Cambridge's Candice Hammond won her first Ironman race at the weekend, producing a fantastic run to claim the honours at the MetaMan event at Bintan Island near Singapore.
In super hot and humid conditions, the 27-year-old finished the race in nine hours, 31 minutes and eight seconds, more than nine minutes clear of the nearest woman in a strong field.
Hammond was sixth, the last of the professionals, out of the water in 01:02:59, before going 05:05:50 on the bike to get up to third place, then her fabulous run of 03:20:21, which was more than eight minutes quicker than the next fastest run time, took her to victory.
Australian Belinda Granger finished second in 09:40:16, having come out of the water second and blitzing the field on the bike, before being run down.
The 41-year-old has won 14 Ironmans and has competed at the world championships in Hawaii 10 times, as well as being inducted into the Australian Ironman Hall of Fame.
Other professionals Hammond beat in the event were Hungarian Erika Csomor (fourth at the world championships in 2008 and winner of this year's Ironman Switzerland), Czech Republic's Lucie Reed Zelenkova (winner of Ironman South Africa 2009 and Challenge Barcelona 2010), as well as German Katja Rabe and Auckland's Belinda Harper (age-group world champion in 2010).
Hammond, a former rower, has only been competing in Ironman events for a couple of years.
Earlier this year she placed fourth at Challenge Wanaka and third at Ironman Cairns following wins at the Karapiro and New Plymouth Half Ironmans last year.
For her efforts, Hammond came away with (US) $15,000.
Meanwhile, Hamilton triathlete Mikayla Nielsen finished second in the elite women's section at the ITU Continental Cup sprint race in Tahiti on Sunday, despite struggling with a back problem.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Were the Chiefs robbed at the New Zealand rugby awards?Related story: (See story)