Former professional triathlete Lucy Gossage demonstrated her incredible endurance and mental fortitude with a brilliant podium finish at one of the UK’s toughest endurance events.
Taking on a number of seasoned professional ultra runners and a 268-mile course up the Pennine Way that includes over 10,000m of elevation gain, the NHS oncologist secured a third place finish at the Montane Winter Spine Race.
Having tussled with eventual winner Claire Bannwarth early on in the multi-day race, Gossage found herself in a tight race for second place over the closing stages with fellow doctor Hannah Rickman.
All out to the finish line
Having won countless titles as a professional triathlete, it’s fair to expect Gossage to excel at whatever endurance challenge she turns her hand to. However, her ability to push the pace against seasoned Spine favourites Bannwarth and Rickman was incredibly impressive.
After spending the majority of the race in second place, with defending champion Bannwarth gunning for a second successive title out front, the battle between Rickman and Gossage came down to the closing stages.
Overcoming the terrain, subzero temperatures and some sleepwalking, Gossage completed the race in a brilliant 106:05:26, eventually finishing the race in third, despite reaching the finish line in second.
Because Rickman had stopped earlier in the race to come to the aid of another participant in distress, the race organisers credited her 1 hour 46 minutes, meaning that although she reached Kirk Yetholm after Gossage, her final time taking into account the ‘Good Samaritan Act bonus’ was quicker.
“What an insane achievement!”
With the live race tracker allowing fans to send in messages of support, Gossage’s page was inundated with congratulations after the Brit crossed the finish line, with hundreds of people sending well wishes to the Nottingham University Hospital doctor.
Friend and fellow pro triathlete Nikki Bartlett, who had been documenting Gossage’s progress throughout the race, summed up the magnitude of her friend’s achievement on Instagram, whilst also thanking the race organisers for a brilliant event.
“Thanks so much for all of your support it’s been an honour story telling Lucy from the start to the finish line. It’s been emotional writing on Lucy’s social, so proud, such an inspiring person to so many people.
“I would like to say a big thank you to all staff and volunteers you’re the heart and soul of events like these. To all athletes racing you’re simply one of a kind, I can’t wrap my head around what you’ve achieved. It’s incredible.”