EMMA-Kate Lidbury earned her first Ironman 70.3 title with victory in the Thomas Cook-sponsored Majorca event.

The Oxford-based triathlete, 31, took the lead on the bike section and held on to cross the line in 4hours 33mins 18secs – 32 seconds ahead of Hungary’s Erika Csomor.

“To say I’m pleased is an understatement,” said Lidbury.

Lidbury was second after the 1.2-mile swim, which she completed in 24mins 55secs.

She went ahead about 60km into the 56-mile bike course, clocking 2.35.43 and a 1.28.06 half marathon saw her home.

Lidbury, who is a former Oxford Mail reporter, said: “I knew there were some nifty runners behind me, so the run was going to involve some serious work – both mentally and physically.

“There have been so many occasions in the past when I have come into transition two (T2) in the lead or in a strong position and have faded, lacked confidence in my running and not achieved the result I’m capable of.

“The fact there were so many Brits racing also meant there was a huge contingent of British supporters who were terrific at giving me splits, cheers and high fives each lap.

“The energy I took from the crowd was awesome. It makes a massive difference.

“On the final lap I knew the girls in second and third were closing the gap and I knew if I didn’t dive into the hurt locker and shift things up a gear that I could lose a race which was so very nearly mine.

“As I made my way into the last kilometre and towards the finish chute I could see I was clear and would take the win.”

Germany’s Silvia Felt finished third in 4.34.04, while Andreas Raelert, another German, took the men’s title in 3.53.07.

Lidbury’s first Ironman 70.3 title comes after her victory at TriStar St Nevis and top ten finish in the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon.

She added: “Now it’s time for some recovery before Switzerland 70.3 on June 5 then UK 70.3 on June 19.”

  • OXFORD Tri Club, with whom Lidbury first took up the sport, are organising open water swims to help competitors prepare for the Blenheim Triathlon on June 4 and 5.

The Saturday sessions at Dorchester-on-Thames lake, cost £15 and swimmers need to arrive by 7.55am to get ready.

For further information, contact openwaterswimming@oxfordtri.co.uk.