LUCY WALMSLEY was crowned British Ladies' V45 Ironman champion on her debut at the event in Bolton.
Victory qualifies her for the 2017 World Ironman Championships at Kona, Hawaii in October.
Lucy a physiotherapist from Bourton-on-the-Water, is in the form of her life and just a fortnight earlier she had won the Over-45 section of the England National Triathlon Championship.
More than 2000 contestants took on the UK Ironman Championships on a damp morning in Bolton.
The professionals started the 2.4-mile open water swim first with a constant stream of amateur competitors following and soon the lake was full of swimmers as far as the eye could see.
Lucy left the water as 23rd lady overall in a time of 1:06.13 and went through the all-important first transition in a very quick time of 4min 10sec.
The tough two-lap 112-mile bike course saw Lucy move up to eighth lady overall but more importantly she was now well clear of the other competitors in her FV45-49 age category.
Her bike time was an outstanding 6:04.15 going into the second transition which she nailed in 3min 53sec, a time beaten only by the top two professionals.
After such a tough bike ride the marathon finale was always going to be a matter of survival but Lucy showed her many years of running experience and strength by completing in an amazing time of 3:32.15.
Her total event time of 10:50.43 was bettered only by four professional athletes and one other amateur from a much younger age category.
Lucy annihilated her age group rivals as the second home was a massive 1hr 22min 08sec behind her.
Taken from the Wiltshire & Gloucestershire Standard