Karen Smith and Louise Wells endured differing fortunes while competing in the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Nice, France, today.
The pair were among 6,000 participants, made up of the very best elite athletes and the most-committed age-group competitors from around the world, to converge on the French Riviera, for a course featuring a 1.2-mile swim in the pristine waters of the Mediterranean Sea and challenging 56-mile bike course and a 13.1-mile run course along Nices historic Promenade des Anglais waterfront.
Competing in the womens 45 to 49 age group, Wells crossed the line in a respectable 46th out of 240 competitors in a total time of 5hr 43min 15sec.
Exiting the water in 120th position, in a time of 38:22, Wells made up a lot of ground on the bike, climbing up to 41st position ahead of the final transition into the run.
Despite a spirited run, Wells found herself being caught by a number of athletes to ultimately take 46th position in her age group. She also finished 502nd out of the 1,778 women competing.
It proved a more frustrating event for Karen Smith, who ultimately could not finish the race because of an injury to her thigh, having completed the first two disciplines.
Exiting the water after 34:32, Smith struggled through the bike discipline, finishing in 3:28:08, before sharp pains in my inner thigh ultimately took their toll at the final transition.
Not wanting to risk further injury, Smith did not undertake the run, and as a result did not record an official time, ended up with a did not finish classification.