Raelert secured a Germany one-two with the former finishing in 8:14:40. Switzerland's Daniela Ryf (26th, 8:57:57) eased to women's glory by beating Britain's Rachel Joyce by more than 13 minutes. It was the biggest margin of victory since Norfolk legend Chrissie Wellington topped the podium in 2009.
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Female runner-up Joyce told British Triathlon's official website: 'I felt like I rode really well at the back end of the course and then I had a few people to tick off. To end up on the podium on second place, yeah, I'm really happy.
'It's been a few years since I've experienced that kind of heat. Usually we get the cloud cover a bit earlier so I was finding one and a half litre bottles of water and dumping them over my head just to cool down as that was the limiter, that was what was slowing me down. I had to bring my core temperature down and then I could pick up the pace again.'
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