FROM ITU TO IRONMAN
How Britain’s previous ITU world championship winners have fared at Ironman
01 SPENCER SMITH
Two-time ITU world champ Smith’s fifth at Kona in 1998 was the British record for nearly 20 years, but his wings were clipped by an erroneous nandrolone test and a subsequent 17-month court case. He returned to Hawaii to finish eighth in 2000 and would later win Ironmans in Florida and Brazil.
02 SIMON LESSING
Lessing won both the ITU Long Distance Worlds and Nice Triathlon during his shortcourse career, but he wouldn’t focus fully on Ironman until after the 2002 Commonwealths. The four-time ITU world champ would break the course record at Ironman Lake Placid, but his ventures in Hawaii both ended with DNFs.
03 TIM DON
Don made his Ironman debut with a victory in Mallorca in 2014. After a season of winning 70.3 races in 2015, he’d finish 15th on his Kona debut that year. A Kona DNF followed in 2016 before he’d break the Ironman record at Brazil in 2017. He looked set for Kona success until a car hit him before the 2017 race. Remarkably, he finished 36th in 2018.
04 LEANDA CAVE
The Welsh star is one of the most decorated triathletes in history. She won the ITU Worlds in 2002 and the ITU Long Distance Worlds in 2007, before 2012 saw her take victory at the 70.3 Worlds and then Hawaii.