Summerbridge athlete Caroline Livesey reflected on a surreal year after capping her first year as a professional Ironman competitor with a fifth-place finish in Bahrain.
Livesey has made her mark in the Ironman world over the last 12 months and has raced on to the podium three times at world standard events.
In a strong field in Bahrain over the weekend, the engineer again performed above her experience level to finish fifth – despite only choosing to compete in the race in a last minute decision.
Dangerous winds cancelled the opening stage of the race and Livesey took advantage to move ahead of her rivals in a fast cycling leg of 2:23:24.
Finishing with a half marathon run of 1:32:52, Livesey completed the race less than three minutes under the four-hour mark.
“I was really chuffed. It’s been a fabulous season,” said Livesey.
“It wasn’t ideal that the swim was cancelled because you train for a triathlon and want to compete in a triathlon. But it probably played into my hands.
“I didn’t lose as much time as I normally would against the people in the swim
Swiss sensation Daniela Ryf won the race to claim the richest prize in triathlon – the million-dollar triple crown of races in the Middle East.
Ryf was only 16 minutes faster than Livesey over the 90km cycle but extended her lead to almost 30 minutes in the run, finishing in 3:28:20.
The competition offered double points towards the 36-year-old’s bid to qualify for next year’s World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.
Livesey has already secured more than 1,000 qualification points, but must collect 4,500 more by August to reach October’s Championships.
On her first year racing as professional, Livesey reflected: “To have three podiums and a top five at a regional event, that’s four solid results on a world class stage.
“I’m over the moon. I never would have thought it possible. It just proves that when you put your mind to something, you can do anything.
“I’m really excited for next year and hope that I can build on this success.”