Hawaii World Championships slot for iron(wo)man Jo

FOR Jo Gorrod, ‘never again’ has quickly turned into targeting ironman’s biggest race.

Jo Gorrod has qualified for the 2022 Ironman World Championships in Hawaii Picture: JON GUEGAN
Jo Gorrod has qualified for the 2022 Ironman World Championships in Hawaii Picture: JON GUEGAN

She was part of a strong contingent from Jersey taking part in Ironman Italy last weekend, and the shorter 70.3 (miles) held the next day.

In her first crack at the distance – a 3.8km swim, 180km bike and 42.2km run – Gorrod was the fifth fastest woman overall and first in her 50-54 age group, in a time of 10hr 17min 52sec.

It means she has a qualification spot for the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii, in 2022.

‘To win my age group, come fifth overall, you can’t ask for more than that, and to get into the ten hours,' she said.

‘I said on Saturday I wasn’t going to do it again, but I’m probably going to go to Kona.

‘The support all around the cause was fantastic, that was something we were apprehensive about, that there wouldn’t be as many spectators allowed because of Covid, that it would be muted, but it was great, people were out there.

Gorrod began with fellow Jersey triathlete Della Roderick, a stronger swimmer who put in a fantastic opening leg of just under one hour to come out the water second, before eventually finishing 40th in their age group in 11.32.36.

‘I hung onto her feet until the first buoy and then she pulled away a little bit. I thought I’m not going to go with her at that point, I knew what effort I needed,’ said Gorrod.

Ten minutes in and she felt strong and pushed on, finishing the swim leg in 1.01.32.

Then came a 1km run just to get through transition before the bike leg.

‘The bike course is incredibly flat with one challenging hill on each lap, but that’s probably ten minutes in a five-and-a-half hour bike,’ she said.

At around 40km she was worried she had overcooked it but in the end it all went to plan, even with battling against a slight headwind on the last section into the town when Gorrod said all she wanted to do was get off the bike.

‘I had no mechanical [problems], no crash, no major incidents, so you can’t ask for more than that,’ said Gorrod.

‘That’s the section where most things that are outside of your control can go wrong.’

While she eventually crossed the line third, two competitors who started in later waves subsequently bumped her down the finishing order.

‘That was a bit frustrating,’ she said.

In the 70.3, Wayne Quenault was the top Jersey performer, finishing in 4.33.44 for 31st overall.

Full story in Friday's JEP.

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