Kim Morrison and Emma Pallant impress in the bike and run, but Daniella Ryf manages to take out the win at Dubau 70.3.
At seven o’clock, around 25 pros lined up for their start at Jumeirah Public Beach, then at just 7:03m, they were off!
Lucy Charles impresses in the swim
Lucy Charles is the woman to beat in the water, so it comes as no surprise she had created a clean lead of 35 seconds as she raced into the first transition with a swim time of 00:26:07. Aussie Ellie Salthouse was next, and just three seconds behind was the Kona Champion, Swiss Daniela Ryf. All eyes were on Ryf, waiting for her to break away and replicate the ferocious races she’s known for.
Kimberly Morrison astounds on the bike
After an underwhelming swim leg, finishing in 00:28:33, Britain’s Kimberly Morrison seemed to be out of the race, until the bike. As Ryf and Salthouse took the lead, Morrison put her head down and got to work.
By 8am, Morrison’s work was paying off. “I noticed some camera bikes in the distance with two cyclists, and I knew I hadn’t seen Daniela or Ellie Salthouse yet. They appeared to be getting closer and closer so my motivation grew and grew,” Morrison wrote after the event.
As Ryf and Salthouse continued to battle it out, little did they know Morrison was gaining on them, then suddenly she was in the lead. “I was at the front of the race with the camera zooming in on my number and then in my face! I was so ecstatic; yes I did cry a little! This was feeling absolutely awesome, this is what I dream off, cycling up to the front of the race,” wrote Morrison. The excitement propelled her onwards, and she pedalled into T2 together with Ryf, the pair having created a one minute gap between themselves and Salthouse. “On our way home on the 90.1km out-and-back course it felt like Daniela put some extra power down. I was happy with this and stuck with the pressure,” Morrison remembered.
Emma Pallant’s podium hopes during incredible run
As Morrison surged forwards through the run in first place, she left the other women in her dust and it seemed she couldn’t be beaten, until the 12km mark. She slipped back to third, but maintained her pace of 4:10/km. With just 7km to go, the other women known for their running prowess had slowly made their way passed Morrison, and she was sitting in eighth place. “After all my efforts it would be disappointing to finish outside the top-10, but this was about me and my running. I couldn’t race the other girls, I was running at my potential at this time. Holding this pace together was going to be close to PB pace,” wrote Morrison.
If Morrison was the mover and shaker of the bike leg, Emma Pallant was the key mover in the run. She’d entered T2 in tenth place, yet made her way to fourth by the finish line with the fastest run time of 01:18:21! This incredible effort saw her miss out on the podium by less than a minute. After a fierce race and an incredible run, Daniela Ryf took out first with a finish time of 4:01:40, Aussie Ellie Salthouse was second with a time of 4:04:05, and Sarah Crowley of Australia came in third in 04:06:23.
Pallant said later “I am happy with my race and my 4th place finish. After missing the bike pack, I had to tough it out today and try to stay in contention on the bike to finish with a strong run. We worked hard over the last few weeks to optimize my nutrition plan and it worked so well today. So there are lots of positives to take out of today’s race.”