I have been holding off on this post hoping to be able to post about Emily Loughnan and her efforts at Ironman Austria, unfortunately though she has about 10km to go and I want to go to bed, so I think I will have to save the post for tomorrow.
Currently Emily is sitting in 5th and I think she has at least that locked down safe. Susie Cheethham is in 4th and I don't think Em will pull her in, they have been running about the same pace for the last 30km and I can't see that changing. Em and Susie are both pulling in Mareen Hufe and Lisa Huetthaler who are currently sitting in 2nd and 3rd respectively and while they are making up ground I don't think they are making it up quick enough. Susie is currently 10 minutes back from 3rd and Emily is about 14 minutes. Unless something catastrophic was to befall Mareen or Lisa (which nobody wants to see) I can't see either of them pulling in that much territory unfortunately. Emma Pallant is still pretty in 1st and running really, really well, nobody is going to stop her from here (she now has just over 5km to go).
Having said all that, the 36.5km split just came up and it looks like Pallant has either slowed down or Hufe and Huetthaler have made a massive move, either way the top three are suddenly a lot closer. Could be anyone's race from there. Very exciting. In fact Hufe has just made the pass back. What a battle, very gutsy racing at this late stage of the Ironman.
Assuming nothing changes, 5th in her Professional Ironman debut is nothing to sneeze at, particularly given the depth of the field she is racing in. I know less talented athletes who have better results, but typically they are in weaker fields. Emily has gone and raced some of the best in the world on their own turf and has held her own, which makes this performance even more impressive. Aussies don't often do well racing long course in Europe and so I would count a 5th place there as a real success.
We will see what the final results reveal in the morning, but if Emily comes in 5th I think this will be the herald of bigger things to come. I think we will be seeing podiums from her in no time.