Ironman World Championships: Lucy Charles second on debut

Lucy Charles celebrates on the finish line
Lucy Charles is a former professional swimmer and only learned to ride a bike in 2014

Britain's Lucy Charles finished second on her professional debut at the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii.

The 24-year-old was leading for much of the ultra-triathlon but was caught by Daniela Ryf from Switzerland at the end of the 112-mile bike ride.

Ryf went on to win her third consecutive World Championship.

David McNamee secured a podium position in the men's race - his third place was the best-ever finish for a British male.

Charles started the race quickly and by the end of the 2.4-mile swim she and American Lauren Brandon enjoyed a three-minute lead on the rest of the field.

There were tough conditions for the athletes with temperatures of 40C and strong cross winds.

Charles maintained her lead towards the end of the cycle stage but she finished the 26.2-mile run almost nine minutes behind Ryf in a time of eight hours, 59 minutes 38 seconds.

"At the start of the year, I didn't think I'd be on the start line of this race," Charles said. "If anyone told me this morning I'd come in second, I would have laughed. My partner told me I'd be on the podium, but I didn't believe him. I think I need to start believing in myself as much as he does."

David McNamee
David McNamee (left) finished third in Hawaii

In the men's race, German Patrick Lange set a new course record to win in 8:01.40. Canadian Lionel Sanders managed to hold off Scotland's McNamee for second place.

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