These girls can – British females dominated the podium at Ironman 70.3 South Africa last weekend, with Jodie Swallow claiming her fifth win in a row, followed by Susie Cheetham and Parys Edwards.
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Swallow swooped through the swim to take a commanding lead of 2mins over Emma Bilham (GBR) by T1, with Lucie Reed (CZE) a further nine seconds behind. Swallow was first onto the bike, followed by Bilham, Reed, Susie Cheetham (GBR) and Lynette Van Der Merwe (RSA). A second group headed out onto the bike that included Parys Edwards (GBR), Andrea Steyn (RSA) and Jeanni Seymour (RSA).
With Swallow in such a commanding position the real question was would she break the course record. Although she made things look easy throughout the day, she admitted that it was one of the tougher races she’s had on the course.
Two lovely British saffas to share the podium with @susiehignett @parysedwardstri . pleasure x pic.twitter.com/RmKsLAtmxc
— Jodie Swallow (@jodieswallow) January 25, 2015
Swallow finished in 4:30:53, breaking the course record by nearly four minutes to take her fifth consecutive Ironman 70.3 South Africa title. Susie Cheetham finished second nearly 11 minutes back in 4:41:48, while Parys Edward completed the British clean sweep in a time of 4:47:44.
In the men’s race, last year’s Ironman Wales winner Matt Trautman left the water with a tiny lead over fellow South Africans Kyle Buckingham and Stuart Marais. Two minutes back was Bart Aernouts (BEL), followed by Gerhard de Bruin (RSA) and Cyril Viennot (FRA).
The South African trio of Trautman, Buckingham and Marais headed out onto the bike with mere seconds separating them. The lead continued to change hands until the 4 km turnaround, when Trautman took a slight lead. Further back, Aernouts and Viennot made up some time, bridging the gap to just over a minute from the front three.
Trautman was first into T2 with a bike split of 2:46:10, the fastest of the day. Marais followed in second (2:46:12), while Aernouts (2:49:19) and Viennot (2:49:21) managed to get ahead of Buckingham (2:51:01) who slowed towards the end of the 90km ride.
Trautman and Marais continued their tussle on the run as the lead changed between them a few times. Going at an almost identical pace, and with no one giving an inch, an exciting finish was on the cards. Not until the 16km mark did Trautman move ahead, eventually winning by a minute and a half in 4:04:34, with Marais in second in 4:06:03. Bart Aernouts rounded out the top three in 4:11:36.