Emma Bishop recaps the day's racing at Ironman UK

Overseas Pros Go Under the Radar in Bolton

The day started off with not even the whisper of a breeze in the air. There was an army of local pro's looking to take the title, but for the first time here in Bolton the winners came from overseas and from under the radar.

Deciding on a late entry, Aaron Farlow suffered a car accident back in November last year (our earlier reports stated it happened in February, that was incorrect). The teamTBB athlete worked himself back into racing and believes the tough training regime under coach Brett Sutton prepared him well for the battle ground today here in Bolton. 

It wasn’t all plain sailing for the Australian, though. Coming out of the swim after following bubbles around for 2.4 miles due to some very foggy goggles, it wasn’t until 175 km into the bike that Farlow was able to go into the lead.

Until that point, young Frenchman Romain Guillaume was leading. He would come close to getting the win: “I pushed hard on the bike and felt great until the third loop. Then I was not sure if I could finish and run.” After a couple of spills and scrapes on some slippery descending Guillaume did start the run, but it was from behind the new leader Farlow. 

“It really was perfect conditions today,” Farlow said. “They (the team) warned me of unpredictable conditions in England, but the weather turned out to be great for racing.”

In the ladies race it was a similar case of chasing the carrot. Diana Reisler, another aspiring athlete from the Sutton school of hard knocks, was out of the water and onto the bike course pulling away from the rest of the field. 

Reisler was looking to make amends for having to DNF in Frankfurt last week. But there were two other athletes looking to make amends for a Frankfurt DNF, too. One of those was American Desiree Ficker, who was up there and fighting away, but pulled out on the bike. The other low flying missile was the 2009 German duathlon champion, Kristin Moeller. From sixth place onto the bike, she started the run in third place. With her father in support out on the run course firing off splits, Moeller started to taste victory. “First of all I saw Yvette (2010 Champion, Yvette Grice) about 500 metres in front. I overtook her and then I was 13-mintues down from Diana.”

Those 13 minutes dwindled to 10, then eight, then six and four. “It was so hard mentally, but dad kept giving me the splits, and then I saw her in my sights and started to work harder and harder and I knew I could win.” 

“This was an amazing race for me today, a dream come true. My first time racing in the UK the support and course and volunteers was wonderful,” she says.

The final podium places in both the men’s and women’s race were taken by the popular Brits, Nick Saunders and Yvette Grice. 

The day included some spectacular time and course records. One of the most remarkable stories to come out of the day so far, because it is still early and Ironman are still being crowned, is the story of Joe Townsend racing for Team True Spirit.

He is the only above the knee double amputee athlete to ever race the full distance here in the UK. We wondered how he would do. Would he make it over the finish line, make the cut off times? 

The 26-year-old Royal Marine Commando didn't just complete the Ironman today. He tore it up, rolling home in under 13 hours with a 12:56:38. Heroic and truly inspirational.


Click on the event coverage tab on the main page of Ironman.com to check out our full day’s coverage of Ironman UK.