Triathlon: Caroline Livesey delighted with first Ironman podium as professional

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Triathlete Caroline Livesey believes her performance at one of the toughest Ironman races in the world will act as a springboard to further success on the professional circuit.

In only her second crack at the ultimate triathlon distance as a professional, Livesey finished in third place at the Lanzarote Ironman event last week.

She finished the endurance race in 10 hours 31.56 minutes, just over half an hour behind runaway winner Diana Riesler of Germany.

It was only the 23rd time in 25 years a female athlete from Britain has made it onto the podium in an Ironman event.

And after finishing the South Africa Ironman - her first Ironman as a professional – in 12th in January, Livesey was delighted to have proven her form with a first podium place.

She said: “Lanzarote is notoriously the hardest Ironman on the circuit, with over 2,500 metres of incline on the bike route, so this result is really nice to have. It backs up what I have done and shows I have the capability I always knew I had.

“It has definitely given me a lot of confidence. I finished 12th in South Africa, and that was a really strange race. I went into that slight lacking in confidence of where I was terms of training. But my attitude was much better going in Lanzarote and hopefully this is a spring board for me and I can take that through to Ironman UK in Bolton.”

After finishing the 2.4mile swim in 10th place, the Summerbridge athlete battled her way into the top three in the cycle leg.

The 36-year-old, who was the only Briton to be crowned an All World Champion in her final year as an amateur last year, then held off pressure from Taiwan athlete Shiao-yu Li to seal a place on the podium.

She clocked 58.47 for the mammoth swim before an impressive time of 5.59.25 on the cycle.

Despite having already competed for seven hours, she then timed 3.25.52 on foot for the final marathon.

The windy weather in Lanzarote had made for a difficult assignment for all of the athletes tackling the steep hills of the gruelling cycle ride.

And, while admitting the weather had caused apprehension in the days leading up to the race, Livesey found the trek on two wheels easier than expected.

Her cycle was the fourth fastest cycle of all the competitors and she attributed her mental sharpness to her preparation on the back roads around Nidderdale.

She said: “Living and training where we are in Yorkshire makes you mentally tough as well as physically tough. It was no different to the training we do out here.

“A lot of the other girls might have found that they were being mentally worn down by the hills, but I really enjoyed the bike and I came out with on of the fastest times.

“I think it helped that I kept catching people, it gave me more motivation to keep pushing.”

The triathlete has yet to decide whether she will take part in a half-ironman race in Scandanavia next month, a race which would act as preparation for the United Kingdom Ironman in Bolton in July.