After two-years of anticipation, over 1500 athletes and thousands of supporters alike descended to Weymouth as the fifth edition of the sold-out IRONMAN 70.3 Weymouth returned. With striking landscapes and beautiful weather, the Jurassic Coast lived up to its reputation as athletes enjoyed spectacular coastlines and the stunning Dorset countryside along the route.
On a beautiful morning on Weymouth beach, athletes began the 1.2-mile swim in the calm waters at Weymouth Bay. As athletes left transition, they started the 56-mile bike route, throughout the course, athletes enjoyed the rolling Dorset Countryside up North to King’s Stag and back to Weymouth via the towns of Godmanstone and Dorchester. Finally, athletes put on their running shoes and took on a two-and-a-half lap 21.1km run course along the beachfront and esplanade before coming back down again to finish at the The Weymouth Pavilion.
“Well done to all the athletes that took part in the event today. It felt good to be back racing in Weymouth, the local support from business and spectators is amazing and we look forward to returning every year. This year the atmosphere was incredible and the whole team worked hard to ensure that we gave athletes a memorable racing experience,” said Dean Smith, IRONMAN 70.3 Weymouth Race Director.
Cllr Ray Bryan, Dorset Council’s Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment said, “It’s great to see IRONMAN back in Dorset for this prestigious event, which attracts athletes from across the world and gives our local athletes an opportunity to compete on home soil. This is a valuable event for our local economy and showcases our magnificent county to the thousands of sports enthusiasts who are part of the IRONMAN family.”
Stephen Derrett finished the day with his first IRONMAN 70.3 Weymouth win with a time of 04:12:47. He said; “I’m absolutely ecstatic, I fought so hard. I was in the lead at the start of the run, and I knew there were faster runners behind me, so I really went for it! The bike is my strongest discipline and once I got first place as I arrived at transition of the bike, I wasn’t letting it go!”
Joining Derrett as the IRONMAN 70.3 Weymouth champion was Rosie Weston winning IRONMAN 70.3 Weymouth before she goes pro next year, “I felt good on the swim, the bike was tough and I started to lag towards the end of the run but the crowds kept me going. When you’re struggling the volunteer and crowd cheers keep you going!” Weston finished with an impressive time of 04:41:41.