Rutland Running and Triathlon Club coach Zoe Smith emphatically bagged automatic qualification to next year’s Ironman World Championships at Kona in Hawaii after a simply stunning performance at Ironman Wales on Sunday.
The weather was warm and dry but very breezy in Tenby, South Wales where Smith lined up with more than 2,000 other triathletes for the 2.4 mile open water swim in Tenby bay, 112 mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile run on one of the most challenging Ironman courses in the world.
After the swim, which she completed in 1:08:14, Smith was fourth in her 30-34 age division, 19th female and 185th overall.
Smith rode hard on her bike, completing the course in 6:27:19, which moved her up to first in the age division, ninth female and 239th overall.
But Smith had left the best to last, running a sub-3:45 marathon at the end to consolidate those standings in the ladies race but also moving her up to 155th overall.
Smith’s overall time was 11:31:49 as she finished nearly 18 minutes ahead of the second place competitor in her age division, Camilla Cullum from Denmark, and 38 minutes ahead of Emma Newsome from Harrogate who finished third.
As well as being the winner of her age category she was also second fastest in the overall age-groupers
Smith’s result earned her automatic qualification for next year’s Ironman World Championships in Kona, which has been her goal all year.
Smith said: “What an emotional roller coaster of a day. I am completely lost for words, way beyond my expectations … Kona here we come.”