After a stellar year in 2017, Emma Pallant opened her 2018 season with a second place at IM70.3 South Africa. She crossed the finish line in 4:34:21. Jeanni Seymour (RSA; 4:32:23) took the win after a hard fought battle with Emma on the run. Judith Vaquera (ESP; 4:44:24) claimed 3rd place.
Raced to win
Emma Pallant toed the line in South Africa to kick of the season for the BMC-Vifit Sport Pro Triathlon Team. Pallant started the day with an average swim. A crash at the back end of last year sidelined her from swimming for a few weeks and showed its impact in the opening discipline. Jeanni Seymour took the lead in the swim, exiting the water in 26:38, to take a lead of 1'30" over Judith Vacquera, with the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship Silver medallist, Emma Pallant, trailing in 3rd almost three minutes down from the lead.
On the bike, Pallant immediately took over control of 2nd place and tried to close down the gap towards the front of the race. At the turn point after 45k, the British athlete had managed to reduce that gap slighthly to 2’09". But Seymour responded in the second half on the bike, leaving the BMC-Vifit Sport athlete with a 2:50 gap to try and close down during the half marathon. Vaquera folloed in third, but alreay 4 minutes behind Pallant.
But Emma decided to give her all in the run and she definitely did. In the first 6k the British athlete managed to close down the gap to 54". She kept digging deep and halfway through the run the difference was only 12”. With such fast pace it was waiting for the inevitable pass, but Seymour started matching the pace of Emma and even ran away again. Pallant gave her all to close down that gap but just ran out of steam after her incredible surge in the first half of the run. Pallant had the faster run split (1:23:51), but Seymour (1:24:44) had got her tactics spot on and Pallant had to settle for excellent 2nd place.
Afterwards Emma looked back at her race with a satisfied feeling.
”I’m happy with my race considering my preparation over the last 5 weeks. The race was super tough and I loved the course. I came off the bike knowing I was safe in 2nd, so gave it my all to put in a chase and make a race of it with Jeanni. I suffered big time for this in the final kilometers but glad I gave it a crack and now looking forward to a big block of training back with my coach in Spain."