Congratulations to Josie Smailes who came 8th in the under 25s category in the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii finishing in an overall time of 11.00.34.
Josie, who was sponsored by Fortius, was the best of the British under 25s which gives her an automatic qualification for the 2024 Ironman World Championships taking place in New Zealand.
She said: “The support from Fortius has been absolutely invaluable in my journey, enabling me to be competitive against a truly world-class field. Whilst it was frustrating to be so close to breaking the 11 hour barrier, I am delighted with the improvement in my race performance, particularly given the relative increase in course difficulty. The course was harder than I was used to due to the hills, temperature and humidity.”
Reflecting on the race, Josie said she wasn’t in the position she hoped to be after the swim. This was partly due to only have one functioning lens in her goggles which made seeing the buoys harder. The bike ride involved a long climb including ascents of approximately 7 per cent gradient. Over 100km of the route was across an expanse of lava flows which Josie described as ‘absolutely stunning”. The run included 30km along the Queen K highway, which is the main road on the island, with no shade from the sun.
"Having spent most of the night post-race over a sick bowl and then struggling to walk properly for a couple of days after, I'm pretty confident I left as much as I could out on the course!” said Josie.
She added that she felt incredibly lucky and was grateful to Fortius to have helped her to experience one of the most renowned events in long distance racing.
“My sights are now firmly set on preparing for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships next December out in Lake Taupo, New Zealand,” she said.