Bournemouth AC‘s very own international triathlon superstar Caitlin Peers was back on the big stage again as she made the trip across the pond for the 2022 Ironman 70.3 World Championship. The event was held at St George in Utah and saw her pitting her wits against the very best in the business from all corners of the globe, over an extremely challenging course.
The race consisted of a 1.2 mile swim (or 1.93 km for anyone who works in those metrics), a 56 mile bike ride (or 90.1 km) and a half marathon run on a two loop course. The swim was a triangular shaped course in Sand Hollow Reservoir and it was a chilly start to the day with the temperature at only 3°C. The backdrop was incredible though which might have helped take their minds off the cold.
Completing the swim in 35 minutes 54 seconds, Caitlin came in 760th place out of 1,824 women and in the F25-29 division she was placed 132nd out of 205. She still had her strongest two disciplines left to go through, in the bike ride and the run so would have been hoping to move up the leader-board further as the race progressed.
The bike ride consisted of a very hilly route, incorporating 3,350ft of elevation. The views of the Snow Canyon were spectacular though which made it even more special for Caitlin as she zoomed along.
Completing the bike ride in 2 hours 54 minutes and 26 seconds, Caitlin was now 351st female and 76th in her age group. It had vastly improved her position and left her with just the run remaining once she’d gone through transition. It was still a half marathon left to go through and after three-and-a-half hours of swimming and cycling, that was no easy task.
The run started off with a climb that went on for the whole of the first two miles. Then next mile also contained some inclines as well. Then it was back down for the next three miles before embarking on the big climb again, since it was a two-loop course.
For the first loop, Caitlin was going at roughly 7 minutes per mile for most of her splits. She began to find it tougher on the way up in her second loop and her pace dropped a bit as she worked her way up to the top again.
Once she reached the 10th mile she began to pick up the pace again and got back into gear on the way back down. The last mile was also mostly uphill so again she had to dig in and grind it out. It certainly wasn’t the easiest course to end an Ironman 70.3 on.
Getting through the run in exactly 1 hour 37 minutes, Caitlin had moved up to 217th place and she ended up 53rd in her age division as well which was a fantastic result in such a high standard event. The swim, the bike ride and the run, combined together her transition times, had given Caitlin an overall time of 5 hours 13 minutes and 30 seconds.
It was a really impressive outcome for Caitlin to come 217th out of 1,824 and since she was up against some of the best triathletes from around the world, it was an achievement to be proud of. Out of the British women in the race, she was 32nd best out of 112.
American athlete Taylor Knibb was the quickest woman, finishing in 4:03:20. Paula Findley of Canada was 2nd in 4:08:57 and Emma Pallant-Browne of Great Britain was 3rd in 4:10:45. Lucy Charles-Barclay, also of Great Britain finished 4th in 4:11:24.
Norwegian Kristian Blummenfelt was the winner of the men’s race in 3:37:12, just edging him ahead of Ben Kanute of the USA who finished in 3:38:01. Magnus Ditlev of Denmark was 3rd in 3:39:52, with Mika Noordt of Germany 4th in 3:40:51.
It had been a very successful year for Caitlin in regard to triathlons after she went to Montreal for the World Triathlon Sprint & Relay Championships over the summer. In that one she came 6th in her age group and 1st Brit. She then went on to help her team finish 5th in the Mixed 20-29 Age Group Relay.
Having already qualified for the 2023 European Middle Distance Championships, Caitlin has another major tournament to look forward to next year and if she continues in the same form, there will no doubt be others.