Liz Lyles wins 2017 Ironman Chattanooga with mother cheering her on [photos]

Liz Lyles wins 2017 Ironman Chattanooga with mother cheering her on [photos]

September 24th, 2017 by Mark Pace in Local Regional News

Elizabeth Lyles crosses the finish line at Ross's Landing Sunday in the 2017 Little Debbie Ironman Chattanooga on Sept. 25, 2017.

Photo by Tim Barber /Times Free Press.

Gallery: Year of the Ironman ends with 2017 Little Debbie Ironman Chattanooga [photos]

+5
more photos

Related Article

Year of the Ironman ends with 2017 Little Debbie Ironman Chattanooga [photos]

Read more

Elizabeth Lyles of Nevada won the Ironman Chattanooga professional race in dominating fashion, finishing more than 23 minutes ahead of her closest competitor.

The mother of two raced to victory with her own mother in the crowd cheering her on.

"Having her on the red carpet and having her give me a hug at the finish was definitely a memory," Lyles said.

It was the first time Lyles' mom, Joan Demgen, was able to be right at the finish line for one of her daughter's victories. Demgen was also at Lyles' 2016 victory in Brazil but wasn't allowed into the finish area.

It was a special moment for the mother and daughter.

"It was fabulous," Demgen said. "I've seen her win before, but to see her finish from back here [at the finish line] and to see the smile on her face was fabulous."

Lyles came into the race as the most decorated Ironman professional athlete in the field and the favorite to win.

She was the second athlete out of the water, behind Kelly Williamson, and took the lead early in the bike leg. She stretched out her lead on the run.

Lyles was the first person to finish the 144.6 mile race with a time of 9:05:33. The professional men's and women's fields alternate each year, so next year's Ironman Chattanooga will feature a male professional field.

"I've been training pretty hard for this race," Lyles said. "I really just wanted to win an Ironman, and now I can go to Kona, and maybe have another great day."

Lyles was one of the few professional athletes who chose to compete in the field just three weeks ahead of the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.

"You never know what's going to happen. I can't put myself in a bubble for Kona," she said. "I didn't want to put all my eggs in the Kona basket."

Kim Schwabenbauer and Jessica Donavan finished second and third, respectively.

Contact staff writer Mark Pace at mpace@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6659. Follow him on Twitter @themarkpace and on Facebook at ChattanoogaOutdoorsTFP.


This story was updated Sept. 24 at 11:55 p.m


Loading...