Okay, so as expected Emily Loughnan did end up crossing the line in 5th last night at Ironman Austria. Awesome, awesome result.
In the end the results chopped and changed a little in the final 5km of the run, after I had finished the blog last night. Emma Pallant ended up fading back to third place after leading for much of the run leg. It just shows how cruel a mistress Ironman racing can be, Pallant had looked the goods for most of the run and only faded right at the end, apparently due to the heat. Her fade cost her about 5 minutes though and in that caliber of field that is all the time in the world. Very tough for Pallant, although a real credit to Mareen Hufe and Lisa Huetthaler for well paced and executed races.
Back to Emily though. In the end Emily held on for 5th place only about 15 minutes back from the win, which in the Ironman world is actually pretty close. Also impressive was Emily's run leg which was a 3:08 for the marathon, giving her the fastest run leg in the women's field. That is quite an achievement. 2nd out of the water, fastest run, these are the makings of a champion. Emily lost about 20 minutes to Hufe and Huetthaler on the bike which is where the damage was really done, but if she can work to close down that gap then the world will be her oyster.
Needless to say I am pretty impressed by the result and I think it is the pre-cursor to big things to come. It wasn't quite the roaring burst onto the scene she would have got if she had been awarded the win at Busselton 70.3, but I think this was still a subtle warning to people of what she is capable of. After all, in the field at Austria there were women who have finished right at the pointy end of Kona and she raced right up there with them. Pretty cool.
I am not sure what is next on the plan for Emily, but I will be watching with excitement. I won't be alone either, I was watching the event on the Ironman Facebook live stream last night and there were quite a few other Western Australians also tuned in, all there to watch Emily race. There is a tangible feeling around the triathlon scene in Perth that she is going to go and achieve some big things. Can't wait.