It was a wet and windy day at IRONMAN Ireland Cork, but that didn’t stop the town spirit and locals from coming out to stand and cheer on every athlete. After a cancelled swim due to weather conditions, athletes took on a 180km bike course around East Cork and a 42.2km run through the town centre of Youghal.
Today saw some top female pros racing for gold. Linsey Corbin, 2018 IRONMAN Wisconsin winner from the USA, Emma Bilham, three time IRONMAN 70.3 winner from Switzerland and Pleuni Hooijman from the Netherlands, who was aiming for a podium spot this weekend.
It was a battle of wills out there, but it was Emma Bilham who took the glory and first place at the first ever IRONMAN Ireland, Cork. Linsey Corbin dropped out after she completed the bike course and Anja Ippach from Germany also dropped out of the race on the first lap of the run with lower back issues.
Emma had over a 20 minute lead on her nearest competitor and crossed the finish line to a cheering crowd. Next to finish the race was Pleuni Hooijman who took home 2nd and Amanda Wendorff from the USA taking home 3rd.
Alistair Brownlee was the one that everyone was watching, as he took on his first ever IRONMAN in Cork this weekend. Alistair, who is known for his participation in many 70.3 races and taking home gold at both the Rio and London Olympic Games, talked about his hopes of taking home a slot to Kona for the World Championship. Bryan McCrystal was representing his home country of Ireland. He led all the way throughout the bike and the run, up until Alistair caught up with him on lap 3 and overtook.
Marino Vanhoenacker was a top favourite for the race with 6 IRONMAN Austria wins under his belt. Marino pulled out of the race 1 hour into the bike course as he felt he couldn’t go on through the weather conditions.
As they went toe to toe on the home stretch, it was Alistair who crossed the finish line in 1st place, taking home gold. Closely followed by Bryan in 2nd and Markus Thomschke from Germany in 3rd. Alistair’s hopes of going to Kona came true at IRONMAN Ireland, Cork this weekend.
More information at: ironman.com/cork
1. Bilham, Emma SUI 08:50:18
2. Hoojiman, Pleuni NLD 09:19:50
3. Wendorff, Amanda USA 09:28:32
4. Heneghan, Michelle IRL 09:50:01
1. Brownlee, Alistair GBR 07:44:16
2. McCrystal, Bryan IRL 07:09:45
3. Thomschke, Markus DEU 07:58:10
4. Metzler, Justin USA 08:08:10
5. Odeyn, Seppe BEL 08:08:45