Skipper had a good all round performance with a 0:53:11 swim, 4:25:10 bike section and 2:45:50 run, which saw him advance from 7th after the bike to take the 2nd place, ahead of the fading Millward who finished in 3rd with a time of 8:10:56.
Skipper finished 1:39 behind the winner Cameron Brown, who has now won the event 12 times and, at the age of 43, has extended his own world record as the oldest winner of any Ironman race.
“That was the toughest. And aside from that first win here, this would have to go down as the best,” says Brown. “I’m a couple of months shy of my 44th birthday so to win this for a 12 time, and set a new course record is incredibly special. The conditions were perfect. I had my best swim and my best bike times ever. I was pushed so hard by Callum (Millward) and I am really suffering but this means so much to me.”
Despite rating her chances of competing in Ironman New Zealand as minimal due to injuries when she boarded the plane a month ago Lucy Gossage put in a sterling performance to finish 2nd behind the winner in a time of 9:05:07
“I had a very decent swim for me [0:55:44],” she says. “I rode better than ever and didn’t let a puncture 20 miles into the race play with my head too much (in fact maybe it made my day – never before has the phrase ‘the only pace is suicide pace’ seem more apt). I was angry from that point on, having ridden myself up from 11th to 6th and then ended up back in 12th and my riding reflected this! Apparently I ended up with the bike course record [4:51:38] despite the puncture”
“Meredith is a bit of a hero of mine and I’m more than happy to come second behind such a gracious legend,” she says. “I went into the race not really certain whether or not I would finish and certainly didn’t expect to end up on the podium.”A run in 3:12:10 meant she finished nine minutes behind Meredith Kessler who completed the course in 8:56:07, which beat her own course record by nearly 10 minutes.