Unusually hot race conditions made the 2021 IRONMAN 70.3 Staffordshire a tough but special one for Hugh Brashaw (UK) and Lydia Dant (UK), crossing the finish line in the fastest time in the men’s and women’s races respectively. Athletes started off the swim in calm conditions with the water temperature at 21.7 degrees, and the air temperature at 18 degrees at the start of the race and rising to 26 degrees midday.
The race marked its return after being postponed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 975 athletes converged in Staffordshire to participate in the sixth edition of the IRONMAN 70.3 Staffordshire, under the race organizer’s Safe Return to Racing Guidelines. The IRONMAN 70.3 race began with a beautiful sunrise at Chasewater where athletes undertook a 1.2 mile swim, followed by a 56 mile bike through the heart of the Staffordshire countryside and the Cannock Chase area. The run portion of the race comprised of a 13.1 mile run course takes athletes alongside the River Sow, into the Stafford town centre and towards Stafford Castle.
Staffordshire County Council leader Alan White said: “It’s been fantastic to welcome so many athletes to Staffordshire who have all done so well over a gruelling event and particularly in such warm weather. After a year’s absence due to the pandemic, it has been great to see IRONMAN 70.3 Staffordshire return, with participants and their families coming to enjoy the county, many for the first time. We’d like to thank all athletes who had taken a lateral flow test before the event to keep people safe and to spectators who have watched in accordance with current guidelines. We’d also like to thank local residents and businesses around the route for their understanding through the closures period, and to the IRONMAN team for running the event smoothly.”
“The atmosphere in Staffordshire was amazing! We are grateful to the whole community for making the athletes and the team feel so welcomed. We appreciate all the hard work our partners do behind the scenes to ensure that athletes have an unforgettable race experience. We especially would like to thank Staffordshire Borough Council and Staffordshire County Council who have provided their constant support. The safety of our athletes and volunteers remains our top priority, and I’m proud of the team for putting on the amazing event under our Safe Return to Racing Guidelines,” said Rebecca Sutherland, Race Director, IRONMAN 70.3 Staffordshire.
Lydia Dant, Female Winner 2021, commented on the race: “In the sunshine in the UK, the atmosphere has been epic. It’s been ace to see the nine other athletes from my tri club Passion Fit out on the course. Being part of Passion Fit has changed my life, they saw the potential in me that I never saw in myself! My life has just turned around in so many ways, I’m so grateful for them.”
The Male Winner, Hugh Brashaw, remarked: “I’m so delighted, just want to say thank you so much to all the marshals out there on such a hot day, and a huge congratulations to Matthew Nelson in second who made it such a tough race.”
Top 3 age-group men’s results
- Hugh BRASHAW 04:07:21
- Matthew NELSON 04:09:55
- Dan BLAKE 04:12:32
Top 3 age-group women’s results
- Lydia DANT 04:30:33
- Elizabeth DUNCOMBE 04:47:54
- Lucy DAVIES 04:48:32