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5 Things we learned from Ironman Lake Placid

No Brownlee in Nice, some breakthrough performances and more from the iconic event in the Adirondacks

Photo by: Patrick McDermott/ Getty Images for Ironman

It is the oldest Ironman event in the continental USA, celebrating 25 years in 2024, and yesterday’s race once again proved why the race set in the heart of the Adirondacks remains one of the sport’s iconic events. Here’s a few things we noticed after the big day of racing:

Erin Snelgrove’s big day

Yeah, you’d be smiling too (photo above). The Port Elgin, Ont. native put together a breakthrough performance to nail second. Just over nine minutes down after the bike, Snelgrove ran her way from fifth to the runner-up spot, finishing 5:48 behind champ Alice Alberts. Last year she took eighth at Ironman Mont-Tremblant – her race in Lake Placid offered up both a monstrous improvement in placing and a 35-minute improvement in time on arguably a tougher course. And, with two spots for Kona up for grabs for the pro women, she’ll be Kona bound, too.

Alistair Brownlee won’t be in Nice, but Joe Skipper will

Patrick McDermott/ Getty Images for Ironman

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Alistair Brownlee has been entered in a number of races over the last couple of months with the goal of getting over his injuries in time to nail a qualifying slot for the Ironman World Championship in Nice. Lake Placid was the last opportunity the British star would have, and his absence means he’ll have to skip on the race in Nice. That is a real shame because, if there ever was a course that suited Brownlee, the Nice course is it.

That said, the Nice course should bode well for Sunday’s winner, Joe Skipper, who worked his way up to the front of the race by the halfway point and pulled clear by the end of the second loop to set himself up for the win. Skipper’s 2:45 marathon was enough to hold off Ben Hoffman for the win. Skipper routinely rounds himself into good form around this time of the year, but this solid performance bodes very well for Nice, where he’ll no doubt look to try and improve on his fifth at last year’s world championship in Kona. His Bahrain Victorious 13 team feels the same way, based on this Instagram post:

Three Canadians in the top 4!

Jen Annett takes third. Photo: Patrick McDermott/ Getty Images for Ironman

While Snelgrove enjoyed a breakthrough day, Canada got to celebrate with a third-place finish from Jen Annett, while Angela Naeth, who seems to have been focussed a lot more on gravel racing of late, proved that she still has what it takes for a top Ironman finish.

We can also add two more names to the Canadian top-10 – Rach McBride (another athlete who has also enjoyed lots of gravel success over the last few years) led out of the water and would eventually finish seventh. Veronique Ranger finished ninth.

Two medals for Ben Hoffman

OK, in addition to having a great race, Ben Hoffman probably enjoyed the best finish-line welcome of the day – getting a pair of medals from his kids, who had participated in the IronKids races earlier in the week. Hoffman also nailed his spot to Nice thanks to his runner-up finish. Absolutely worth clicking on the video below!

Alice Alberts is one to watch

Patrick McDermott Getty Images for Ironman

She didn’t do her first triathlon until 2021 and turned pro a year later, quitting work as a nurse practitioner. In her first pro race she took 11th. That was at Ironman Lake Placid, where she finished 11th. A year later Alice Alberts moved up 10 spots and improved her time by over 72 minutes to take an impressive win.