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Britta Martin 4th in Ironman France

Nelson triathlete Britta Martin has just achieved the best result in her career, finishing fourth in the women’s field in Ironman France yesterday.

Proudly sporting the logo of Nelson sports clothing company Tineli, Martin crossed the line just two minutes outside of the medals, after holding the third spot on two occasions during the race, which drew 2500 competitors and was watched by an estimated 80,000 spectators in the tourist playground of Nice.

Martin completed the 3.8km swim in ninth spot, 12 minutes behind early leader Johanna Daumas of France and five minutes adrift of 2009 winner Tine Deckers of Belgium.

Martin was hot on the heels of 2008 winner, Frenchwoman Alexandra Louison as they moved out on to the hilly 180km bike circuit in the Nice hinterland. Ironman is a cat and mouse game and by the 110km mark Martin had moved into third as she went on to record the second fastest bike split of 5hr 17min.

As the run started Martin was in a good spot, but Louison and Erika Csomor occupied the next two places behind her and both had reputations as fearsome runners. By the 16km mark, both had moved past Martin, who had Daumas in her sights, running past her before the halfway point in the run.

In the end, it was Deckers, with a 3hr 7min marathon taking her well clear in a race record time of 9.21.29, while less than four minutes separated the next three, with Martin agonisingly close to the medals finishing in 9.40.53.

Martin now returns to family in Germany for a bit of recovery time. She’s qualified for the New Zealand team to contest the World Long-Course Championship event on August 1, but will wait and see how her recovery goes.

Britta Martin of Nelson crosses the finish line in fourth place at Ironman France in Nice, Sunday July 27, 2010
Britta Martin of Nelson crosses the finish line in fourth place at Ironman France in Nice, Sunday July 27, 2010