The final IRONMAN race in Wales this season kicked off in Tenby with a one of the most goosebump inducing and electric swim starts in the Global IRONMAN calendar.
Athletes lined up along the zig-zigs at North Beach as the Welsh National anthem bellowed out into the sea.
As a special surprise athletes were joined by the Army Red Devils as they skydived into the sea before the race began. A true spectacle added to an already impressive swim start. Fire, smoke cannons and fireworks lined the athlete run into the water as the race got underway.
The 2.4-mile swim course with an Aussie exit, where the morning water temperature reading was 18.3 degrees Celsius, was then followed by the infamous pink bag run up the zig zags.
At the only race in the world where athletes are allowed to put on their running trainers to head up the 1km run to transition, it’s a true spectacle.
The two-loop 112-mile bike course then takes athletes through the scenic countryside of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, followed by the four-loop 26.2-mile run course which ends along the esplanade with thousands of spectators willing athletes home.
The run in to the finish line is a feeling like no other.
Crossing the line first was age group athlete Alexander Milne (Great Britain), who finished with a time of 09:39:45.
Alexander said: “Finally I get an overall win, you can’t ask for anymore! Massive shoutout
to everyone in Tenby, all around the course, you made it so much easier than it could’ve been.”
He continued: “I was secretly hoping for a really hard one! I’ll have to come back next year.”
The PRO female race concluded with fan favourite Nikki Bartlett crossing the line for her first victory at IRONMAN Wales, who finished with a time of 09:52:09.
Nikki said: “You guys are amazing! This place is incredible, this is probably one of the best days of my life. It means a lot, it’s my first win in the UK on home soil.”
She continued: “What a day, what a place, the people make this what it is. It’s the best race in the world!”
IRONMAN Wales results:
- Nikki Bartlett (GBR) – 09:52:09
- Heini Hartikainen (FIN) – 10:15:22
- Johanna Ahrens (GER) – 10:30:21
Top Age Group Men
- Alexander Milne (GBR) – 09:39:45
- William Davey (GBR) – 09:45:24
- Lewis Eccleston (GBR) – 09:51:34
Top Age Group Women
- Sabrina Roth (GER) – 10:45:41
- Princess Maddison Shaddick (GBR) – 11:03:02
- Emily Marchant (GBR) – 11:06:00
IRONMAN Wales 2024 will return to Tenby on Sunday 22 September, with general entry tickets going on sale on Thursday 7 September.
(Lead image: Huw Fairclough for IRONMAN UK)
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