ATHLETICS: Maiden 70.3 title win for Eimear

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PORTSTEWART triathlete Eimear Mullan has scooped her maiden 70.3 Ironman title win after she stormed to victory at the recent Wimbleball Lake event in England.

Eimear, who finished second last year, held off pre-race local favorites Emma-Kate Lidbury and Lucy Gossage to seal the biggest win of her career to date.

After a slow start in the swim she put her foot down to blitz the quickest female bike split and quickest run spilt of the day. Lidbury was in the second lead pack out of the swim and had four minutes on Mullan as she started the bike. But, despite Lidbury’s notable biking strength, it was not enough to catch the speeding Mullan and she had to settle for second place.

Rounding out the female podium was Swiss Simone Braendli. First out of the swim, Lidbury and Braendli were neck and neck after the bike and it came down to a little extra in the Lidbury legs that gave the edge over chasing Braendli.

“Wimbleball is an amazing race,” said Eimear. “I love it because it’s truly testing course and there’s nowhere to hide. I drove the course the day before the race and it looked harder than I remembered. I decided not to look at the run course as I didn’t want to scare myself.

“When people talk about the race they always mention how hard the bike course is with its 52 hills in 56 miles and the gradient of the hills. Not too many people mention that the run course is pure brutal, with varying terrain, testing little hills and a monster climb every lap.

“I had every belief that I was there to at least try to win but really you never know what’s going to happen or how things will play out until you are actually doing it. This race certainly didn’t play out the way I or anyone else would have thought.

“The feeling when I turned that corner and saw the red carpet and finish chute was unreal. It was so good to win after being so close last year.”