After getting married earlier this year, Great Britain’s Emma Pallant makes South Africa home these days, which is why we haven’t had a chance to see her compete very much over the last little bit – South African athletes have been dealing with some major restrictions when it comes to travel. Last month the former 70.3 worlds runner-up (photo above) took an impressive win at the PTO-supported South African National Championships, and today we all got a chance to see that the result was as good as it seemed.
Pallant cruised to a four-minute win over a strong field at Ironman 70.3 Florida – the only time she wasn’t at the front of the race was through the swim, which was led by American Sonja Catano, who has a draft-legal race background. Pallant came out of the water just over a minute behind, but was already three-minutes up on the swim leader by the 20 km point of the ride.
After a few tough swims through her early season races, American Heather Jackson fared better today, but was still three-minutes down starting the ride. She’d managed to gain some time on Pallant through that first 20 km on the bike and trailed by 1:36 in second. but wouldn’t gain much more time through the rest of the ride. Coming off the bike Pallant was in first, 1:43 ahead of Jackson and over six minutes up on American’s Mollie Hebda, Lesley Smith and Lisa Becharas.
Pallant’s obvious fitness and always-strong running capabilities made the win pretty much a foregone conclusion – she stayed out in front and was never threatened as she cruised to the win in 4:18:48. Smith would use the days fastest run (1:24:13) to take second (4:23:05) with Jackson fading on the run to r0und out the podium in 4:27:42. Hebda would take fourth (4:31:57) while Great Britain’s Simone Mitchell finished fifth (4:33:17).
You can find all the pro women’s results here.