Buckingham finishes second in Brazil Ironman
Leading Port Elizabeth triathlete Kyle Buckingham said he was thrilled to have come second in the Ironman South American championship in Florianopolis, Brazil on Sunday.
Buckingham, 32, who came out of the water in 14th position and fought his way back into second place, eventually finished with a time of eight hours, five minutes and 43 seconds.
Brazil is one of the fastest courses on the circuit and produces low times every year, but this year’s incredible performance from Great Britain’s Tim Don shattered the world record by four minutes.
The seasoned professional triathlete clocked a blazing 7:40:23, crushing the Ironman world record of 7:44 set by Lionel Sanders in November last year.
With so many top athletes at this race, Buckingham said he was not surprised the world record had been smashed.
“It was going to happen at some point. We had tough conditions in the rain but sometimes when it’s a bit chilly you can push a bit harder,” he said.
“The course was great – it’s pretty flat for most of the bike ride, but a lovely course to cycle.
“The run in the beginning was super tough with some steep hills, but then it got a bit flatter. That’s when I started to push.
“I’m over the moon with my result coming second.”
He said he would now rest for a month as he had been training and competing since December last year.
After the break, the Ironman Lake Placid winner will get back into training mode to prepare for the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii in October. As part of his preparations, Buckingham will take part in two half-Ironman races in the US.
The Mandela Bay Development Agency congratulated Buckingham on his performance.
“This is an amazing result for our ambassador of Route 67, Nelson Mandela Bay’s iconic tourism and heritage trail,” MBDA marketing and communications manager Luvuyo Bangazi said yesterday. “With every podium exposure Kyle gets, the City and Route 67 win, because wherever he goes, Kyle carries the flag for Nelson Mandela Bay, with Route 67 imprinted on his chest.
“With our City preparing to host the 2018 Ironman 70.3 World Championships, every bit of exposure goes a long way to enticing international athletes to make the long trip down to Nelson Mandela Bay”.
On the women’s side, Britain’s Susie Cheetham set a course record on her way to winning the title in 8:52:00.
In her Ironman debut, Canada’s Magali Tisseyre ran herself into the top 10 in 9:09:49.