Pembroke Athleta and National Team triathlete Hannah Pace stormed to victory in her Age Group at today’s Ironman 70.3 race in Budapest, Hungary in what was Pace’s first foray in endurance racing. Pace’s result, in a hotly contested and highly competitive age group also saw her qualify for a coveted place at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Australia.
Although cautious due to the fact that this was her first endurance race experience, Pace’s recent improvement in swimming paid off, resulting in her being the third female to exit the from the 1.9km swim in Kopaszi bay, taking the better of some of the pro athletes racing the course.
With a course battered with fairly strong winds, the weather conditions did little to hamper Pace’s progress as she tackled the flat, 90km cycle route. The nature of the bike course ensured that the race would be a very fast one, where the average speeds of 34.6km/h were reached.
Transitioning into the run segment, Pace was still leading strong and ahead of some of the female pro triathletes. Pace’s lack of experience in this type of race saw her start the 21km run segment a bit faster than should have but nevertheless Pace held her own to be the first in her Age Group.
Pace’s time saw her break the female National Record for an Ironman 70.3 race.
“I am still overwhelmed with today’s result. This is my first attempt at endurance racing, and whilst I was hoping for a good result, placing first in Age Group was not expected” said Hannah Pace, prior to the Race Prize Giving ceremony. “I am grateful for the support my Club Pembroke Athleta give me and most of all grateful to my coach Dermot Galea, who inspired me to follow in his footsteps”.
Pace’s participation was made possible through Garmin Malta, cfragrances.com, Go&Fun and Mochika Outdoor Sports.
Participating in the Ironman 70.3 Budapest race were fellow Maltese athletes Josef Bonavia, Kenneth Camilleri, Nicholas Micallef, Kevin Muscat, Victor Sammut, Fabio Spiteri and George Vella.
Maria Vella Galea